Sibling Conflict During Elder Care

Elder care decisions can often bring up deep-seated sibling conflicts that may have simmered under the surface for years. At Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., our experienced elder law attorneys understand the complexities of elder care law and are skilled in mediating disputes with wisdom and empathy. We provide the tools, skills, and understanding necessary to handle these sensitive matters, ensuring that effective decisions are made with a minimum of stress for all parties involved.

Subjects That Can Cause Elder Care Disputes Among Siblings

Sibling disputes over elder care can arise in a variety of areas, including:

Imbalanced Care Responsibilities

Disputes often occur when one sibling bears a heavier caregiving load, whether in terms of time, availability, or emotional investment.

Financial Contributions

Conflicts may arise over who pays for care and how much each sibling contributes, especially if the costs are significant.

Living Arrangements

Deciding whether an aging parent should remain at home or move to a care facility can lead to disagreements, as can the level of care the parent requires. It is not uncommon for one sibling to feel the parent needs round-the-clock care and another to believe that the parent can manage with a visiting nurse or therapist.

Care Decisions and Personal Beliefs

Differences in opinion about the type of medical care, interventions, or end-of-life care appropriate for the parent can also cause rifts. Some of these problems can be overridden by the drafting and execution of legal documents like a Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, or Advance Directive in which the parent clearly states how they want their medical needs met or whom they trust to make decisions for them if they are unable to do so.  

Inheritance Concerns

The handling of the estate and the perceived fairness of future inheritances often exacerbate tensions.

How Input and Services From Various Sources Can Be Helpful

In resolving elder care disputes, professional input from various medical and care specialists is invaluable:

Internists and gerontologists can provide a clear understanding of the medical needs and realistic care expectations of the aging parent.

Psychiatrists and neurologists can offer insights into cognitive, balance, and coordination functions, which may affect the parent’s ability to provide self-care and to make rational decisions.

Physical and occupational therapists can assess the physical capabilities of the elderly parent and suggest necessary modifications or supportive devices.

These professionals not only bring clarity to the elder’s needs but also lend credibility to the discussions, helping to defuse emotional biases and conflicts.

Why You Need a Well-Informed, Compassionate Estate Planning Attorney

Handling sibling conflicts in elder care requires more than legal knowledge; it demands compassion and understanding. Attorneys at Surprenant & Beneski are well-versed in the nuances of elder law and are skilled in negotiation and mediation. We help families navigate the legal landscape with empathy, ensuring all voices are heard and respected, which is crucial in achieving a resolution that preserves family relationships.

Steps To Coming Up With a Reasonable Resolution 

Our elder law attorneys have extensive experience helping families resolve issues in ways that make all members comfortable. In order to arrive at fair and reasonable living arrangements that all siblings and their parent can agree upon, it is typically essential to incorporate some or all of the following into the process:

  • Open communication — We will facilitate meetings in which all siblings can express their views and concerns in a structured, non-confrontational manner.
  • Define objectives — We will clearly restate the needs of the parent and the positive goals of each sibling in palatable terms.
  • Expert consultation — We will incorporate insights from relevant professionals to assist all parties in making informed decisions.
  • Mediation — We may bring in a professional mediator to address conflicts and explore potential compromises.
  • Legal guidance — We will make certain that any agreement siblings come to is legally sound and reflects the best interests of the parent.

Contact Our Elder Law Attorneys Now To Resolve Sibling Disputes

Compromise is essential in resolving elder care disputes and compromise requires a realistic assessment of parental needs. The lawyers of Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. are well-prepared to gather medical insight and coordinate it with legal guidance. Contact us today to ensure that you make decisions that maintain family harmony while providing your parent with the elder care they need and deserve.