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Sibling rivalry may resurface after a parent's death

Don't assume that sibling rivalries always stop when children become adults. The truth is that they can certainly continue. Even if they don't actively continue, the impact that they had on the children can definitely influence their lives as adults, as well.

For instance, one woman always felt like her mother loved her sister more and was very critical of her. She, in turn, called her sister little more than a pawn for her mother. If that sounds like an issue that probably just came up in middle school, here's what she said next:

"I've endured forty years of it and now only limit contact to family gatherings once or twice a year. Too toxic."

Clearly, that rivalry had gone on for decades and drastically changed how family members saw each other. They were not close, and they did not have a new bond now, as adults. If anything, the relationship had gotten worse.

This type of issue can resurface when parents pass away and siblings have to work to divide assets, plan a funeral and do everything else related to the passing. It can lead to disputes and arguments. People who have never gotten along or seen eye-to-eye will still find themselves unable to do so. One sibling may even see it as a chance to "get even" with the other by trying to get as much of the parents' wealth as possible -- before going their separate ways forever.

Cases like this can get complicated and they are often emotionally draining. Those involved have to know exactly what legal steps to take.

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