Divided Families and Ways to Mend Fences
According to market research, estrangement from family occurs in 27% of families. And some researchers feel this number is on the rise because young adults today are more likely than previous generations to think of family as something they can choose to be a part of – or not. Some of this new attitude may be due to older generations operating in a different framework, feeling that kids should respect their parents and elders. Younger people on the other hand look at relationships as voluntary and if a relationship does not satisfy my ideals for happiness, mental health, or growth, then not only can I cut that person out, but more dramatically, I should cut that person out.
Now you add this evolving attitude to some of the common causes of family dynamics that can include abuse, divorce, remarriage, value differences, and disputes over Wills and inheritances.
For all the planning made by families to create warm inviting environments, some elements of these family issues can be avoided with good planning and communication. According to therapists, many people have major regret when they reach the end of life. Estrangement can haunt people and interferes with their sense of having lived a complete life.
It has often been suggested that people who reconcile have given up on resolving past issues. In particular, they realize that the other person is never going to accept the narrative of the past. So, they give up on the idea that the past can be understood and instead focus on the future. Tina Gilbertson, a Denver-based therapist that specializes in estrangements, suggests that “building a new relationship is possible if both parties are willing.”
One area where we help you find assistance is in Estate Planning and Will preparation. Keeping in mind the CIBC report further outlines the issues involved in not having an Estate Plan with nearly two-thirds of Canadian couples ages 35-54 not having a Will. Partners, children, and extended family are all impacted by your decision or avoidance of Will planning. Hence the quote from Mitch Albom “It’s such a shame to waste time. We always think we have so much of it.”
There are numerous resources on our website that can start the process and family discussions.
Read our article about common-law relationships and Estate Planning
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This material is for general information and educational purposes only. Information is based on data gathered from what we believe are reliable sources. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions.