Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Estate planning and Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry

Sibling rivalries often emerge in disputes concerning wills or trusts.  Siblings of all ages and economic statuses tend to fight for control and can be stubborn when legal and family matters collide.  When probate disputes are concerning money, most probate litigation revolves around complex and emotional family issues. 

Siblings become involved in probate litigation in various ways.  A sibling may try to contest a parent’s will or set aside a conveyance of real estate.  Conflicts can arise when a parent treats children unequally in a will or trust, or when one sibling cares for an aged parent while another sibling remains distant. 

Communication among siblings is key to avoiding combat.  No matter how complicated the issues are, it is important to try and talk through the issues early in any type of a probate matter.  Furthermore, it is important to have knowledgeable attorneys who can work with parties to explain their rights and represent their interests in any adversarial proceedings. 

See Patricia L. Davidson, Sibling Rivalry in Probate Disputes, The Metro West Daily News, July 27, 2014.

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