Tips to Help Siblings Avoid or Resolve an Estate Battle

The older sibling has always seemed to hold the upper hand in a family’s estate battle, but the power balance has shifted with the advent of technology. Today’s parents and grandparents have access to legal documents through the internet, but not everyone has the time or the inclination to research their options. So, skipping the legal part and digging a little into the other side of the coin might help the peace process.

When parents pass away, it is sometimes necessary to make important decisions regarding the care and maintenance of their estate. Whether the parents have created a will or not, their estate may still need to be managed by a family member, such as a sibling. If a family member is unwilling or unable to take care of the estate, or if a dispute arises over the inheritance, the outcome of these family disputes can often be uncertain. Here are some tips.

  • Family Auction

An estate attorney is someone who helps families deal with the legal aspects of their estates. Knowing about your rights and how to exercise them is a good thing if you’re a family member. But if you’re an attorney, or the attorney representing a family member, you may be wondering how best to proceed in a case where a family member is considering filing a lawsuit. No one wants to be sued, and it’s easy to see why.

Like most states, California law gives siblings who inherit their parent’s assets the right to divide them up. However, if they can’t agree, the court will decide how to distribute the assets. Typically, that will involve a division of the estate assets, and the court will look at several factors to determine how to divide them. One of the primary factors is the relative value of the assets.

  • Appraisal

The fact of the matter is, if you have a family member who is acting irrationally, you have some sort of power here. If this person is acting under a delusion, and you choose to just let them be, you are letting them be the person they want to be and not the person they are. If the person is acting under the delusion that they are someone they are not, and they also have the family’s undivided attention, then it’s up to you to stop that delusion from spreading.

Family disputes are a serious issue in many families, and sometimes the family members decide to go to court to settle their differences. Such a family-related dispute can be settled in a court of law, but, likely, the results are not in favor of the family members. Since the law is concerned with ensuring that the assets of the estate are distributed fairly among all family members, the law has a lot of weight on the outcome of the case.

  • Asset Liquidation

In the United States, an estate is a property, including money and other assets, that a person owns at death. A personal representative is a person authorized by the court to manage an estate. The person is usually close to the person who died, such as a spouse, kid, or sibling. In some cases, the person who died has a legal document that says he or she doesn’t want a personal representative.

Estranged siblings often see their assets as their property, and they use this belief to their advantage in their fight to hold on to what’s theirs. If you’re an estranged sibling, you must realize that you do not have the right to try to stop your brother or sister from selling your property. You do not have the right to try to stop them from purchasing a new home, car, or recreational vehicle. To let them do these things without informing them and seeking their consent is to build up a relationship that is based on deceit. This can lead to family estrangement and even a lifetime of legal battles over your property.

When two siblings die within three months of each other, one can often assume that the deceased’s estate will be contested by the surviving sibling, because in most instances, a probate court will name a guardian for the children if there is no will and no spouse to take over the role. But, what if one sibling predeceases the other, leaving a surviving sibling to inherit the deceased’s share, only to be denied his/her share and penniless, leaving the surviving spouse to inherit everything?

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