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Gilbert Alden PLLC
Minneapolis/St. Paul attorneys
Minneapolis/St. Paul attorneys
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In addition to our Burnsville office, we now have a new Edina office in order to better accommodate our clients in the west metro. We focus our practice on business, employment, and family law/divorce issues. If you are interested in a free consultation, please contact us at 612-564-3622.

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We are excited to announce Beth W. Barbosa has joined our firm as a Partner. Beth brings almost 20 years of experience in family law/divorce litigation and focuses her practice on nonmarital tracing, complex marital asset division, and spousal maintenance claims. Find out more about Ms. Barbosa on our site:

http://www.gilbertalden.com/beth-barbosa/
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What is Required to Revoke a Will?
It is not uncommon for family members with a disagreement over the terms of a will or administration of an estate after a family members’ death to have disagreements over the terms of a will, and also for multiple will to be submitted to the probate court.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently released an unpublished opinion on the question of what it takes to revoke a prior will, and whether certain actions are sufficient to revoke a prior will. In In re the Estate of Esther Caroline Sullivan, Decedent, A14-2112 (Aug. 17, 2015), the Court of Appeals considered what constitutes a “revocatory act on the will” – meaning what does it take to revoke a prior, valid will, under the meaning put forth under Minn. Stat. § 524.2-507 (2014).
In Sullivan, three will were submitted to the probate court. The first was a valid will executed in 2006, witnessed by two disinterested individuals and signed by a notary public (“2006 Will”). The second alleged will was made in 2008 (“2008 Will”) when the testator made changes to a photocopy of the 2006 will and added handwritten words. The testator allegedly wrote on the top of the 2008 will that it was intended to replace the 2006 Will. In 2010, the testator allegedly attempted to execute another will (“2010 document”) using a downloaded form and completing provisions by hand. Obviously, each of the three wills had a proponent who advocated for their enforceability.
The probate court found that the testator had intended to revoke the 2006 will possibly in 2008, but definitely in 2010. Despite the testator’s intent, however, by failing to comply with statutory formalities of having witnesses present for a revocation of the prior will, the modifications were invalid even though there was evidence that the testator had approved of the modifications.
In particular, for a modification or a revocation to be effective, Minnesota statutes require that a modification has to be done to the original will, or that alternatively, the modifications could constitute new wills in their own right by meeting the requirements for execution of original wills.
Minnesota law provides that a will can be revoked in two ways:
(1) by executing a subsequent will that revokes the previous will or part expressly or by inconsistency; or
(2) by performing a revocatory act on the will, if the testator performed the act with the intent and for the purpose of revoking the will or part or if another individual performed the act in the testator’s conscious presence and by the testator’s direction. For purposes of this clause, “revocatory act on the will” includes burning, tearing, canceling, obliterating, or destroying the will or any part of it. . . .
Minn. Stat. § 524.2-507(a).
The Sullivan Court, analyzing all of the operative documents, concluded that the 2008 will was not a new will, because it did not meet the requirements of having witnesses and being notarized, and it was not revoked, because the alleged revocatory actions were not performed on the original will – just a copy of the original will. As the Court stated, “without witnesses or a revocatory act on the original will, we can only speculate as to the testator’s intent.”
The Court of Appeals’ opinion can be found at the following link:
http://mn.gov/lawlib/archive/ctappub/2015/opa142112-081715.pdf
Gilbert Alden PLLC, is a Burnsville Minnesota law firm which offers Wills and Estate Planning services.
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What is Required to Revoke a Will?
It is not uncommon for family members with a disagreement over the terms of a will or administration of an estate after a family members’ death to have disagreements over the terms of a will, and also for multiple will to be submitted to the probate court.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently released an unpublished opinion on the question of what it takes to revoke a prior will, and whether certain actions are sufficient to revoke a prior will. In In re the Estate of Esther Caroline Sullivan, Decedent, A14-2112 (Aug. 17, 2015), the Court of Appeals considered what constitutes a “revocatory act on the will” – meaning what does it take to revoke a prior, valid will, under the meaning put forth under Minn. Stat. § 524.2-507 (2014).
In Sullivan, three will were submitted to the probate court. The first was a valid will executed in 2006, witnessed by two disinterested individuals and signed by a notary public (“2006 Will”). The second alleged will was made in 2008 (“2008 Will”) when the testator made changes to a photocopy of the 2006 will and added handwritten words. The testator allegedly wrote on the top of the 2008 will that it was intended to replace the 2006 Will. In 2010, the testator allegedly attempted to execute another will (“2010 document”) using a downloaded form and completing provisions by hand. Obviously, each of the three wills had a proponent who advocated for their enforceability.
The probate court found that the testator had intended to revoke the 2006 will possibly in 2008, but definitely in 2010. Despite the testator’s intent, however, by failing to comply with statutory formalities of having witnesses present for a revocation of the prior will, the modifications were invalid even though there was evidence that the testator had approved of the modifications.
In particular, for a modification or a revocation to be effective, Minnesota statutes require that a modification has to be done to the original will, or that alternatively, the modifications could constitute new wills in their own right by meeting the requirements for execution of original wills.
Minnesota law provides that a will can be revoked in two ways:
(1) by executing a subsequent will that revokes the previous will or part expressly or by inconsistency; or
(2) by performing a revocatory act on the will, if the testator performed the act with the intent and for the purpose of revoking the will or part or if another individual performed the act in the testator’s conscious presence and by the testator’s direction. For purposes of this clause, “revocatory act on the will” includes burning, tearing, canceling, obliterating, or destroying the will or any part of it. . . .
Minn. Stat. § 524.2-507(a).
The Sullivan Court, analyzing all of the operative documents, concluded that the 2008 will was not a new will, because it did not meet the requirements of having witnesses and being notarized, and it was not revoked, because the alleged revocatory actions were not performed on the original will – just a copy of the original will. As the Court stated, “without witnesses or a revocatory act on the original will, we can only speculate as to the testator’s intent.”
The Court of Appeals’ opinion can be found at the following link:
http://mn.gov/lawlib/archive/ctappub/2015/opa142112-081715.pdf
Gilbert Alden PLLC, is a Burnsville Minnesota law firm which offers Wills and Estate Planning services.
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Wrongful Employment Termination: Were you Wrongly Fired? We Can Help!

Wrongful Employment Termination
Even though the economy is still in a bit of flux, you -- as an employee -- have rights. And if you believe that you were the victim of wrongful employment termination, we can certainly help. In this blog post, we're going to discuss the criteria for wrongful termination, as well as briefly discuss the remedies that are available to you if, indeed, you were wrongfully terminated from your job.
What constitutes wrongful termination?

Before we get deep into the specifics of wrongful termination, we've come up with this list of general aspects of wrongful termination:
Were you fired in violation of Federal & state anti-discrimination laws? (It is important to note that not everything that's covered under your state's anti-discrimination laws is covered under Federal law -- sexual orientation and gender identity, for example, are still not Federally protected)
Were you fired as a form of sexual harassment?
Were you fired in violation of oral & written employer/employee agreements?
Were you fired in violation of labor laws (this includes collective bargaining laws -- in other words, you can't be fired because you and your co-workers talked about being part of a union)?
Were you fired in retaliation for being a so-called "whistle-blower"?
If the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, you may have been the victim of wrongful termination. Let's now take a look at some in-depth analysis of wrongful termination.

Violation of Implied and/or Written Promises
There are many states in the union that state that employment is "at will," which means that you as an employee can be fired at any time without notice or cause. Minnesota, of course, is one such state that is considered an "at will" employment state, but there are exceptions to the "at will" clause of employment, and that includes a violation of implied and/or written promises of employment. If you are able to prove that you were promised employment for a certain period of time, and you were denied that right to work, you have a case for wrongful termination.

Violation of Good Faith
If your employer makes a promise of wage increases, commissions, or other form of monetary compensation on the basis of merit, and then effectively sabotages you (either by firing you, transferring you into a different department so you couldn't collect commissions, or making up reasons to fire you so they can put someone else in your place who will work for far less money), that's considered a violation of good faith. If this has happened, you potentially have a strong case for a wrongful employment termination suit.

Violation of Public Policy
Sometimes, you are called away from work to fill a civic duty. Some of the many civic duties you can be called away from work for include, but are certainly not limited to, the following: serving on a jury for jury duty, voting, serving in the military or the National Guard, and serving as a whistle-blower (either for your existing company or another company). If your employer fires you for performing your civic duty, you have a strong case to prove that you're the victim of wrongful employment termination.
How can an employment attorney help?
When you hire an attorney that specializes in wrongful termination cases, you will be able to recover lost wages and other potential damages.
Gilbert Alden Attorneys & Advocates specializes in a wide variety of legal areas, including wrongful termination cases. Managing Partner Charlie Alden is one of Burnsville, MN's best: he was named a Minnesota Super Lawyer's Rising Star. For more information about us and our services, contact us today to see what we can do for you.
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