Estate planning can serve as a problem in numerous ways that may surprise a person who is not prepared to face these issues.
For example, estate plans can often rekindle old sibling rivalries or even start new disputes. But how and why?
The ignition of past rivalries
Forbes talks about some of the main reasons that pit siblings against each other in matters of estate plans. First, if old rivalries existed, this is one certain way to reignite them.
In estate plan disputes, many siblings mention feeling slighted by their other sibling(s), and will often quote that they felt like the “unfavorite” all their lives. They may perceive certain divisions of assets as yet another way that they get the short end of the stick.
A possibility of undue influence
In other cases, one sibling may feel like they have undue influence on their hands. Undue influence typically involves one or more people targeting an individual with manipulative tactics in an attempt to gain an unfair portion of – or control over – an estate. This usually includes lying or isolation tactics to prevent the target from discovering they are under a manipulative thumb.
So how do either of these issues get handled or resolved? As with many things in life, communication is key. First, if you have a reason for making the asset division decisions, be sure to talk about those reasons with your family. Even if this will not eliminate any chance of disputes, it will let people know the reasoning behind decisions instead of leaving it up to the imagination.
This can also dispel any rumors or speculations of undue influence, and keep your relationship with your loved ones strong.