Inheritance Disputes: Why They Happen and What To Do

Inheritance Disputes: Why They Happen and What To Do

Stuck in a feud over inheritance? Click here to read more about why inheritance disputes come to pass, and how to bring these issues to an amicable conclusion.

Inheritance Disputes: Why They Happen and What To Do

Grieving for a loved one is one of the most difficult situations any of us will encounter, and disputes over inheritance only serve to make life all the more trying for everyone involved. 

Whether you feel there is a problem with the will left behind by a loved one, or a dispute has broken out over the absence of one, read more about remedying issues of inheritance below. 

If There is a Will

In an ideal world, everyone would take the time to write a will; not only does it ensure that the subject’s wishes are met, but that their loved ones are able to inherit anything important. Unfortunately, wills can disappoint some members of the family, who may feel that they deserved more, or that the will fails to live up to promises made by the deceased.

If an individual, for instance, has invested a significant amount of money into the care of the deceased, they may feel that they deserve a certain amount of recognition in the will, and show anger towards others who have inherited the same or larger amounts of money.

Similarly, if the will was created many years previously, then certain family members may be overlooked or left out entirely — other times, if a relationship fell apart shortly before the subject’s passing, more may have been left to an individual than other family members believe they were due.  

If this is the case, it can lead to a difficult and, at times, a heated dispute over the fairness — or even the legitimacy — of the will. Family members may argue that their loved one was coerced, or unable to make sound choices at the end of their life. It is stressful and upsetting for all involved, and the resulting grief and frustration cause devastating rifts within the family.

If There is No Will

Regrettably, some will pass away before they have written a valid will. This can put their loved ones in a very difficult position, as familial bonds may not always be recognised in a legal sense. Unmarried partners, for instance, do not share the same rights as those who were married. 

Without a will, the deceased’s assets will be shared by the laws of intestacy, and this means certain relationships will go unrecognised in the inheritance. 

What to Do

It is devastating to feel you have been treated unfairly by a loved one, particularly when they can no longer explain themselves or make amends for any hurt, and disputes over inheritance have the power to sour once healthy relationships. 

Even if the issue feels irreparable, it is a good idea to speak with a legal professional who has experience in inheritance and trust disputes. The experts at, for instance, are well-versed at offering level-headed guidance over contesting your entitlement, challenging the validity of a will, or settling a dispute with a trustee or executor. 

It is all too natural for emotions to cloud an otherwise productive conversation over a loved one’s will. A professional will be better placed to resolve the dispute and provide guidance toward a more satisfying conclusion for all involved. 

Poppy Watt

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