By: Attorney Shira Truitt
The probate process, which is the legal process of administering a deceased person's estate, can sometimes be a source of conflict among siblings. This can occur due to a number of factors, including disagreements over the distribution of assets, the interpretation of the terms of the will, a sense of unfairness in the process, or you just really never got along in the first place!
One common source of conflict among siblings in the probate process is the distribution of assets. If a will does not clearly specify how assets should be divided, or if the distribution is perceived as being unequal or unfair, siblings may argue over the distribution of specific assets or the overall distribution of the estate. Another source of conflict is the interpretation of the terms of the will. Siblings may have different views on what the testator (the person who created the will) intended, and this can lead to disputes over the distribution of assets or the appointment of an executor or personal representative. Additionally, siblings may feel that the probate process is not being carried out fairly, either due to a perceived bias on the part of the personal representative or due to a lack of transparency in the process. And, if siblings never got along, they are more likely to be distrustful of the process and may want a “neutral” party, which may be against the wishes of the testator (the person who appointed the executor in their will). All of this costs the estate and, ultimately, the siblings, considerably more money to complete the probate process.
If conflicts among siblings in the probate process cannot be resolved through mediation or negotiation, it may be necessary to seek the assistance of a probate court. The court can help to resolve disputes and ensure that the probate process is carried out in a fair and orderly manner.
Overall, disputes among siblings in the probate process can be complex and emotionally charged. It is important for siblings to try to communicate and work together to resolve conflicts, and to seek the assistance of a probate court if necessary to resolve the conflicts surrounding the probate process.
"Probate Disputes: Common Causes of Conflict" (https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=43735)
"Dealing with Sibling Disputes During Probate" (https://www.thebalance.com/dealing-with-sibling-disputes-during-probate-3505297)
"Managing Sibling Conflict During Probate" (https://www.forbes.com/advisor/estate-planning/managing-sibling-conflict-during-probate/)
"Probate and Family Disputes" (https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/probate-family-disputes.html)
If you need legal advice or a lawyer in Illinois or Missouri, please contact The Truitt Law Firm, LLC for assistance. For more information on The Truitt Law Firm, LLC or to schedule an appointment, please go to www.thetruittlawfirm.com.