Mourning a loved one is always quite devastating and cases of family warfare over inheritance further complicates this.
Family feuds could arise from little arguments that could move on to last for a lifetime very quickly and these cases are all too common as even closely knitted families may experience feuds over estates.
It is quite risky to assume that your legacy will not be marred by family conflicts or in fighting over your estate when you are gone. In your quest to leave a legacy behind, it is important to remind yourself why you’re doing it.
The case study below is an example of what could go wrong without a well-structured estate plan.
My mother sold her house in 2000 and moved in with my sister – this was after my father passed on. I was living abroad at the time. Our mother died in October 2010, naming my sister and myself as Executors in her Will. No one told me about this until my sister told me I had to sign a document to release the Will to her. I had to return back to the country.
Little did I know that I had nearly signed away my right as Executor as she had informed me that she wanted to do the probate herself to save us money. My sister and I are the only Beneficiaries of the Will but she refused to give me a copy of it or tell me what the final account statements were. When I didn’t sign the official renunciation of my Executorship, she reluctantly sent me a copy of the Will and two old savings accounts of my mother’s, with the account number blanked out.