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Preventing adult children from fighting over an inheritance

On Behalf of | May 27, 2024 | Uncategorized

The fights that occur between minor children are often insignificant and fade with time. However, disputes between grown siblings could potentially forever alter the dynamics of their relationship. Few things make adult siblings angrier with one another than conflicts related to the death of a parent.

Disagreements about a parent’s estate can cause irreparable damage to family relationships. Therefore, many parents who worry about probate conflict hope to prevent their families from fighting. The following are some of the ways to minimize the risk of disputes between beneficiaries when planning an estate.

Keep things even as possible

One of the most common solutions for preventing family conflict is to bequeath an equivalent inheritance to every child who receives assets from the estate. Adult children are much less likely to resent one another if each sibling receives the same inheritance. That being said, leaving equal shares of an estate isn’t always practical. Additionally, emotional value can be as important to consider as financial value. Parents may need to take a few extra steps if they intend to leave uneven inheritances for their children.

Add a no-contest clause to a will

Some people add special clauses to their estate plans that prevent their families from challenging their wills in probate court. A no-contest clause could disinherit someone who brings an unnecessary lawsuit in probate court.

Consider funding a trust

Using a trust to distribute assets to adult children could also be a viable solution. Trusts are harder to challenge and also have a trustee administering them. Adult children may be more likely to turn their frustrations toward the trustee than one another if they are unhappy with what they inherit from a trust.

Be open and honest about the estate plan

In many cases, an open conversation with the family about the estate could be the simplest way to prevent conflict in the future. Adult children who have had time to accept a parent’s decision about what assets they inherit are less likely lash out at each other when they feel disappointed by what they actually inherit.

There are theoretically many different estate planning tactics that can prevent or at least minimize conflicts among siblings who inherit from an estate. Considering family relationships and the assets that beneficiaries may inherit can help parents mitigate the likelihood of relationship-damaging conflicts related to an inheritance.