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Tips for avoiding sibling inheritance disputes

If you are grieving the recent loss of one of your parents, you will share this loss with your siblings. In some situations, the loss of a parent can bring siblings closer together. However, grief can also mean that people are more prone to stress and becoming involved in petty arguments. In the days and weeks after the loss of a parent, you may be especially sensitive to conflict. At the same time, you will have to deal with issues relating to the administration of your parent's estate.

Unfortunately, it's common for siblings to become involved in a dispute after the loss of a parent. While the contents of your parent's estate plan are beyond your control, it is possible to take certain actions to avoid becoming involved in an emotionally draining and financially costly dispute. The following are some tips for successfully doing this.

Fair does not always mean equal

Many siblings become upset or offended when they learn that their parent's inheritance is not being divided equally among siblings. They may jump to conclusions and decide that this must be because their parents did not favor them. However, it's important to remember that fair does not always mean equal. Your parents may have decided that since they have helped you financially in the past, it would only be fair to leave you a smaller share of their estate.

Relationships are more valuable than money

If you find yourself becoming angry toward another member of your family regarding inheritance, take a step back and remind yourself of your priorities. Question whether it is worth losing your relationship with your relatives for the sake of winning a battle about money.

Think about what your parents would want

Remind yourself that your parents would never want to see their children fighting over inheritance. Honor your parents' legacy by having mature conversations and trying to talk through misunderstandings rationally.

The months after a parent's death can be a difficult and emotional time. Recognize this and remember to take things one step at a time. If you are worried about becoming involved in a sibling dispute, consider your options.

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