Where there’s a Will there’s a Way….
There are those families who are close, living in each other’s pockets, sharing all as they go along through life. Brothers, sisters, parents gathering together on a regular basis, enjoying the ebb and flow of each changing season. They are open and trusting of each other and their wider connection as a family group. Equally, there are those families who rarely get together save for special occasions; births, deaths and marriages. In between these events, there is little or no connection and not much sign of the rewarding warmth of their more affable counterparts. There may be rivalry, distrust and even resentment over perceived or actual favouritism …The truth is, some family members get on like a house on fire – and for others, it has to be said the whole experience is a much cooler affair.
You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ’em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.” or so it says in To Kill a Mockingbird
And we know, don’t we that even when close family relationships are a bit strained – they remain family relationships, with all of the sense of belonging and history that those relationships bring with them. No matter what.
Whatever your family is like, one thing is a constant however– there are always going to be changes on the horizon. There will be life events that punctuate our daily living, to which we have to respond. One of these is the inevitability that elderly relatives or parents will pass away. Some will have prepared well for this eventuality –having made a clear Will setting out their wishes.
Going through the process of coming to terms with a close relative’s death is very difficult. There are feelings of profound grief and loss to deal with. On top of this, there are all the practical things to sort out; the arrangements after death, the funeral and then the settling of the estate. These stresses add to the already keenly felt loss and can often add to the already complex relationships siblings have with each other and with their deceased parent. Stresses which place a magnifying lens over what can already be a fractured dynamic.
Brothers and sisters who are left feeling side-lined or ousted as a consequence of their parent’s Will feel aggrieved, angry, disappointed…. Old rivalries and resentments can begin to rear their rather ugly heads again. The disputes that follow are matters of the heart, not just of law
There is a lot at stake. Disputes can filter down through generations causing pain and havoc as they go. But there may be one thing you can agree on…. as an adult sibling group you just don’t want the threat of a court action on top of the already tense emotions surrounding the loss of a parent and the difficulties with settling their estate.
If you would like to find out more how mediation can help find a way to preserve family relationships whilst dealing with the practicalities of settling the financial consequences of bereavement, the please call our offices for a free, no obligation discussion on 01279 11657 or alternatively complete our online contact form on www.newlandscapemediation.com