Inheritance Disputes Are Very Common
Inheritance disputes are one of the most common legal cases. They typically arise due to a variety of reasons ranging from discrepancy in distribution, lack of testamentary documents, elderly abuse, familial conflicts, or all of the above. Often these issues are a result of direct actions or influences by outside parties, commonly family members or friends of the decedent.
Situations like these highlight the importance of why it is imperative to discuss with those close to us about their will early on, and to make sure that your loved ones’ intentions are honored. However, even in these circumstances, that may not always be the case, and this is where we step in.
As a firm, we understand the emotional fortitude that is required of you to endure the grief of losing a loved one, while also safeguarding their legacy simultaneously. We understand that these hardships are also exacerbated as you may be protecting your loved ones’ legacy from your own family, or ones you consider as such, in a time you hope would be spent in closeness and support of one another. Whether it’s a sibling unsuspectedly changing their mentally compromised parent’s trust in their favor, a new spouse writing out their step children from the will , or sometimes even neighbors, family friends, or colleagues taking advantage of a vulnerable family member, it is never easy knowledge to become privy to. We speak with many clients undergoing similar circumstances, and the commonalities they share are the mutual feelings of grief, but also betrayal. More often than not, these situations happen when people least expect it, and from the people they least expect. Contrary to popular belief, sometimes it isn’t always dysfunctional families that fall into inheritance disputes.
A lot of times inheritance disputes arise due to underlying tensions or resentments held by another party or family member that has gone undisclosed. Often we hear situations of siblings, unbeknownst to the family, holding resentment towards their other family members for bearing the responsibility of taking care of their elderly parents. Sometimes it’s an outside party feeling as if the rightful heir of an estate is undeserving, even though the decedent did not share that same outlook. Potentially even family members or friends feeling as if the decedent is indebted to them, thus making them entitled to the estate. Typically, it’s just blatant greed. The fact of the matter is, sometimes people’s true intentions and motives aren’t unveiled until money is at stake.