Home Health Care News

The 50-50 Rule: Real-Life Situations (Part 2)

What’s Yours Is Mine

Family inheritances and mementos generate powerful emotional and financial attachments. What do you do when you and your siblings disagree on the family legacies? Check out these situations.

A Treasured Keepsake

You’ve always admired your mother’s sapphire broach, which she promised you several years ago. Likewise, your brother was counting on Dad’s expensive chain saw. But when your parents passed away, your youngest brother and his wife – who live in the same town – took it all. What do you do?

The high ground is to appreciate that your memories are the most important reminder of your mother and your relationship with her. If you can calmly talk to your brother and sister-in-law, try it. “You have no way of knowing this, but a year ago Mom promised me her sapphire broach. You have this item of Mom’s (assuming that the sister-in-law has some other possession of your mother’s). It would mean a lot to me to have the broach and comply with Mom’s wishes.” Hope for the best and take comfort that you tried and brought the issue to the forefront. That way the topic won’t fester and you don’t have to wonder. Encourage your brother to use a similar tactic regarding the chain saw.

If your sister-in-law won’t part with the broach, make the best of it. Try not to let it break up your relationship with your brother. Ask if you could borrow the pin to wear on special occasions. Also, take the pin to a professional photographer and have a close-up shot taken of the broach. Frame the photo and display it in a prominent place in your home. If you have a photo of your mother wearing the pin, display that in the same place. It won’t be the same as owning or wearing the pin, but at least you’ll have a remembrance of the memento.

Family Freeloader

No doubt about it, Dad is starting to need help at home. He’s saved plenty for this day but your brother, who lives with him, doesn’t want him to spend any of the money and, you suspect, it’s because he doesn’t want Dad to deplete your brother’s potential inheritance. And yet, little brother won’t lift a finger to help. What now?

The solution to this problem really rests with Dad, not your sibling. Your dad doesn’t feel motivated to spend the money despite knowing that help at home is a good idea.

Encourage your father to spend money to make his life easier and assure him that such spending is appropriate. Consider seeking the intervention of a trusted friend, another relative or a professional such as a financial advisor who could help you persuade Dad. Make clear your limitations in providing the support that your father can afford to pay for. Your brother may have an opinion, but it is your father who controls the finances.

In the meantime, try to reason with your brother. Make sure he knows you are aware of this situation and that you feel your father’s best interests must come first. At the same time, stress the importance of  teamwork and developing solutions that would make life easier for Dad.

One of the most complex aspects of multigenerational living is finances. Since your brother is living with your father, balancing the financial affairs of a multigenerational household should be approached in much the same way as a college roommate arrangement. The same is true of paying for living expenses; consider creating a common fund. For more information, log on to www.makewayformom.com

Home Instead Senior Care is an in-home health care provider located in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina serving individuals and families in the Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand area for over 11 years! We offer assistance to those in need for companionship, home help, personal care, short-term recovery, Alzheimer’s care, Respite care and many other services to make your life easier.

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