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Can a jealous sibling spat end in litigation?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2022 | Estate Planning

Sibling spats are a somewhat natural part of growing up in a family with siblings at all. Many of these disputes are relatively mild, and most people will grow out of them in their adult years.

However, some disputes can continue to escalate throughout childhood and into adulthood. These disputes can grow especially cumbersome and problematic in the event of probate and estate matters getting involved.

Escalation due to unevenly divided assets

Metrowest Daily News discusses disputes between siblings that may escalate during probate. The death of a loved one is a traumatic experience for anyone, and in many cases, dealing with the death of a parent is particularly hard. Emotions often run high in these times, and it is possible for a person who is already on edge to feel easily slighted and hurt by problems from the past.

For example, in the event that a parent unevenly divided their assets or estate in a will, this could easily open old wounds between children who believed that their parent played favorites.

Undue influence issues

Some siblings may also accuse others of undue influence. This happens when an individual accuses their sibling of exerting manipulative control over a parent who did not have full mental faculties, such as someone suffering from dementia.

In some cases, it is easy to take preventative measures to keep these disputes from happening. For one, parents could ensure that they leave an equitable amount of assets to each child.

Clear communication is key, too. Parents should always communicate their wishes and desires to their children, along with the reasons behind their choices. This can help prevent bad blood later.