Estate disputes often involve adult siblings who do not agree on what they should do with their parents’ estate or what their parents would have wanted. Maybe their parents had no estate plan and died unexpectedly, so it’s up to them to sort it out, and they can’t agree.
This can be a stressful situation, and it often links back to friction between the siblings that already existed. They didn’t get along to begin with, and it only gets worse now that their parents are gone and a lot of money and other assets are on the line.
For instance, some siblings fall back into childhood patterns and roles. An older child may have always bossed the younger ones around. Doing so now just breeds resentment and anger, both because they are now all adults and because the younger siblings harbored resentment for being treated that way years ago.
Another issue is when siblings fail to focus on the positive and only think about the negative. They view the whole thing in a negative light and it makes them more likely to be suspicious about someone else’s actions. For instance, one sibling proposes a certain division of assets, just trying to help, and the others think they’re trying to get something out of it for themselves. This mindset can lead to disputes where none needed to exist in the first place.
Understanding why these disputes happen can help reduce the risk, but you can’t always prevent them because you have no control over what everyone else does. If you find yourself involved in one, make sure you know your legal rights.