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Dispute Arises Between Siblings Over Amendment to Father’s Estate

12/14/2022 | Heirs & Beneficiaries

When preparing estate planning documents, it may be vital that Woodland Hills residents, as well as all California residents, keep all of those that may be interested parties to their estates involved in the process. That may help to eliminate the chance for disputes between heirs and beneficiaries once those people are gone. Yet even with apparently open channels of communication, disagreements may arise if and when those impacted by amendments to documents such as wills or trusts are informed of those changes.

Such a change is at the center of a dispute between a brother and sister over their late father’s estate. The man, known for his philanthropic work throughout Missouri, passed away last summer. His daughter is now alleging that her brother influenced her father to name him as the sole beneficiary to his fortune. She claims that in 2014, her brother approached their father claiming that she was struggling with debt, and that any assets that were left to her would inevitably be seized by creditors. That assertion, she claims, was enough to prompt her father to amend a trust he had previously established that named the sister as well as her two half siblings as his beneficiaries. The woman claims that it was anger about not being named as a beneficiary in that original trust that prompted her brother to take this action.

When changes to one’s estate plans are brought to light, those affected by them may feel justified in either defending or challenging them. Doing so may require great effort to prove that whatever changes were made reflect an estate settlor’s true intent. Having and experienced attorney in one’s corner may serve to bolster that effort.

Source: The Kansas City Star “Children of Del Dunmire may clash in court over rightful heir to fortune” Londberg, Max, Jan. 27, 2017