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Home » Estate Litigation » When sibling rivalry leads to estate litigation

Siblings do not always get along. Fighting and disagreements are normal in sibling relationships. Unfortunately, some sibling relationships are worse off than others. When parents pass away, sibling rivalry may affect estate administration. In New Jersey and elsewhere, estate litigation may be the only way to resolve any disputes that arise if this is the case.

Parents know their kids best and can take steps to prevent fights that may arise when it comes time for their children to administer their estates. A few things parents can do include giving gifts while they are still alive, tagging items and leaving clear instructions for what is to happen to their assets. In an ideal world, every adult would have an estate plan in place. Unfortunately, this is not typically the case.

Many people do not have estate plans prepared before they die. Of those who do, quite a few of them may have estate plans that are out-of-date or could be easily proved invalid. When instruction for what is to happen to a parent’s estate is nowhere to be found or is questionable, and siblings do not agree on how assets are to be divided, getting through the administration process can take quite a bit longer than expected. There are several ways that this type of situation can be addressed. Some may find, however, that allowing a judge to intervene is the best option, and that is okay.

When estate litigation proves unavoidable, all involved parties will have a chance to fight for what they think is right. If a valid estate plan of sorts cannot be located, a New Jersey probate judge will get to decide how assets are to be divided. An experienced estate litigation attorney can help one get through the legal process as quickly as possible, while at the same time fighting for estate administration terms that one believes are appropriate.