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Country club in the middle of a real estate dispute

Unfortunately, family members don't always agree on certain things, especially when money is involved. This is currently the case for a family who owns a Minnesota country club. The family members -- all shareholders -- are disputing the sale of the country club because it is allegedly being sold without everyone's consent.

The real estate dispute involves the Minnetonka Country Club, located near Lake Minnetonka. The country club had been in existence for nearly 100 years and was owned by one of the family members -- now deceased -- for 40 years. The deceased man's son took control of the country club and started marketing it for sale. He signed a purchase agreement for $15 million with home builder Mattamy Homes. The home builder plans to turn the country club and its surrounding 116 acres into 121 homes worth up to $1 million.

This did not sit well with the deceased man's daughter, who claims that her brother agreed to the sale without input from the other shareholders. She has filed a lawsuit claiming that her brother failed to exercise reasonable care in the operations and sale. She claims that an independent appraisal was not done on the land before the sale.

Many real estate issues like this sale dispute can be avoided through proper estate planning. Ideally, the property owner would outline the person's wishes for the property upon death. Now a court will need to decide if this lawsuit has merit. Who else is involved in the property and what are their feelings about the sale? Is a unanimous decision needed to sell the property or is it just a majority rule? These are questions that a real estate attorney can help answer.

Source: Star Tribune, "Sale of country club near Lake Minnetonka disputed in family feud," Kelly Smith, Jan. 24, 2015

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