Disputes occur everywhere, in every area of life, and no less so among family members. Inheritances drive disputes among siblings, between parents and their children, and with extended family members. Disputes over Wills, trusts and inheritances trigger intense emotions. That’s why we recommend seeking legal counsel at an early stage in order to prevent lengthy and costly legal procedures later on.
Our firm advises private clients on the legal aspects of inheritance disputes when it comes to division of capital, property, businesses or business activities, protecting or opposing wills, managing estates, and more. We maintain total confidentiality as we handle disputes professionally while being acutely aware of the charged sensitivity in such issues.
Legal counsel on disputes among heirs
The reasons behind such disputes are well-known and clear, yet they stem from various scenarios and manifested in various manners. In some instances the deceased will leave the entire estate to a charity, expressing the sense of abandonment by their children; parents may divide the estate unevenly because they feel that the children related to them differently; people may bequeath their assets to the care worker who in effect constituted their closest companion in their last years of life; some see that during an illness, their biological children neglected them and a partner who is not the children’s biological parent shouldered the burden of care, and is therefore a more deserving inheritor; and so on.
The range of circumstances is wide, and the resulting distress is great. In some instances, the deceased shares their decision with the potential heirs while still among the living, and in others - they may choose not to do so. Whatever the circumstances, when potential heirs feel discriminated against, they will seek avenues to challenge the will, claiming that they are deserving if they’ve been left out, or more deserving if the allotted share feels to be too small.
In the majority of cases, the heirs do not take into account that a parent’s health and/or comprehension of a situation has been affected by aging, causing the parent to view life differently in those final years. Despite having made it clear in earlier years that everything would go to the children, for example, the parent may see fit in later years to include other people as heirs.
Situations like these can cause crises which lead the parties to settle their differences of opinion in court. But courts do not seek a just solution, nor do they contest the deceased’s considerations. A court will only examine whether the bequeather was of sound mind when drawing up the will, understood what it contained, and whether the will correctly reflects the bequeather’s sound, true and honest intent. The court’s power is tied to those aspects only, and it will not aim to change the deceased’s considerations. If the court is convinced that the bequeather did intend to leave everything to one child, a second partner, a neighbor, a charity, or any other entity, the court will uphold the deceased’s intent despite the distress caused by the deceased’s will, even if the deceased’s children are suffering from financial hardship.
Inheritance Dispute Lawyers
Our firm has vast experience in representing clients in legal proceedings relating to disputes among heirs. Our accrued experience enables us to suggest creative legal solutions for even the most complex situations. As an international law firm, we are also able to handle cross-border issues, supported by our offices in France, Austria, Romania and Cyprus.
Our initial efforts will always be invested in encouraging mediation and compromise between the parties. However, in cases where a client insists on continuing with the dispute despite out of court efforts, we will manage the legal proceedings proactively to ensure our client’s optimal success.
Disputes of this kind require safe and smart legal conduct which relies on a fact-based and correct evaluation of the legal aspects and neutralizing the emotional elements. Factual data is the basis for analyzing the chances of each person involved in the dispute and the risks versus available options relative to the supporting evidence. We will structure relevant claims based on our financial and accounting knowledge to appropriately analyze the situation and find the best solution.
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