Estate plans can evoke a lot of hostile feelings from the beneficiaries involved. Hurt feelings and the sensation of getting slighted are not uncommon couplings with estate planning.
This is especially true among siblings who have to deal with the estate plan of a relative or loved one. But why do these spats and disagreements happen?
Reasons for disputes
Forbes discusses some of the reasons why sibling spats happen over inheritance and what a person can do to reduce these fights. First, they often rekindle old sibling rivalries. In many sets of siblings, one sibling may feel like they continuously got the short end of the stick in regard to a relative’s affections or attentions. That person may feel like they got left out once again if they do not view their share of the estate as equitable or equal.
Next, as siblings grow into adulthood, they often get estranged from one another. Issues they dealt with or tolerated while growing up may solidify into resentment or anger toward one another. They could even view their sibling as a bad person who might intentionally try to influence or manipulate a relative into giving everyone else a smaller share of the estate.
Reducing the possibility of disputes
So how can these fits get reduced? How can parties minimize the chance of a falling out happening? First, know that it is impossible to entirely eliminate the possibility of a dispute happening.
However, maximizing communication serves as the best way to prevent one. Be open about the choices made regarding asset division. Talk to all beneficiaries equally and truthfully about why certain things happened the way they did. Dispel rumors of undue influence and protect the estate plan as it exists.