Sibling rivalry can lead to estate disputes

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2024 | Estate And Trust Litigation

Sibling rivalry may begin in childhood, but it doesn’t always end there. Many adults still have reservations regarding their siblings due to things that happened while they were growing up, or they still feel a sense of rivalry, as if the two of them are still in competition – especially when it comes to their parents.

When adult children have this mindset, it can sometimes lead to estate disputes when their parents pass away. This passing will naturally bring them back together again, increasing the likelihood for these conflicts. Medical decisions and the distribution of assets are areas that can lead to serious disputes.

Unequal bequests

For example, sibling rivalry sometimes plays a role when parents leave unequal bequests. The parents may simply think that this is fair. For instance, maybe one child is a high earner and doesn’t need as much of an inheritance as the other. But if that child always felt like they were in second place to their sibling, getting a smaller inheritance may feel insulting.

Family heirlooms

Another area to keep in mind is dividing family heirlooms. These typically cannot be sold to split up the money because there isn’t much financial value. The children are interested in the sentimental value and they will compete for it. Two siblings may both want their parents’ book collection, art collection, jewelry, home furnishings and other things of this nature.

These are just a few of the reasons why disputes occur during the estate administration process. When they do, those involved must be well aware of their legal options and the steps they can take to both protect their rights and find a solution.