You Can’t Have That! It’s Mine!
Many parents simply choose to ignore the whole question, and leave it to their children to figure out how to settle things after they’re gone. (Bad idea.)Leaving your family the task of dividing your estate forces them to make difficult decisions when they are least able to do it.
Adult children think they don’t need to talk about who is going to get what, because they believe everyone will be calm, level-headed and generous when the time comes to make those decisions. (They won’t.)
That’s why sitting down now when parents and adult children can discuss it together is critically important.
If there are disagreements, better to find out now. That way, you’ll have the time and clear-thinking to work things out. Not true if you wait. So don’t put it off!
Here are some suggestions on what you might say to your children, parents, and/or siblings to get your conversation started:
If you’re a parent, speaking to your adult children: I want to make sure that you and your siblings continue to have a good relationship after I’m gone, so let’s talk about deciding who gets what now.
If you’re one of the children speaking to a parent: I’ve seen families break up when siblings had to make decisions about what to do with their parents’ stuff. I think it would be good for all of us if we could discuss our wishes for the future. Making sure we’re all on the same page will make it easier for everyone.
If you’re a sibling – who wants to discuss it with another sibling: I’d like to find out if you have any ideas or feelings about mom and dad’s estate. I know it seems premature, but I think it will be better to find out where we are now – so we avoid disagreements in the future.
When you’re ready to start downsizing your home, or if you need help distributing items in an estate, I’m here.
Here’s something you may find unlikely, but it’s true: When you give yourself sufficient time to downsize, it can actually be a very joyful experience! Please contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 650 740 4911 if you’d like more information. I look forward to helping you!