Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Minimizing Sibling Rivalry

ImagesSibling rivalry has been around for ages and can often play into estate planning. One doctor draws a distinction between sibling rivalry and sibling strife. Rivalry is a normal range of disagreements and standard competition between siblings. Strife is a version of rivalry where siblings can’t even enjoy each other’s company. Brothers over have more overt rivalries, while sisters often have more passive-aggressive rivalries. Brothers will often actively repair their rivals why physical acts, while women usually talk through a reconciliation.

The best solution to sibling rivalry is to address it head-on. Think about the positives that you enjoy about your sibling as a person outside of that relationship, and consider why you want to salvage the relationship with your sibling. Then, you should take initiative to make the change through some kind of gesture. Be sure to consider your sibling’s point of view, try to avoid being defensive, and delineate to your sibling what you respect about them. Apologies might go a long way as well in minimizing sibling rivalry.

See Elizabeth Bernstein, Sibling Rivalry Grows Up, The Wall Street Journal, Mar. 20, 2012.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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