1. Susan and Jack married immediately following graduation from college. Throughout their lives they jointly operated a successful business and amassed a small fortune in savings, investments and personal property. Jack died suddenly at the age of 62, leaving a will which specifically excluded his wife from inheriting his share of the assets. Instead, he bequeathed the entire share of his estate to the Church of Sciences, a small fringe religious sect which intends to continue operating the joint business with various representatives from the church. What are Susan's rights under Minnesota statutes?

2. Karen and John met in a “Singles Over 50” club. Both had been married previously and had lost their respective spouses to disease. Karen had inherited a sizeable fortune and John was wealthy in his own right. Each had two children by their first marriage, and each of those children had given them grandchildren. When they decided to marry, they discussed the wisdom of crafting an “antenuptial” or “prenuptial” agreement which would isolate their pre-marriage fortunes for the benefit of their own “blood” children. After their marriage, John convinced Karen to invest heavily in a speculative venture which failed. Upon Karen’s death, it was learned that she had invested over $1 million while John had not put up a penny of his own funds. Karen’s children, as beneficiaries of her estate, sue John on the prenuptial agreement in an effort to recapture the losses. What is their likelihood of success based on Minnesota case law?

3. Bill and Erica met in law school, moved in together in 2001, had two children and practiced law for separate law firms until Bill’s death in 2013. The couple had never officially “tied the knot” but they maintained a joint household account throughout their relationship and had joint ownership over two vehicles and a parcel of rental property. Their residence, however, was in Bill’s name. Bill died without a will. Does Minnesota allow marriages created by common law? What are Erica's rights?

4. Donna and Mike are in the process of obtaining a divorce. They have three small children under the age of nine. Both parents have been active in their children’s lives, sports activities, church, and supervision. Are joint custody arrangements are allowed in Minnesota, if so, what is the process for determining the terms of the joint custody agreement?

 

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