${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
Connecticut Phone: 203-661-5222 | New York Phone: 914-397-2400 | Florida Phone: 239-302-2768

Your Leading Estate Planning, Taxation, Real Estate and Trust & Estate Litigation Firm.

ABA American Bar Association NYSBA WCBA Worcester County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association CTLA ASPPA

3 common reasons families dispute over an estate

When you begin planning your estate, one of the primary objectives is to minimize the possibility of dispute amongst family members once you have passed away. This can be tricky, and even the most airtight estate plan does not guarantee that a family member will not object or legally dispute it. There are several steps you can take, though, to minimize the chances of this and plan your estate wisely. 

The following are three of the most common reasons families dispute over the details of an estate. 

1. Unequal property distribution

The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that nearly 35 percent of parents do not leave their estates to their children in equal proportions. While there are a number of common reasons, such as leaving more to a child who spent more time with the parents, or leaving more to a child who is less well-off than his or her siblings, the result is often the same: conflict.

2. Contestation of inheritance

Even if a will or trust clearly states what each beneficiary receives, anyone with standing can dispute or challenge the will in a court. There are many reasons someone would be able to do this. To contest the inheritance clause of a will, your beneficiaries must prove that there was fraud, improper execution, undue influence or lack of capacity involved at the time of its drafting. 

3. Conflict with the executor of the estate

Sometimes, the executor of the estate mismanages affairs and does not properly fulfill his or her duties as executor. This can be a cause of dispute amongst beneficiaries if one or more of them suspects that the executor is not acting fairly. The executor must be objective and act according to the stipulations of the will or trust, so it is important that you appoint someone who takes this role and its responsibilities seriously.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Greenwich Office
25 Field Point RD
Greenwich, CT 06830

Phone: 203-661-5222 CT
Fax: 203-661-1197
Greenwich Office Location

White Plains Office
1 North Lexington Avenue
Suite 701
White Plains, NY 10601

Phone: 914-397-2400 NY
Fax: 914-437-6354
Map & Directions

Bridgehampton Office
2317 Montauk Highway
Bridgehampton, NY 11932

Phone: 203-661-5222 CT
Fax: 203-661-1197
Map & Directions

Naples Office
500 Fifth Avenue South
Suite 526
Naples, FL 34102

Phone: 239-302-2768
Fax: 239-325-1813
Map & Directions