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Addressing sibling rivalries during estate planning 

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2023

Estate planning is a nuanced process, and it largely centers around ensuring that your assets go where you want them to upon your death. You can also use estate planning tools to designate suitable individuals to take care of your financial interests and health concerns. 

These are important decisions that will impact your family. In an ideal world, everyone would be on the same page regarding the decisions you make. Unfortunately, things often work out differently in reality and disputes over estate planning can arise. 

How can sibling rivalries make estate planning challenging and what can you do to prevent disputes? 

Sibling rivalries 

Sibling rivalries can come into estate planning disputes in numerous ways. For instance, one sibling might be more brash than the other and may want to take on all of the responsibility regarding your financial interests and healthcare needs. 

It’s important to remember that this is ultimately your decision and you are not obliged to choose either sibling. In fact, many individuals choose to allocate these roles to neutral third parties to reduce the risk of fallouts. 

Sibling rivalries can also crop up when it comes to inheritance. Disputes may arise if one sibling finds out they are receiving a lesser sum of money than the other, even if the reasoning behind this is understandable. Or, jealousy may be an issue if one sibling receives a sentimental heirloom. 

Again, the final decision on these issues is yours. Your estate plan should reflect your final wishes and not anybody else’s. 

One way to reduce tension between siblings is to hold open and honest discussions to explain your reasoning in as much detail as possible. While making plans for your estate, it’s important to have legal guidance behind you.