Ideally, an estate will be distributed to the heirs without any sort of conflict among them. They will all simply follow the instructions in the estate plan and things will go as intended.
However, this does not always happen, and estate disputes – particularly among siblings — are common. These disputes can take a while to resolve, so it can be helpful to see them coming in advance. Here are some red flags that may mean siblings or others are more likely to get involved in a dispute.
There is geographical separation
In some cases, siblings who don’t live near each other are more likely to get into a dispute than those who live near each other. For instance, one sibling may live in another state and claim that the sibling who still lived near home tried to influence the will to their own advantage. This could be an example of undue influence, which is a reason to challenge a will.
There is sibling rivalry
Additionally, sibling rivalry that starts in childhood does not always fade by adulthood. Some siblings have always felt like they were working against each other to get what they wanted. Siblings who have this mindset are likely to do the same thing when dividing their parents’ assets.
There’s no estate plan
By far, the main reason for an estate dispute is simply because there isn’t a plan to settle the conflict. The heirs have to come up with solutions on their own. Creating an estate plan is the first step in helping to keep disputes from happening.
If you are involved in an estate dispute, there may have a lot of money on the line or at least property of significant value to you and others. It’s wise to have experienced legal guidance.