While blood truly is thicker than water, when it comes to probate disputes of an estate’s assets, nothing thins bloodlines faster than when valuable properties and financials are at stake. With many Pennsylvania families having long histories and lots of assets acquired over the decades, the potential for estate litigation is particularly high.

Sibling challenges often hamper estate dispersals

Even when a valid will is used and legal trusts and similar estate planning tools are in place, many siblings will initiate estate litigation to challenge a will or trust created by the parent who passed on. Many probate cases involving family members have highly complicated and nuanced motivations that often go back many years. Often times, the siblings involved in the estate litigation are older and have their own core family units.

Many potential challenges to valid estate plans

A legally valid will and long-established trusts often experience legal challenges when siblings are unhappy with the outcomes and challenge them. If one sibling is an executor of a valuable asset, others might accuse that person of not abiding by the terms and using the asset for self-interests. Many common legal challenges include stopping a real estate transfer or the transfer of other assets to a sibling. If one or more siblings feels the parent treated them unfairly and gave other siblings more than deserved, a legal challenge typically occurs.

Emotional and financial consequences

It’s always important to consider the likely emotional impact of estate planning on family members and especially surviving children. Potentially decades of emotional turmoil and resentment could boil over into a fully blown legal fight that might drag on for some time. An attorney experienced in Pennsylvania estate litigation can help to smooth out your estate plan.