Last week's post on this Minnesota blog discussed how many probate disputes blow up because one sibling, or a small group of siblings, winds up taking care of aging parents while other siblings do not do so. Sometimes, siblings who are not taking care of a parent, and who do not want to use the services of a nursing home, have ulterior motives. They want to conserve an inheritance, even at the expense of their parents' health and well-being.
On the other hand, siblings who are providing care can believe, honestly or otherwise, that they have the right to an extra portion of any inheritance. After all, they put in the extra effort.
It is ironic, though, that an heir who is unwilling to use the services of a nursing home may be completely willing to turn a squabble between siblings into a full-blown battle in probate court. Legal fess and costs of probate litigation add up quickly, and many of these costs and expenses can be and are, in fact, paid by the estate, even though those funds would otherwise go to heirs.
Although, our law office is not afraid to take a case to trial, we also understand that one goal of probate litigation is to conserve as much of the estate as possible. This means that, in most cases, a fair and prompt settlement between those fighting amongst themselves gets reached promptly. In this respect, our office has the means to analyze a case efficiently and use various means to head off legal disputes, whether between siblings or otherwise, before legal costs and fees eat up a large portion of everyone's inheritance.