Minimizing Financial Conflict with Siblings

It’s the sad reality of the world we live in, but conflict surrounding money within families is all too common. There are no set rules or guidelines when it comes to siblings and money. We have listed three typical situations that you may find yourself in that involve your family and money, and some strategies to help get through them while keeping everyone happy.

Inheritance

It is common practice for a parent to name one of their children as executor or estate trustee of a will. Unfortunately, this may cause some discord between siblings. A sibling that is not the executor may feel that key decisions should be made together, which could cause some conflict. The money involved in inheritance can also be a point of contention. One sibling might feel like the assets are being split up unevenly. These matters aren’t usually resolved overnight and can lead to delays and family conflicts lasting years. The best way to prevent this problem is by making your will as fair as possible. You should consider naming someone other than one of your children as executor as well. Speak with your financial advisor at The Beacon Group of Assante Financial Management Ltd. about your estate planning options.

Lending money

What do you do if one of your siblings comes to you and asks for a loan? It’s easy enough to give a loved one some help in their time of need, but you need to consider what the money is going to be used for. If your sibling is living a troubled life, giving them more money will enable them to continue. You aren’t likely to get this money back in this scenario either. If your sibling is looking for help to send their child to university, you will be helping them immensely and you are likely to get your money paid back. It is okay to put the loan and the repayment terms in writing. This will help legitimize the lending and help protect your relationship. You are allowed to say “no” to your family too. Either way, you should only loan money out if you can afford to lose it if it’s not repaid. There are so many choices when it comes to lending cash to siblings, but at the end of the day, you need to do what feels right to you.

Caring for a disabled sibling

If you have a sibling with special needs that requires lifetime support, what happens to them when your parents pass away? Is another sibling going to pick up the slack? Caring for your sibling could require bringing them in to live with you or organizing and handling the finances involved in caring for them. This is something you need to discuss with your parents long before they have reached the end of their life.

The financial advisors at The Beacon Group of Assante Financial Management Ltd. can help you with any financial matters concerning your family.