Estate distribution disputes among sibling beneficiaries

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2024 | Wealth Transfer Disputes

The passing of a parent is a very emotional time for those loved ones who are left behind. When grief takes over, everything seems bigger and more complicated, including how to divide the deceased’s assets. Even though the deceased may have spelled out exactly how they want their estate divided, when siblings are the beneficiaries, disputes may arise in this emotionally charged environment.

Various factors can cause conflicts between beneficiaries when it comes to an estate, such as differing interpretations of the deceased’s intentions, uneven wealth distribution, disagreements over the will’s legitimacy or claims of undue influence. A careful approach is necessary to manage estate disputes legally and fairly.

Common disputes sibling beneficiaries may face

Dividing money and other assets can be a tricky subject, especially when it comes to sibling beneficiaries. Some common areas of disagreement may include:

  • Interpretation of the provisions of the will or trust: This is one of the most frequent grounds for disagreements amongst beneficiaries. Different interpretations of specific rules or directions can lead to conflicts and legal disputes. Confusing instructions, competing provisions, or ambiguous phrasing can be the cause of such arguments.
  • Beneficiary designation disputes: When there are several claimants or when the designated beneficiary is in doubt, disputes over beneficiary designations may occur with financial accounts or insurance policies. Divorces, remarriages, and estrangements can all lead to disagreements about who should be entitled to the assets.
  • Objections to the legality of the trust or will: When beneficiaries believe that a trust or will was created under duress, they may decide to challenge its legality. To determine the validity of the document and the rights of the beneficiaries, legal action may be required.

When disputes arise between sibling beneficiaries, a thorough analysis of relevant documents and circumstances is often necessary. Seeking personalized legal guidance is, therefore, generally wise.