On the radio: Where there’s a will, there’s a relative

The Canadian public broadcaster has a Sunday morning omnibus program that this morning did a piece about financial abuse of the elderly through the manipulation of wills. In my case, my bi-polar mother has been trying to bribe her daughter into liking her for decades. Fortunately, my sister is estranged to us but one of my fears is that she’ll come out of the woodwork.

There’s some family experience with this. Another cousin got ahold of his grandmother’s chequebook and helped himself to seveal thousand dollars.

Moreover, my sister has a history of selfishness, I regret to say. She lived rent free for a decade at a relative’s house and I am sure has ‘reframed’ this as a gift in her mind. Anway, although the specifics of legal issues may differ in your jurisdiction but the psychological and social implications of people fighting over an elderly person’s money are probably the same.

In particular, the panelists discuss the well intentioned but potentially disastrous things that families do like apportioning money ahead of the death or incapacity, and conflicts between what the bank wants and what the lawyers want, et cetera.

There is far more at stake now than ever before. According to a study published this year, about one trillion dollars will change hands in this country over the next two decades. This has been identified as the biggest inter-generational transfer of wealth in the west’s history.Sunday-Edition
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