Established Experienced Knowledgeable

4 common causes of inheritance disputes

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Estate Litigation

Inheritance disputes are quite common in probate and estate administration. These conflicts can involve family members, friends and other potential heirs. Because of their adverse effect in the administration process, legal intervention or mediation is often necessary to resolve the issues.

But why do these disputes arise in the first place?

Unclear will

Ambiguities or inconsistencies in the wording or structure of a will can lead to different interpretations, causing disputes among potential heirs. Some examples of this ambiguities are vague language, incomplete descriptions and contradictory statements.

Feeling of unfair division

Many inheritance disputes are fueled by emotions. Disputes can arise when heirs feel the distribution of assets is not fair, even if it aligns with the decedent’s stated wishes. Sometimes, this results from long-standing family conflicts and dynamics that can surface during the estate’s distribution.

Undue influence suspicions

Allegations that someone unduly influenced the decedent when making or updating their will can lead to disputes. This often involves suspicions that the influencer coerced the decedent to modify the will in their favor, especially when the changes are abrupt and unexpected.

Executor bias accusations

Disputes may also arise over the person the decedent chose to execute the will, especially if the parties perceive the executor as biased or incompetent.

While these disputes are common, they remain tough and overwhelming to handle. Nonetheless, it is possible to overcome them with clear communication, adequate legal intervention and possibly mediation. Determining the suitable solution will depend on the unique circumstances surrounding the dispute.

In situations like this, working with a legal representative knowledgeable in estate litigation due to inheritance disputes can help heirs, beneficiaries and executors make decisions towards protecting their rights while respecting the decedent’s wishes.