Understanding Family Inheritance Disputes


When a loved one passes away, their estate is distributed among the remaining heirs and others named in a will or other estate planning document. Unfortunately, not all cases proceed without conflict and it is possible to find yourself in the middle of a family inheritance disputeDrummond T. McCunn has been providing legal services in the Granite Bay, CA-area since 2007 and has successfully handled and closed over 1,600 cases. At McCunn Law, our devotion to our clients and to the community gives us a unique perspective on your needs. We know how to help and work with you to make sure you are comfortable with the strategy and end result.

A gavel, pen, and tiny house on a desk.

An inheritance dispute can occur when an individual with interests in the estate of a deceased loved one raises concern over how the estate is distributed.

What Is a Family Inheritance Dispute?

An inheritance dispute is a special kind of legal proceeding in which a person with interests in the estate of a deceased loved one raises concern over how the estate is distributed. The conflict must be resolved before a final distribution of assets is made from an estate. Both small and large estates can be the subject of a family inheritance dispute. Often, family members who feel they are being treated unfairly will raise the complaint. 

Drummond T. McCunn makes sure your finances and family are protected during these complicated cases.

Disputes can be made for sentimental or financial reasons. It is also common to see an inheritance dispute when the deceased had multiple spouses during their lifetime and may have multiple partners or members from a blended family making claims. Our attorney will identify and use the case facts to argue for a favorable distribution of the estate.

Common Causes of Inheritance Disputes

There are many reasons an individual may wish to contest a will or other plan of estate distribution, but these are among the most common:

  • Failure of intentionality: In this instance, a claimant may argue that the will does not distribute assets according to the wishes of the deceased. The individual making the dispute may claim the deceased intended to provide for them in their will or other plans, but failed to do so due to an accident or other mistake. In order to be successful when making this dispute, it is important to provide evidence of the true intent of the deceased. 

  • Inequity: When an individual feels they have not been treated as fairly as others in the will, a dispute based on inequity is made. This type of dispute can involve an heir who was given money or other property during the lifetime of the deceased, and was then bestowed very little in the will. While the entire estate may have been distributed equally, that may not be how it appears to the claimant.

  • Wrongful acts: When an outside party applies pressure on the deceased or coerces them into including that outside party in distribution of the estate, the heirs may raise a dispute based on undue influence or another bad act.

If you believe the final will or distribution is improper or have a relative raising a dispute it is critical to speak with a qualified attorney right away. Your case may need judicial intervention to reach a solution or you might consider alternative forms of dispute resolution. Whichever path you take, it is best to do so under the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney.

Inheritance Disputes Resolved through Mediation

Any time a dispute arises, it must be resolved in order to come to a final decision. With an inheritance dispute, mediation is a useful tool to resolve the parties’ differences. Mediation is faster and provides the parties a chance to freely express their concerns while working toward a solution that makes sense for everyone involved. Partnering with an attorney for your mediation will ensure critical pieces of evidence are not overlooked and that your interests are protected during the process.

Contact McCunn Law Today

Drummond T. McCunn takes a holistic approach to his family law cases and believes that mediation can be highly beneficial in family inheritance dispute cases. For answers to your questions about family inheritance disputes, contact us online or call McCunn Law today at (916) 250-3840.

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Granite Bay, CA 95746

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