In the wake of the death of a loved one, families will have to come together to settle the Estate of the deceased. This can often be a long and emotionally draining process in a time that is already emotionally taxing as you struggle to deal with the grief of the death of a loved one. Unfortunately, this can occasionally bring out some family members’ greedy side. It is possible that you may find yourself in a challenging situation with a family member who unexpectedly turns greedy in the wake of a family death. They may seem to be focused on the goal of receiving as much inheritance as possible, which can be harmful to grieving family members who do not understand the actions of their seemingly selfish family members, causing strife.
Trust and Will, a leader in online estate planning services, recognizes how hard these situations can be to deal with as your family works to settle Estate and divide up certain assets that may not have a clear owner, or have joint owners listed in a Will. This can lead to family members trying to take ownership of more than their share of the inheritance. This can cause conflict and anger among family members who do not understand the greed of certain family members.
Trust and Will wants to help make dealing with these family members easier by giving you 5 tips and tricks on how to deal with greedy family members with the least amount of stress possible and avoid arguments. Continue reading to learn more!
1. Approach All Situations with Empathy
The most important thing you can do in any conflict situation where differences may emerge over the handling of inheritance and assets is to address all situations with empathy and compassion. When a loved one passes away, people will have very different reactions on how they handle the grief that they are struggling with. Grief is a very difficult emotion, especially if this is your first time dealing with the loss of a loved one.
It is possible that the greed your family member is exuding is coming from a desire to control a situation that may feel completely out of their control. When entering into any disagreement with a family member, remember to acknowledge the grief that they are facing and how this may be impacting their current actions.
2. Take Time Apart
Often in the wake of the death of a loved one, family members will be spending an exceptional amount of time together as they prepare for the funeral, and begin settling the Estate left behind by the deceased. We often spend more time than we are accustomed to spending with our family in the wake of a family death which can increase the likelihood that you will become frustrated with your family members more easily, especially when faced with a disagreement in how to divide up inheritance and family mementos.
When you feel yourself getting frustrated and upset, remember to take a step away from the situation and cool down. In order to prevent frustrations from occurring to begin with, plan out time where you can step away from your family and take moments to yourself throughout the day. This will give you the opportunity to have space from one another and recharge.
3. Communicate and Listen
When you and a family member are at odds in your opinions on how to divide up the Estate, make sure to verbalize how you are feeling in a healthy way. Focus on explanations that state how you feel using “I” statements. This ensures that you are not speaking for the whole family, as you may very well have differing opinions. As you communicate how you are feeling, make sure to give your family members room to express how they are also feeling and listen attentively. By listening attentively, you can begin to understand where each other are coming from.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Dealing with grief is a difficult and emotionally charged experience. Adding the task of settling Estate to the mix only makes it even more challenging to find time to process your emotions and take care of yourself. It is especially important in situations like this to take time to check in with yourself and remember to prioritize your mental health. Remember to do activities that tend to help you destress and relax, whether that be listening to music, reading, going for a walk, and more. Do not skip on these activities because you feel busy and overwhelmed, as these activities will help you recharge.
5. Bring in an Unbiased Party
If you find yourself in a situation in which you and your family member are at a standstill about a disagreement in which neither is willing to compromise or budge, consider bringing in an unbiased third party, often known as a mediator. This will be your last resort option in the event that you cannot solve the conflict on your own.
The mediator will listen to each side of the story and be tasked with making the final decision of how to handle the argument. Mediators are professionals hired on in difficult to solve arguments and will reach an unbiased solution.
Dealing with greedy family members while also struggling with your grief can be extremely challenging and taxing. You can help your family avoid these conflicts as much as possible by having a comprehensive and thorough Estate Plan, which allows you to designate how you want inheritance split and who you want to receive certain assets.
At Trust and Will, we strive to make estate planning as easy and stress-free as possible. With our online estate planning services, you can create your Will, Trust-Based Estate Plan, and Nomination of Guardian documents all from the comfort of your own home. We even offer a free online quiz for those who are unsure how to begin the estate planning Process. Get started today!
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