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Why do estate disputes happen?

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2024 | Estate Administration & Probate |

Estate disputes can be very devastating for a family. In some cases, the hard feelings last long after the dispute has been resolved. Some siblings have a falling out that is so serious that they may never talk again.

But why does this happen? If you’re making an estate plan at all, you are lowering the odds of an estate dispute. Lack of planning is certainly one of the top reasons that these disputes occur. Let’s look at three more below.

Disagreements over assets 

First of all, beneficiaries and adult children may disagree over how assets get divided. Maybe beneficiaries thought they would share an asset, such as a vacation home, that only went to one person. Or maybe financial assets weren’t split up perfectly evenly. There are many different reasons why people will end up in disputes regarding these assets.

An emotional time 

From a psychological standpoint, this is also just a very emotional time. When a parent has passed away, it brings the family members together. But with the emotions running hot, people are often feeling stressed and more prone to disagreements.

Sibling rivalry 

Finally, there’s evidence that sibling rivalry often lasts into adulthood. Many times, this is just because one adult child perceives that they are treated differently than their siblings. But this can lead to disputes because they may be more likely to think that the asset division is unfair, for example, or to assume that their other siblings are doing something illegal, like exercising undue influence.

An estate plan can help to resolve some of these serious issues. That’s why it’s important to know what steps to take when drafting one.