It’s not something we announce but it sure rings loud and clear whenever a family drama unfolds —particularly when it’s time to sell the family home! When parents have passed or have become incapacitated, it’s difficult to get siblings or other family members to agree on what’s best. Times like this can bring out bad behaviour and relations can become so damaged that they are irreparable by the time the house is sold and the dust settles.
There are many personal and legal obstacles to overcome and that stress can be very taxing to all involved. Much of this stress can be prevented if family members take the time to sit down in advance and discuss “what if” scenarios, well ahead of an unfortunate or unexpected event. Here are my words of wisdom after dealing with these family situations for almost three decades:
- Obtain a notarized will that clearly details who gets what so siblings are not left to pick up the pieces or destroy their relationships.
- Hire a facilitator or agent who is neutral and understands, respects and appreciates all decision makers’ points of view; someone that can move everyone forward to common ground.
- To prevent emotional setbacks, this facilitator should proactively point out any obstacles or setbacks that may not have been anticipated.
- Transparency and trust must be demonstrated by the facilitator to all parties involved in order to move forward.
- Most importantly, the emotional cost of tearing up a family is NOT worth a few thousand dollars.
Words to live by.
Until next time!