Dealing with the death of a parent can be extremely traumatic. Whether your parent died unexpectedly or due to a long illness, grieving can take a long time, and you may be unable to work or do simple activities for some time. It is important to give yourself the time and space to heal from such upsetting news.
While it is important that you take the time for yourself so that you can heal, it is also likely that you will have to deal with the logistical aspects of your parent’s death, such as the probate process. Many children in blended families have to deal with stepparents during this process, and sometimes this can lead to disputes. If you do not have a good relationship with your stepparent or you believe that they acted to influence the will, you should know how to deal with disputes in a smart and calculated way. The following are some tips for dealing with stepparent disputes after a parent’s death.
Try to be civil
While you may believe that your stepparent is being deceptive, dishonest or selfish, it is usually in your best interests to be as civil as possible. Whether you like it or not, as your parent’s widow or widower, they have a lot of power. If you make the situation difficult, they may choose not to reveal the details of the funeral or the burial arrangements.
Ask questions and demand answers
Instead of arguing with your stepparent about what you believe that they did or did not do, you should try simply asking questions about when the will was made, when it was updated and under what circumstances. By trying to gain as much information as possible, you will be in a better position to contest the will if that is what you want to do.
The most important thing to do after the loss of a parent is to take the time to grieve. When you are ready, you may then want to consider going through probate litigation.