How can you avoid sibling disputes that lead to litigation?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Most siblings will have at least a few spats while growing up. Sometimes, these spats can last into adulthood, too.

Of course, adding financial matters to the mix simply worsens the entire situation. This is the case with probate, which siblings sometimes take each other to court for.

Undue influence

Sibling arguments can sometimes run hot, but MetroWest Daily News points out instances where it can actually end up bleeding into an issue that requires litigation. One potential reason involves one sibling accusing another of exerting undue influence over a parent.

As parents age, they often lose their mental faculties. Sometimes, a person may attempt to take advantage of this weakened mental state by exerting control over the older individual. They will often do this in an attempt to gain something, such as a more favorable portion of the estate in the will.

Uneven asset division

Another big reason for litigation is an unequal division of the estate between all siblings. Parental favoritism fuels many sibling spats, and this naturally still applies in the event of a seemingly unequal will. Siblings will often take each other to court for perceived inequality in a will.

Parents can avoid this by ensuring all children get an equitable share of estate and assets during the division of property. If this is not possible for whatever reason, the parent should explain clearly in writing or in spoken conversation with their children exactly why they have made the decisions they make.

Otherwise, litigation may become unavoidable. In such a situation, it is best to gain the consult of legal aid.