What are Your Sibling Rights in a Contested Will Probate?

Estate planning attorney

Although it’s an unfortunate reality, estate planning attorneys will attest to the fact that it’s common for siblings to fight over their parent’s will. When the last remaining parent passes away, it’s understandably a very sad and distressing time, and when a parent’s will becomes contested among siblings, it only adds to the stress and emotional strain. 

In our many years of representing siblings in estate disputes, we’ve found the following issues to be some of the most common:

  • One sibling seeks to direct a disproportionate amount of decedent assets to themselves. Hopefully your late parent left behind a will, which will instruct their attorney on how to distribute their assets. If they passed away without a will, all siblings must reach an agreement regarding asset distribution. 
  • Some siblings live far away, and find themselves unable to get straight information on the disposition of the estate. All siblings are entitled to complete transparency regarding their late parent’s estate, so if you find yourself unable to get information, contact an estate planning attorney as soon as possible. 
  • Siblings find that one of them has coerced the signing of legal documents by the decedent prior to their death. If there’s a question about the will’s validity, it deserves to be investigated before a final decision about the estate is made. If you suspect your late parent was coerced, your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation.
  • Siblings find that one of them has secretly transferred assets into their name prior to a parents death. While this may sound like something from a movie, it unfortunately happens more frequently than you might think. Especially when one sibling still lives close to the parent and the other siblings live far away. If this has happened then the will might be invalid, so please seek advice from an attorney. 
  • A sibling acting as executor is taking unreasonable amounts of expenses for said activity. If your parent’s will was clear and uncontested, there’s no reason that executing their estate should become a cumbersome, expensive activity.

Advice from a New Jersey elder law attorney 

We understand that losing your last remaining parent is a very difficult time. When their will is contested among your siblings, you need advice from an experienced estate planning attorney who can guide you and support you through this emotional experience. You also deserve to understand your rights and ensure your late parent’s will is executed in the exact way they wished it to be. 

For more information about how our elder law attorneys can help, or if you have any questions, please contact our team at SCC Legal today. Discover why so many people in New Jersey choose us as their trusted estate planning attorneys.

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