Top reasons why families fight over estates.

When a family member dies without a solid estate plan in place, the sorrow of death is compounded.

While the causes of dissension and fighting are complex, here are the top 5*.

1. Local Sibling versus Away Siblings
Scenario: A “local” sibling provides care and support for a parent at the end of life, while the other sibling(s) is “away,” -physically or psychologically. Typically the local sibling “helps” or controls aspects of the elderly parent’s life while growing a feeling of entitlement. For convenience, the local sibling may have been added as a signatory to the parent’s checking account. The distant sibling(s) suspects undue influence on the part of the local sibling, and a dispute arises, often creating contentious litigation.

2. Blended Families
​Multiple marriages, children from previous relationships can present complexity and that will challenge simple estate distribution. For example, the husband may predecease the wife who eventually loses touch or becomes estranged from his children. She can then make a new estate plan based on her wishes. Depending on her relationship with her stepchildren, she might decide to leave everything to her own kids. The original intent of his will is lost and his assets are passed onto her children exclusively.

3. The “late in life” spouse.
Everyone should be happy, but the later-in-life spouse is often the root of probate challenges. There is no denying the fact that some young people prey on the loneliness of the elderly in order to access their estate when they die. Sometimes, a late-in-life spouse has no ill intentions but simply can’t fit into the existing family paradigm. Such scenarios often result in will contests. The spouse claims true love. The children claim undue influence.

4. The Opportunistic Caregiver.
With no relative to care for the elderly family member, they often rely on caregivers in their final years. As a result, many choose to sign some or all of their estate over to caregivers instead of estranged family members. While many caregivers have pure intentions, this relationships can provide the opportunity to manipulate the elderly.

5. Hidden Assets
Refusing to deliver assets that someone has inherited is against the law. Regardless, people try to hide money or property during the execution of the deceased’s will. While some probate disputes can be solved without litigation, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced litigator who is well versed in Ohio probate law.
Source: Wealth Management

 

Articles you may like…

How To Divide Possessions Among Heirs

How To Divide Possessions Among Heirs

The death of a family member brings the family together to share their grief, but then things can get ugly. For example, the daughter of the deceased may announce that her mom promised her the car, but her brother may contest that the car was promised to him. A fight...

Trusts For Those With Addiction Problems

Trusts For Those With Addiction Problems

Passing on your assets to someone struggling with addiction Are you planning to include someone with an addiction as a beneficiary of your assets? You may have seen them repeat patterns of compromised decisions, poor judgments, and subsequent results that are far from...

How to choose a Trustee

How to choose a Trustee

So you’ve finally made the decision to move forward with your estate plan and now you need to choose a trustee who will act on behalf of your heirs' best interests. It can be a difficult choice, but there are a few notable factors in choosing the proper one that can...

Charles Bendig

I’m Chuck Bendig,

With over 40 years of dedicated service in the legal realm, I am proud to be a seasoned professional who has become synonymous with experience and compassion in Columbus, Ohio. My practice spans family law, estate planning, and personal injury cases, and my commitment extends far beyond legal expertise – it is rooted in genuine care for the individuals I serve.

Other articles you may like…