When your parents’ estate plan comes to light, you don’t feel like it is exactly what you were expecting. While you have moved away from home and your siblings stayed closer to your parents, you have still talked with them from time to time about their will and other paperwork. You thought you knew what to expect. This looks nothing like it.

For instance, maybe you thought that the money was going to get divided three ways, among the three of you, but you’ve gotten far less than you assumed. How did this happen? Did your siblings alter the estate plan?

Undue influence

They may have done so, even if no one went so far as creating a fraudulent estate plan or tricking your parents into signing documents they did not understand. One way that this happens, which is often more subtle, is undue influence. Your siblings may have pressured your parents to change the plan.

After all, you were not around. Maybe your siblings spent more time caring for your parents in their old age, and they thought it was “only fair” that they get more money. Never mind that your parents did want things to be truly even. To accomplish their goal, your siblings could have spread rumors about you or even threatened to withhold care if the estate plan wasn’t altered in their favor.

What they ended up doing was pressuring your parents to create an estate plan that didn’t align with their goals. Your siblings took advantage of the fact that they were nearby to try to increase their own financial gain. That’s why the plan looks legitimate and has been filed properly, but it still does not reflect what you expected or what your parents really wanted.

What now?

This is just one example of how siblings can influence or alter an estate plan, and it is one reason family members often end up in disputes. These disputes can be contentious and complicated. You must know about all of the legal options at your disposal to resolve it.