When a parent dies, siblings usually grieve together. Whether the loss comes after a long illness or is sudden and unexpected, emotions are understandably frayed at such a stressful time. Sometimes, the heirs may also find themselves in conflict over the coming estate proceedings. In Illinois and elsewhere, it is important to know where to seek support if a problem arises.
If there was no last will and testament, it often causes a lot of confusion among loved ones left behind. This can be particularly difficult among siblings who may be unsure of what steps are required and what happens to the parent’s assets in the absence of a will. An estate must go through probate when there is no existing will.
When a person does sign a will before he or she passes away, it might contain specific instructions regarding inheritance. In fact, some estate owners use the estate planning process to disinherit a specific person or people. Contention may also arise if one heir is given a larger portion of inheritance than another.
Heirs might get upset if negative surprises are sprung upon them when the estate in question is settled. For instance, a parent might have included a cousin or some other party as a beneficiary without telling more immediate heirs. Sometimes, an Illinois estate winds up being a lot smaller than what was expected, and this causes confusion and even disputes between family members. An experienced estate law attorney can clarify any terms that are ambiguous, as well as help make sure an intended heir receives the exact portion of an estate to which he or she is entitled.