May 24, 2013
3 Reasons to Prepare a Legacy Decisions (How to prevent a family feud?) As the American family has changed over the course of history, how we prepare to die has drastically been altered, also. We use to have 3 generations of family under one roof helping, working and supporting each other. The nuclear family has been scattered like atoms. Few families live in close proximity with their parents or siblings anymore. Children leave and never return home. Other children may develop dependencies that hinder appropriate relationships. Some children remain supportive and caring for a lifetime, but may not live nearby. Sometimes this looks weird, but it seems to be the norm. Here are a few examples of how families have changed and why it is so important to prepare your Legacy Plan. 1. My son moved away; haven’t heard from him in 25 years. Of the thousands of families encountered in my career, this seems like the most common occurrence. Some children just grow up and move away, never to be heard from for years (or ever.) Some of these wayward children just dislike their parents, some develop other lives. Still others develop chemical or alcohol dependencies which take over their lives. There are many reasons but nonetheless, this is still a common occurrence. 2. My children only visit when they want something (like money.) So many stories about how children are always asking or begging for money. Even though they may have careers and families, these children just always need more. Fiscally irresponsibility is very common. Many children expect their parents to bail them out of money problems. We’ve all heard of stories of parents loaning children money and never getting paid back. The list goes on and on. 3. My children just never seem to settle down. Some children are unsettled either by choice or design. Some can’t hold a job or finish school. Some are never happy—always looking for the next good deal or new relationship. This seems to be their nature. Be reassured you did not create the problems your children have in life. There is a new understanding now: If your child is over 30 and still blaming you for all the problems in their world, then they are wrong. After a child leaves home they become responsible for their life, period. We are each responsible for our own wellbeing—if we need help, we seek treatment. Blaming others for what is not right in our world is not healthy behavior. No one can or should shoulder such a great burden; it just seems simple to blame your parents. The answer is be prepared—often this family issues will come back to haunt you if you have not made all of your Legacy Decisions. This article does not give legal or financial advice; always seek the advice of a legal or financial professional when making decisions for yourself.