Affordable & Compassionate Colorado Lawyers Since 1994

Sibling rivalry can lead to estate disputes

On Behalf of | May 26, 2023 | Estate & Trust Litigation |

Sibling rivalry often starts when children are young and are competing for the attention of their parents. In some cases, people may feel like one of their siblings was the favorite. Rather than working together within their family unit, they feel like they’re constantly competing against each other.

In some families, this fades out over time. As individuals become adults and start their own families, they forget all about the conflicts they had when they were young. But, in other families, this attitude persists. Siblings continually feel like they are at odds with each other, they get into disputes and that rivalry just doesn’t go away.

Additionally, there are cases wherein someone’s parents pass away and their relationship with their siblings may change. Perhaps they only got along as well as they did before because their parents were still alive. But after the parents’ passing, the rivalry could be increased to even greater levels.

Why rivalry leads to disputes

One reason that that tension among siblings can lead to a dispute is simply because people are predisposed not to think that decisions are fair. If a sibling with whom you’ve always been at odds is trying to make a decision about how you should divide your parents’ assets, you may automatically assume that they are wrong or that they’re only thinking about their own interests.

Another potential issue that can arise is when siblings believe that their parents had a favorite child. If that child also ends up getting more of the parents’ assets in their estate plan, this seems to signify to the other heirs that their suspicions were correct. They may feel frustrated or betrayed.

Alternatively, if parents have not left an estate plan and have instead left it up to their children to determine what to do with their assets, children may never agree on what would be fair.

How should you proceed?

If you do find yourself involved in an estate dispute with your siblings, it can be an emotional and complicated scenario. It’s quite crucial that you know exactly what legal steps you can take to sort out the details and fight for what you believe you deserve. Seeking legal guidance is a good place to start.