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Why do siblings fight over inheritance?

Inheritance disputes are not uncommon. This is especially true if a family has many children or if those siblings had tense relationships in the past.

But what are the main reasons siblings fight over inheritance and what can a person do to help eliminate these disputes?

The return of old rivalries

Forbes takes a look at sibling disputes over inheritance matters. Often, a sibling will start a dispute over an inheritance simply because they feel like their other inheriting siblings get unfairly good treatment compared to them. For example, they may feel like they deserve a bigger portion of an estate, or they may feel left out entirely.

In this situation, it is best for the person writing the will to do what they can to explain their reasonings for their choices. Though this will never completely eliminate the chance of disputes, it can at least clear the air of potential speculations of favoritism, or speculations about why decisions happened in general.

Suspicion of manipulation

A sibling may also feel that they have a case of undue influence, too. In true undue influence cases, one person will try to isolate and control a victim in order to get a bigger share of their assets after their death. They often target people who are unwell and mentally weak, and thus cannot defend themselves as well.

The best way to handle that is, again, for the person who writes the will to have open and clear communication with all beneficiaries. It is easy to clear up potential cases of undue influence while alive, but it is much harder to make these points postmortem.

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