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Why do family disputes over estate plans happen?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2023 | Estate Planning

Unfortunately, it is common knowledge that family disputes and arguments may happen over the estate plan of a deceased relative.

Is there any way to combat or prevent these disputes from happening? Fortunately, there are some things a will writer can do.

Common dispute causes

Everplans discusses potential indications that a family may fight over an estate. Current existing tensions between family members can easily lead to estate-related disputes. Likewise, any feelings of perceived favoritism may cause siblings to fight one another, too.

Disputes may happen for numerous reasons, but many of them boil down to a misunderstanding of the intentions of the will writer. Thus, the best way to potentially combat disputes before they begin is via copious communication during the will writer’s lifetime.

How to mitigate disputes

In other words, it is important for the person writing the will to explain to their beneficiaries exactly why they made certain decisions. Doing so while alive gives their beneficiaries the chance to ask questions and seek clarification for any part of the will they may have trouble with.

This also gives the will writer a chance to look into any potential sources of problems well in advance. Someone who is kicking up a fuss about a will while the writer is alive will likely do the same after their death, after all.

Of course, it is impossible to predict every reason that a person may end up getting into disputes with other family members over an estate plan. But creating the opportunity for questions and dialogue can go a long way in ensuring that the majority of these disputes never happen.