- A will is an important document that distributes assets and helps maintain family unity among siblings.
- Over half of Americans do not have a will, leaving loved ones vulnerable and unprotected.
- When siblings share a contentious will, they must pause to grieve first and talk with each other about their feelings.
- Before consulting a lawyer, topics such as monetary assets, non-monetary assets, real estate, and heirs’ rights must be discussed.
- Respecting the deceased’s wishes is critical in preserving family unity during this difficult time.
A will is one of the most important documents to be written and signed regarding family planning. Not only does it ensure that assets are distributed according to the wishes of the deceased, but it also helps to maintain family unity and harmony among siblings in the event of a death. Families need an updated will to prevent a conflict arising from a lack of clarity regarding inheritance rights.
Having an updated will can help ease tensions between siblings over who gets what, as well as help protect children and other dependents if a parent or guardian passes away. According to research by FindLaw, more than half (54%) of Americans do not have a will, leaving their loved ones vulnerable and unprotected. Of those without a will, nearly 1 in 5 (18%) said they did not think they needed one because they did not have enough money or assets for it to matter.
Siblings sharing a will from their parents can be a difficult situation. The deceased’s last wishes, while necessary to be respected and fulfilled, can also spark conflict between siblings due to differing opinions on how assets should be divided. This disagreement could sometimes lead to legal battles or lengthy court proceedings.
If you and your sibling find yourself in this situation, here are a few steps to help you manage the contentious will:
Mourn Your Loss First
When handling a controversial will, siblings must pause and take time to mourn the loss of their loved one. Grieving allows siblings to come together in this challenging time to concentrate on honoring the deceased’s wishes and dealing with their inheritance in an emotionally healthy way.
Taking time to grieve also helps to avoid potential emotional problems down the line. When people are gripped by grief, they often take unnecessary steps or say things that may not be beneficial in the long run. It is helpful for siblings to process their grief before delving into a discussion about the will.
Grief-related emotions such as anger, guilt, denial, or shock are common reactions when dealing with a will and should be acknowledged by all involved parties during this process. This acknowledgment helps family members to understand each other’s perspectives and open up productive dialogue about how best to move forward with the deceased’s wishes.
It is important for families going through this challenging process to remember that grieving is essential for healing to come out stronger on the other side. Doing so allows each sibling space and respect for their feelings while providing a much-needed outlet for loss-related emotions.
Have a Sit-Down with the Beneficiaries
When dealing with a will, talking to your siblings first is essential. This helps you understand each other’s feelings and have a better conversation before getting help from a lawyer. You should also take time to grieve the loss of the loved one before discussing the will. Grieving helps you make good decisions and not do things that may not be helpful later. Talking about the will with your siblings shows respect for their feelings and allows them to express their feelings about the loss.
Here are a few areas to discuss during your sit-down:
Wealth, savings, and debt must all be discussed and divided among siblings. This is especially important regarding assets the deceased parent or guardian jointly owned. Discussing these topics should help avoid potential arguments or legal proceedings.
It’s not just money that can become a source of conflict between siblings in the event of a will dispute. Family heirlooms, jewelry, keepsakes, and furniture may have much more sentimental value than their monetary worth. Siblings should agree on how these items should be distributed relatively before disagreements arise.
Homes probably are the most valuable asset owned by a family. Siblings must decide who should keep the property and if it will be sold. This decision should be discussed thoroughly as there will likely be legal processes that must follow for one sibling to take ownership or sell it off.
If there are no deceased children, inheritance rights may go to other relatives such as cousins or grandparents. Siblings need to decide how these assets should be divided among all eligible to receive them.
These topics should be discussed before the assigned family lawyer, particularly the non-monetary and real estate assets, to help ensure that all legal requirements are met.
Bring in a Third-Party Lawyer
Unfortunately, disputes might be inevitable during the will-handling process, and a third-party lawyer is likely necessary. When selecting an attorney, looking for someone specializing in estate planning and trust disputes is essential. They should have experience in dealing with cases similar to yours and have a good track record of settling these types of conflicts without going to court.
An experienced trustee dispute lawyer can advise on how best to approach the situation and help you make informed decisions about the inheritance process that can benefit all involved parties.
>The lawyer should also be able to answer any questions you may have regarding tax issues or other legal matters related to your case. Furthermore, they should be able to help draft documents such as deeds or real estate contracts that are legally enforceable.
Dealing with a contentious will is never easy, no matter the size and scope of the assets involved. It’s a very emotional and trying time for everyone involved. Remember to take time to mourn your loss first, talk to your siblings about their feelings, and bring in an experienced lawyer to help if needed. Above all else, each sibling should respect the deceased person’s wishes, even when they differ. By doing so, you can help preserve family unity and make sure that your loved one’s legacy is honored.