Estate of Denial: In a WealthCounsel Quarterly post Blood & Money: Why Families Fight Over Inheritance, P. Mark Accettura, J.D., lists what he sees as five reasons of why families end up in estate disputes:
There are five basic reasons why families fight in matters of inheritance: First, humans are genetically predisposed to competition and conflict; second, our psychological sense of self is intertwined with the approval that an inheritance represents, especially when the decedent is a parent; third, we are genetically hardwired to be on the lookout for exclusion, sometimes finding it when it doesn’t exist; fourth, families fight because the death of a loved one activates the death anxieties of those left behind; and finally, in some cases, one or more members of a family has a partial or full-blown personality disorder that causes them to distort and escalate natural family rivalries into personal and legal battles. These sources of family conflict are not mutually exclusive; in most cases, some combination of the five elements present themselves in a combustible cocktail of family rivalry and conflict.
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