Experiencing the death of a family member is a traumatic and stressful event, which can often be made much worse when other family members are in conflict over matters such as the will or inheritance of the deceased. It can be incredibly difficult to have to deal with family infighting in the midst of your mourning and grief.
The sooner you take action to resolve the family conflict surrounding a contested will or an inheritance, the better. The conflict can grow and worsen if you decide to take a wait-and-see approach. Your first contact should be to a qualified attorney who can analyze your case and help you build a strategy to resolve the conflict.
Fighting over money
One of the most common reasons families enter into conflict following the death of a family member, such as siblings fighting over an inheritance when a parent dies, is money, plain and simple. Some children may have certain expectations about what they believe the parent "owes" them, and others may not see eye to eye over property and asset management. When the other parent is still alive, and especially if the other parent has health issues, this can further complicate the conflict.
Advance planning is one of the best ways to help families avoid these types of conflicts, but if you are already in the middle of conflictual situation, it is too late to turn back the clock. You need to seek the assistance of a qualified attorney who can assist you in mediating and negotiating as well as protecting your rights under the law.
Contesting a will
Sometimes arguments erupt over disputes about the deceased's will. A family member may claim that the will was fraudulently executed and therefore must be contested in court. To contest a will, there must be a substantiated reason for doing so, such as forgery or incapacity. Family members cannot simply claim the will was improperly executed without proving proof.
Family disputes after a death can quickly degenerate into ugly battles. It is best to seek legal assistance as soon as possible because there is a limited time window for contesting a will. Bring as much documentation as possible to your initial attorney consultation, and draft a list of pertinent questions prior to your meeting. Working with a lawyer who handles family disputes may be one of the best investments you can make for restoring peace to your family.