How to Avoid a Family Feud Over an Inheritance

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How to Avoid an Inheritance Feud

Why does a family feud sometimes erupt after a funeral? Maybe it's the feeling that the "black sheep" of the family doesn't deserve anything, or the "golden child" got more. Then, too, it could be the heated debate about whether to sell or keep the family home.

If you want a Molotov cocktail, combine money, grief, a surviving stepmom or stepdad, a touchy economy, and long-simmering sibling rivalry.

"Inheritance feuds can be an expensive, time-consuming, hurtful disaster," says Kay Boyd, a senior vice president and wealth consultant at Sovereign Investment Group.

Case in point: A dispute over an apartment building destroyed the relationship between two brothers. One thought managing the building was his paid job, but the other wanted to sell the property. "It ended up in court with the two brothers never speaking to each other again," says Jack Hillis, president of Hillis Financial Services.

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