Family Harmony

DISHARMONY ALERT for your Family Harmony

In the past two years, we have seen a surprising increase in the number of serious disputes among family members, especially baby-boomers with a sense of entitlement, after their senior parents have passed on. Disharmony in Michigan has risen to 25%. Even worse is the resulting alienation which for many of these families will last a lifetime.

Why the increase? It boils down to the resentment and jealousy of those excluded from decision making; the mistakes, delays, and controlling behavior of those in charge after the parental “glue” that held the family together is gone. “I would rather have my children live in harmony without money after I’m gone than be in miserable alienation with millions,” one client recently admitted.

We offer ten innovative measures to lessen the risk of disharmony. Seven of these are as follows:

  1. A pre-death meeting to “clear the air” regarding parental harmony wishes;
  2. Having child(ren) sign a conflict resolution agreement;
  3. Preparation of anti-bicker forms for tangible personal effects;
  4. A “clear the air” settlement conference upon passing;
  5. Division of successor trustee duties between a professional and a family member;
  6. Designation of an attorney or other neutral party as a Trust Protector to “watch-dog” the trustee and enforce mediation if needed;
  7. Enrollment in our Firm’s Client Care Program designed to update your plan and educate your family trustee.

For a free handout on Harmony in Michigan, or if you would like more information regarding Elder and Special Needs law, Medicaid and Medicare planning, Powers of Attorney, VA Benefits, Tax and Estate Planning Law, or Wills and Trusts please feel free to email or call us at (906) 228-6212. We regularly see clients in Sault Ste. Marie, Iron Mountain, Marquette, Houghton, Menominee and Escanaba.