The loss of a loved one can be difficult for a family, especially as they are left with the task of settling the estate of the deceased. This process can bring out complex emotions and even disputes between heirs and beneficiaries, including siblings. Estate disputes can be stressful for the entire family, and they can take years to resolve. It is beneficial for all parties to understand their rights in the event of an issue when settling the estate or navigating the probate process.
After the death of a parent
When a parent dies, it is natural to assume that his or her estate will pass to any surviving children. However, there can be questions regarding who should get what, especially if the terms of an estate plan are vague. The following factors can determine the extent of siblings’ rights after the death of a parent:
- The existence of a valid will
- A surviving spouse who may also inherit
- State inheritance laws
If there is a will, the parent may outline how he or she wants to divide estate assets. If there is no will and no spouse to inherit, the state inheritance laws will determine what happens to money and property.
Navigating an estate dispute
One of the most important things a Tennessee adult can do to avoid disputes over his or her estate is to create an estate plan. Without a plan, siblings may find themselves at odds regarding how to settle a parent’s estate and move forward. It will be beneficial to discuss estate concerns with an experienced attorney who can provide insight regarding estate disputes, probate and other estate concerns.