In many situations, it’s a parent’s death that brings out the worst in siblings. Yes, you were all raised by the same people, but that doesn’t mean that you have had the same lives or the same expectations.
It has been said that deaths bring out the best and worst in families, and this a saying for good reason. Often, it is a death that shows who cares most about assets versus taking care of their family members and mourning a death. It shows who is cutthroat and who is willing to negotiate and share with loved ones.
If you’re caught in the middle of a family feud following a death of a parent or loved one’s death, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to avoid feuds about estate plans and calm them down once they occur.
1. Neutralize negativity
Maybe you’re upset that your sibling got half the estate and you received half since your sibling didn’t spend time taking care of your parents. Maybe your sibling thinks you made the wrong decisions toward the end of your parent’s life. Maybe you just don’t agree on what to do with certain assets or how to divide the estate among yourselves. Whatever the issue is, you need to neutralize your negativity toward your family member.
Instead of attacking over what he or she should have done, think about property division as a business arrangement. Consider what your parents would have wanted instead of what you think is fair.
2. Remember the good about your loved ones
Even if you think your sibling or family member did something uncouth following your parent’s death, you can still overcome your new realization of their actions having a negative impact. Think about how you’ve known them for years. If this out of character, just remember that death does odd things to people. Try to be patient and rise about petty arguments.
3. Turn to the court for true disputes
Finally, if you have a dispute that you just can’t resolve, it might be better to go to mediation, arbitration or the court for help. It might come down to a misinterpretation of the will your parent left behind or mistakes that should never have been made. In any case, having a third party look into the case will help resolve an issue with no further disputes necessary.
These are a few things you can do to neutralize feuds and move on after a loved one’s death. Death is hard for everyone, and you should remember that everyone in your family is mourning.