One reason that people will make an estate plan is that they know that this lowers the odds that their heirs will be involved in a dispute. Simply creating a plan can go a long way toward preventing disputes by providing the necessary guidance.
However, this isn’t to say that all estate plans are guaranteed to stop disputes from occurring. If you are inheriting and you’re worried about getting involved in a dispute with one of your siblings or another beneficiary, it’s important to consider how this can happen and what options you may have if it does.
1. Sibling rivalry
One potential reason for an estate dispute is just that the sibling rivalry that the two of you felt when you were children may not have dissipated with time. Even if you felt like it did, your sibling may feel like you have always benefited or been the favorite. This could cause them to compete with you more and try to “win” the division of your parents’ assets.
2. Sentimental value
Perhaps an even more common reason is simply when both heirs want an item that has sentimental value to them. There are just no good solutions, at least when considering more traditional disputes. For example, if two heirs wanted a financial asset, it could be divided. If they wanted a tangible and valuable asset, it could be sold and then the money could be divided. But these solutions don’t work with items with sentimental value because they may not have much actual financial value, and the heirs would not want to sell them in the first place.
If you do find yourself involved in a serious estate dispute for any reason, be sure you know about all your legal options.