Are you aware that sibling disputes often give way to probate litigation?

| Feb 26, 2021 | Estate Planning |

A loved one’s death has a way of taking an already-fragile family dynamic and fracturing it even more deeply. It’s not uncommon for disputes among siblings to quickly spiral out of control, resulting in knock-down-drag-out battles in probate court.

Learning more about the kinds of disputes that can lead to courtroom battles over a loved one’s estate may help you prevent them from occurring between your own heirs.

Undue influence

When the bulk of a testator’s assets are mostly be left behind to one person and not more evenly distributed, their siblings may raise questions about “undue influence.” They may suspect that the sibling so-favored somehow pressured, deceived or manipulated their parent into the uneven bequests. 

Executor issues

It’s not uncommon for a parent to name one of their children as their executor. It’s also not uncommon for the other siblings to allege that the executor hasn’t upheld their fiduciary responsibilities. They may feel that their brother or sisters is self-serving instead of doing what’s in the best interests of all of the beneficiaries.

Cutting a child out of a will

Sometimes a parent feels like it is necessary to cut one of their children entirely out of the estate. It’s often not as simple, however, as simply writing them out of the will. They can keep the estate from perpetually being stuck in probate over this issue, however, through several different steps that are best discussed with an experienced attorney.  

Estate battles can be very complicated, and they can eat away at the assets you hope to leave to your heirs. You want an estate plan that works to meet your goals — not one that will lead to problems. Working with your Florida attorney can help.