Sibling Rivalry: 3 Common Probate Flashpoints and How to Stand up for Yourself

When deciding whether to draft a Last Will and Testament, many people think their beneficiaries will not even contemplate fighting over the portioning of the estate’s assets. This, however, does happen and the courts decide disputes between members of a family over the estate. There are common flashpoints, which contribute to sibling rivalry. It is important to know how to stand up for oneself.

Minimizing Disputes Is Key

Minimizing disputes is key in these types of cases, which is why it is always best to consult and strategize with attornies who are experienced in handling estate matters like those at Attorneys can advise the individual as to the most common reasons for disputes and guide the individual to thoughtfully plan the estate.

While planning an estate with these possibilities in mind, even the best plans may not be enough to save prevent a dispute among family members. Something many forget is that the Will is not the only issue. Disputes can be related to assets such as a retirement plan, investment account, and life insurance policies. Being part of the process can be challenging, but standing up for oneself is important. This includes being open to others’ emotions and being approachable even when it doesn’t seem like the easiest path. Transparency is also very pertinent.

Resentment Can Bubble To The Top

Generally speaking, not many people want to be an executor of a will, but it is found that many individuals want to be asked. This is because being asked or becoming executor equates to a vote of confidence and validation of the relationship the person had with the person who is asking. Not being asked creates resentment toward a person who was ultimately asked. This resentment can change into extreme distrust and constant questioning of the decisions that are made. It is important, as executor, to be open to others’ thoughts and emotions. Being approachable and collaborative is the best.

When Expectations Meet Reality

Quite often, there is a difference between what people expect to receive and what they get. Sometimes, individual items are not mentioned in the plans, and beneficiaries believe those things are up for grabs. The item becomes part of the estate, and it is up to the executor to distribute it properly according to the directions outlined in the will. It is very important to remember to follow the proper procedures.

Questions That Go Unanswered

When someone is assigned to a specific task, others are there to be the judge and jury of how the job is done. People that have stakes in the process can be harsh critics. Things can quickly turn into accusations. This constant criticism puts tremendous pressure on everyone. Many people feel trapped and unable to express their opinions. It is important to remember that transparency is key. With transparency, there are fewer questions, less wondering and less conflict.

Prior To Death Care

Family disputes are created among close and distant siblings even before death. Commonly, one sibling provides support for the parent at the end of their life while other siblings can be very distant. This can lead to unknown disputes such as money-grabbing or the estate changing and no one knowing until after the estate owner’s death.

Transparency leads to less conflict between siblings and family members. Following estate plan rules and general norms will make a world of difference in the way one feels towards the process.