Your last remaining parent passes away. You know that they did their estate planning, but you also worry that you and your siblings will not see eye-to-eye regarding that plan. You've never really gotten along as adults, and you fear that they'll try to challenge the will almost no matter what it says.
Parents often spend a lot of time trying to diffuse sibling rivalries when the children are young. However, those rivalries do not always go away. They often last into adulthood. When a parent passes away, these rivalries may come back up and cause some serious estate planning disputes.
In some cases, estate disputes start because of sibling rivalry. The way that kids have related to each other all their lives can continue even into adulthood. This can make them compete with one another or resent each other. Those feelings come back up when they do not agree with a will or estate plan.
People make a lot of mistakes when creating wills and estate plans. Some don't make a will at all. Others forget about tax implications. Still others don't think about the sentimental value of certain items and create conflict between siblings.
If your mother passed away and your father got married again, some studies suggest that your family could be more likely to get into a heated estate dispute in the future. After all, stepmothers are frequently at the heart of these disagreements.
Everyone wants to control their fortunes, and there are many laws in California that allow people to leave their assets and possessions to the people and organizations they love. Some people do not have a living will to govern these desires, and when there's no will, the only way is probate court.
The executor for an estate is often charged with taking care of the bills and financial obligations of the estate when the person who owned it passes away. After all, even if that person worked hard to be up-to-date on the bills, there may be final payments for utilities, credit cards, mortgage payments, funeral costs, taxes and much more.
Are you worried that someone might contest your will?