Many people think that if they win the lottery or have some great aunt unexpectedly leave them loads of money as an inheritance, that their lives will be better and easier. While receiving an inheritance can be a great blessing, it can also cause rifts between family members and bring more pain than one would expect. To assist with issues that may come up, we have put together a list of helpful tips to make dealing with an inheritance easier on everyone involved.
In any relationship, communication is always one of the most important factors on how well people interact. Regardless of whether there are current inheritance disputes or problems, communicating well and often can temper, dissolve or prevent disagreements. Have intentional times to discuss how things are going with your loved one’s inheritance and how you can work together with other family members to make it a smoother experience.
People grieve in many ways and while you may not understand their way of grieving, it is important to allow others to grieve. Sometimes, even those who appear to be only greedy are actually still grieving. By taking the time to talk to your family members and remembering that they are grieving too, your inheritances woes may be considerably reduced.
You may not agree with some of the decisions that your deceased loved one made, but it is vital to remember what they would have wanted. Whether they decided to give their money away to a beloved nonprofit organization, or they were disproportionate in who they gave to, be thankful for the legacy they had and put their wishes above your own.
While tempers may flare, and the worst of our personalities can surface while inheritances are being figured out, it is important to remember what matters most to you. Money and possessions come and go but the relationships you have with your friends and family are more important. Focus on the love and compassion you have for one another, rather than getting everything you want (or making sure someone else doesn’t get everything!). You will be glad to have your relationships intact after the dust settles.
Some of the experiences you have had with death and inheritances may even compel you to make sure that your wishes are clear and understood for when you die. This may be a good starting point to begin a discussion with one of our funeral directors to preplan your funeral now, so your family isn’t left squabbling after your death. Taking the time to meet with an estate planner can also be a good step so the inheritance you gift to your loved ones leaves a lasting legacy and not a broken one. Contact us today at one of our two locations and we can get you connected to a trusted estate planner or start working on pre-planning your funeral. Your family will thank you for taking the time to work through your end of life decisions now, rather than deferring to them after you are gone.
Do you have any other tips that have helped you and your family when dealing with inheritances? Your feedback is welcome and desired! Share with us below or on our Facebook page.