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Why do siblings fight over wills?

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2022 | Estate Planning |

A common trope in media or stories that involve family spats over wills focuses on the siblings. In fiction, they are often at one another’s throats for various reasons, sometimes played for comedic effect.

But in reality, why do sibling spats happen?  Are certain siblings more likely to fight over a will than others? What determines this, and what can a person do to stop it from happening?

Old antagonism resurfacing

Forbes discusses the way that siblings fight over wills. These spats can happen for a number of reasons. First of all, wills can often dredge up old negative emotions that siblings may have held for one another, such as jealousy or rivalry.

Many siblings feel some level of antagonism toward one another as children. Most will grow out of this through age. However, some will never actually get over the antagonism felt or the slights they experienced, perceived or otherwise.

Some siblings might also think that their parents favored one over the other, and the turnout of a will can potentially feed into these feelings, especially if they view the division of assets as unequal.

How can you stop it?

The best way to cut down on the possibility of spats happening between siblings is to talk about a will before death. This way, the parents have plenty of time to clarify what their decisions actually mean and what led them to make these choices in the first place.

It is a great way to eliminate misunderstandings and thus eliminate a big chunk of the reason why spats happen in the first place.