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Your parents' death can change relationships with your siblings

When your parents pass away, odds are you and your siblings will come together at first. Some even see it as a time to bond, as sad as it is.

Be warned, though: Your relationships with your siblings can change significantly after your parents are gone. You may not have thought about it in a long time, but they may still have been defining your relationships the way that they did when you were kids. You may feel that shift when you no longer have that structure and leadership in place.

Old issues

One thing that sometimes happens is that old issues come back up again. Maybe you and another sibling felt like rivals, in many ways, when you grew up together. Sibling rivalries are common and typically seem to stop as the kids become adults. However, you may find that it never went away at all. That rivalry could come roaring back again, no matter how old you are. Old tensions feel new again.

This could become an issue with estate administration. Maybe your parents did not leave very strict directions about what you should do with their estate. They basically just said that you needed to split things up between yourselves.

If one of your siblings sees you as a rival, will you end up fighting over a "fair share" of the estate? Could you even end up in court, as neither one of you feels willing to give any ground?

Lack of communication

Another potential change to your relationship with your siblings is that you may lose touch with them. It's not necessarily intentional. You just did not realize how much you used your parents to keep in touch before.

For instance, family gatherings for the holidays may have given you the best chance to touch base with your siblings. If you lose your parents and sell the family home in Pleasanton, now you really feel like you're out on your own. You may not hear from your siblings for months or years.

A lack of communication is also an issue when dealing with a parents' estate. For things to go smoothly, everyone needs to be on the same page. When you do not communicate well, it can lead to a dispute when someone's expectations are not met.

Moving forward

These are just two examples, and every family relationship is unique, but you can see how easy it is for serious changes to impact your family after your parents' passing. Moving forward, especially when disputes arise over the estate, make sure you know what legal rights you have.

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