The loss of a parent is surely one of the most distressing periods of a person’s life. But what can make the time even more difficult to cope with is when it comes time to dividing the deceased’s estate, particularly when siblings are pitted against one another.
On many an occasion, a shock will or probate reading has left one child with everything, and another with nothing. Some parents will insist on an equal splitting of assets after they pass, but others lean toward favoritism. Still others can leave matters unresolved, leading to even more distress. So, what can be done in cases of sibling inheritance disputes?
Don’t Rely on Familial Bonds
Even the closest families on earth are at risk of being split apart by the turmoil that can arise when a will’s contents are disclosed. Not only does an ‘unfair’ decision mean one sibling may be worse off than anticipated, it can also leave them with a sense of being loved less by the deceased parent.
When it comes to money, sadly all bets are usually off the table. Good intentions when someone is still alive are all very noble, but at the crucial moment, inheritance disputes can pull families apart, sometimes forever.
Don’t Rush to Court
If there’s concern that the division of assets in a will has been unfair, then that doesn’t mean that getting in front of a judge will mean it will all be straightened out.
Legal battles can go on for years and be so expensive that even if there is resolution in the end, much of the inheritance could have been spent on being in and out of court.
The worst thing would be to rush to court without having sought the correct legal advice, and without being fully prepared. That’s why one of the first things to do when there is concern over an inheritance, and preferably even before a concern even arises, is to engage a trust attorney.
Get the Right Advice
Trust attorneys aren’t only there to represent parties in court. Their work begins long before a court building is on the horizon and can in many cases negate the need for appearing in front of a judge at all.
It goes without saying that those looking to create a will of their own should employ a trust or estate attorney to help them. The right attorney, one who has a wealth of legal expertise in this area, can help create a will that negates all opportunity for contest in the future.
However, if the will is problematic, then those either in it, or those contesting it, are advised to get the best possible trust attorney they can find.
Whether it’s mediating dispute resolution meetings, looking into claims of Power of Attorney abuse, investigating possible Undue Influence, or simply getting the quietest person in the room the right to be heard, trust attorneys are there to fight for their client’s safety and security, getting them the outcome they deserve.