When a parent dies in California, the resulting fallout can cause their children to argue for months or even years over their estate. In the best-case scenario, the parent would have left a clear estate plan that outlines how to distribute the assets. Unfortunately, many parents leave behind vague wills that leave a lot of room for argument.
How can siblings resolve their arguments over a will?
If the siblings can’t resolve their differences, they might want to bring in a mediator to help them distribute the assets. A mediator is an objective third-party individual who could assess the situation and help the siblings work together to come to a fair agreement. Many attorneys offer mediation services.
The siblings could also liquidate the estate and split the proceeds evenly. This can be a time-consuming process since it requires them to cash in insurance policies and sell off various properties. If they’re successful, each sibling will receive an equal cash payout that constitutes their part of the estate.
In some cases, the parent might have named one of their children the executor of the will during the estate planning process. This can cause even more disagreement among the siblings. To ensure that the estate is divided evenly, the sibling can step down and hire a third-party individual to act as the executor. This could prevent the sibling from acting in their own best interests.
To prevent their children from arguing over their estate, it’s best for parents to write a clear, legally-binding will while they’re still alive. They should make the distribution of assets clear so that their children can’t fight over the estate after they’re gone.
Do you need help with estate planning?
If you’ve never written an estate plan before, the process might seem a little intimidating. You’ll need a will, a health care directive and other documents to ensure that your estate is divided according to your wishes. Estate planning can also help you prepare for the future and make sure you get the best possible end-of-life care. An attorney could help you throughout the process.