Most people who create their estate plans do so with the thought that siblings or other loved ones will come together and share in the gifts and assets that were left behind. Such optimism is noble, but it does not always work out this way. While siblings and competing loved ones may appear to have love and compassion for one another, things may change quickly after a matriarch or patriarch passes away.
If you wonder if your children are likely to fight with each other over your estate, this post will highlight a few indicators.
Financial disparities – When one child (or a few children) are financially better off, they may become upset when a child who is struggling financially is awarded a significant amount of money. This can be especially difficult among siblings a financially successful sibling is awarded the lion’s share.
Chemical dependency – A sibling who is battling drugs or alcohol may be viewed as someone who is unfit to have money or property passed to him or her.
Sibling rivalries – In the same vein, a sibling who forewent professional or personal opportunities to take care of an aging parent may feel entitled to more than what they are gifted in a parent’s will. This may be especially hurtful if a sibling who did little or anything is awarded the lion’s share of an estate.
Late marriages – Children will likely scoff at the idea of a parent marrying late in life, especially if the new spouse is considerably younger than the parent.
Despite these potential pitfalls, an experienced estate planning attorney can help craft an estate plan to deal with these potential problems.