Avoiding sibling disputes during estate administration
December 12, 2022
If your parent dies with a poorly executed estate plan, you might have to figure it out amongst your siblings. Unfortunately, inheritance often brings out the worst in people. However, there are some things you can do to mitigate contention.
Sometimes a disorganized estate plan is worse than no plan at all. Assets will distribute according to Michigan intestate law if there is no will. However, your siblings might dispute the distribution if the will is unclear. For some tips on how to minimize arguments, see below.
Sell the assets
Liquidating assets might be the simplest method to avoid conflict. If no one can agree on who gets the classic car, sell it and split the proceeds. Of course, everyone must agree on this strategy. Sometimes selling assets is simple in concept but complicated in practice.
Use a mediator
Professional mediators can go a long way toward finding a solution. Mediators help settle disputes and create acceptable compromises. Your siblings are more likely to agree to an arrangement if they know an unbiased party made the decision.
Hire an unbiased executor
If your appointment as executor leads to strife, you have the option to step down. You can hire an independent executor such as an attorney, CPA or trust department. However, your siblings must agree on the appointment, and your parent’s estate must have the funds.
Even the closest siblings have disagreements about inheritance. If your parent’s will does not indicate how to distribute assets, there are steps you can take that will help resolve arguments. No matter how contentious things get, you can always find a solution.