Arguments over family money and divided loyalties

Arguments over the kitchen table can be bad enough but when those arguments start involving the courts and affecting the older and younger generations then there’s the potential for damaging legacies and family feuds.

We at Prefix Mediation help families have difficult conversations to prevent a problem becoming a legal case.

Being on the verge of this type of dispute is deeply disconcerting and scary.

It’s disconcerting because of divided loyalties.

In a dispute about your parent’s will, people often find themselves battling with their brothers and sisters.

That’s a pretty unnatural state of affairs. They’re the people you’d usually be enjoying happy times with. They’re the people we often first learned to co-operate with and it threatens our identity to be fighting with them in a way that could do actual harm.

But at the same time people can feel strong forces in the opposite direction. For instance, people generally think it is right and important to have their parent’s will honoured. What they said in their will is what should happen.

And people feel a strong duty to maximize their own children’s inheritance. So it is important to get the most amount of money for their benefit.

That sort of internal conflict can threaten your sense of who you are and makes it even harder to have difficult conversations.

And it’s scary because alternatives are genuinely all or nothing. People either win in or lose in court. If you lose it’s really bad because you often have to pay everyone’s legal costs.

And the longer the case goes on the more difficult it is to communicate or repair the relationship.

We get that it’s hard to talk about money and particularly when someone’s recently died or someone’s feeling hurt.

What we are about is helping you have these difficult conversations so you can take positive active steps to resolve the problem and do so in a confidential, off the record way.

Feel free to give us a call to see if we can help solve a problem before it becomes a case