Compassionate And Competent

Butte County Landscape

When probate sparks sibling rivalry

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2022 | ESTATE PLANNING - Estate Administration & Probate

Whether a set of siblings usually get along well or have a contentious relationship, most families try their best to pull together and cooperate when it comes time to lay a parent to rest. If a problem regarding a parent’s last will and testament or other estate planning documents arises, it can cause disagreements among the decedent’s surviving family members. Sadly, many siblings have stopped talking to one another for years because of disputes regarding the probate process after a parent’s death. 

The more detailed and thorough an estate plan is, the less likely there will be disagreements among siblings when the estate is administrated. For instance, a parent can state in writing that his or her house is to be sold upon death. In fact, the parent may also specify how the proceeds of the sale should be divided. Incorporating detailed instructions like this leaves less room for disputes among an estate owner’s children.  

Giving gifts during a lifetime may help prevent probate squabbles 

It is not uncommon for a parent to own items of sentimental or financial value that he or she wishes to a particular child to inherit someday. It may be a good idea to consider bestowing such gifts while one is still living. This may be especially helpful if two or more children have hoped to receive the same item.  

If sibling disagreements arise because a parent’s instructions were unclear 

A parent might fail to mention a matter of importance in his or her will or the language used in an estate document might be ambiguous, leaving room for disputes to arise. If siblings are unable to resolve a disagreement in a peaceful manner, it is best to ask a third party to intervene and mediate on their behalf. For instance, an experienced estate planning and probate law attorney could provide guidance and support in such circumstances.