When a parent passes away and leaves assets to you or your siblings, you probably assume that you’ll all take what you receive gratefully. Unfortunately, when what’s passed on isn’t equal, there is always a risk that someone will be upset by what they’ve received and take that issue to court.
A family dispute is hard when someone you love has just passed away, but it does need to be handled. How can you handle it? Here are three ideas.
3 ways to handle your sibling dispute
There are a few ways to minimize the risk of sibling disputes continuing. Here are three.
- Review the will and any videos or documents left behind
The first thing to do is to go back over the documents that have been given to you. If your parent made a video going over their wishes, watch it again with an open mind. Be considerate, and be willing to listen to what your sibling is worried about. Even if you still agree, taking the time to review this information may help them understand that you’re willing to listen and try to work out a solution.
- Hire a mediator to work with you
Another option you might want to consider is hiring a mediator. If you’re having a hard time communicating with your sibling about this issue, then hiring a mediator may be a good option for you. It could allow you to work through the dispute with a calm, guiding hand.
- Consider what your sibling is asking for
Was the will truly unfair? Did your parent leave you everything and disinherit your sibling even though they cared for them in their final days? Think about fairness and whether damaging your relationship is worth it today. The deceased may have had their preferences, but you’re going to need to make decisions based on what’s happening in the living world.
Most family disputes can be resolved if you’re willing to listen and communicate. Parents who want to avoid causing disputes should be transparent about their estate planning decisions to make their own wishes clear.