COVID-19 Notice: In order to best serve you while doing our part to maximize health and safety, we continue to be available for telephone and Zoom video conferences, and documents can be prepared, reviewed, signed, and exchanged electronically. Call 646-561-9099 for your legal needs!


For Estate Planning, Estate Administration And Disputes

How do you resolve multi-generational estate disputes?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Estate Litigation |

Estate disputes can stir up intense emotions and create rifts within families that span multiple generations. Conflicts can arise when distributing assets, properties or businesses among family members after a loved one dies.

These situations can be challenging. It is important to find resolutions addressing all parties’ concerns to help maintain family harmony and preserve relationships.

Common challenges

Sometimes, there is a lack of clear communication regarding a person’s intentions for their assets. When there is confusion surrounding the distribution of the estate, it can lead to arguments and resentment among family members. Some common estate disputes include:

  • Concerns in capacity: Disagreements often arise when someone questions a person’s capacity to form or execute a will or trust
  • Disinheritance: A child or family member not included in a trust or will may feel surprised, confused and angry, leading to conflict
  • Fiduciary breach: This happens when a trustee or executor fails to carry out their responsibilities for the benefit of the beneficiaries

Family dynamics and relationships can also contribute to estate contests. Sibling rivalries, parental favoritism and unresolved conflicts from the past can resurface during the probate process, complicating matters further.

Resolution strategies

Resolving multi-generational estate disputes requires a thoughtful and empathetic approach. It is important to consider each family’s unique circumstances. Fair solutions also require experience with and understanding of the relevant laws.

You must assess the will’s validity, the testator’s mental capacity or the possibility of undue influence. Pre-litigation methods such as mediation or arbitration can help guide family members toward mutually acceptable resolutions. A skilled mediator can help parties work together to find equitable solutions. However, you may need to take the case to court.

Estate litigation

Once you analyze and understand the nature of the disagreement, you can determine the appropriate course of action. If you decide to litigate, gather all relevant documentation. Relevant documents can include trust papers, wills, correspondence and financial records. Know the time limits for bringing a claim and understand the necessary procedures.

Multi-generational disputes can be complex. Finding a resolution requires a thorough knowledge of your case’s merits and legal grounds.