Following bereavement, families can often fall out and argue over all sorts of different issues. Indeed the conflict and falling out can begin before a loved one has died. Family members can argue among themselves and even with the dying loved one themselves. This is more common than you might imagine. Most of us hope that families can come together when someone dies or is dying, but grief affects people in different ways. Death and its aftermath bring out the strongest emotions in people, and these can be quite complex.
A research study conducted in the United States based on evidence gathered from 2004 to 2019 and garnered from a number of countries showed that intra-family conflict occurs often, and it shows the harmful impact not only on the family dynamic but also on the person who is dying. In the US, it was reported that 57% of families admitted arguing with each other as a loved one was dying. 42% of Japanese families reported the same. Conflict can increase significantly when end-of-life care is taken out of professional hands and moved into the home.
The Main Reasons for Family Conflict
End of Life Care
Whether a person is in a hospital, a hospice or at home, end-of-life care is always a delicate issue to discuss with your family. Even where you are not suffering from a life-limiting illness, there are still lots of areas you can discuss with your family members relating to what you wish to happen at the end of your life.
If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, it will help to let your family know well ahead of time what your wishes are for treatment options or withdrawal of care. It is important for you to be completely honest and to discuss your feelings and for family members to discuss their feelings as well.
Family members will often disagree on who is to provide care, where and how this is to be given and when the time comes, who is to be responsible for taking decisions on behalf of the person needing care.
This is frequently a flashpoint, particularly when a loved one dies suddenly and no one in the family knows what the wishes of the deceased were. Families can find themselves arguing over what type of funeral to have, who is to be invited – and not invited – and who is to be responsible for organising it and paying for it.
Money and Inheritance
As many family solicitors will no doubt confirm, the number one reason for family fallouts before and after bereavement is over finances and inheritance issues. Research has shown that almost one-fifth of people in the UK have fallen out with a family member over their loved one’s estate and finances, and unfortunately, many of these conflicts never get resolved. Even where there is little or no money in a deceased person’s estate, it is surprising how family members can argue over knick-knacks or over who gets what. Sometimes it is not actually about the money; rather, it is a way of remembering the one who has died and of holding on to their memory.
It is natural for rivalries between siblings and children to come to the surface before and after someone dies as emotions become raw and things are said and done, which only serve to cause added stress to an already stressful situation.
How to Avoid Emotional Arguments After Your Death – Plan Ahead
Planning what will happen at the end of your life is understandably a sensitive and emotional, sometimes painful, thing to do, so it’s important that you do this when the time feels right but also in good time and while you are of sound mind.
Take time initially to decide what is most important to you in terms of your funeral. It could be helpful for you to look at how pre-planning your funeral can ease the situation for your loved ones and help them in their grief. Pre-planned funerals, such as those offered by Legacy of Lives are becoming a popular choice for people who wish to have a degree of control over their end-of-life plans. Our specialists in funeral pre-planning can help you organise everything from start to finish, from creating a bespoke funeral just for you to helping to support the family through the whole process.
Talk the Family Through Your Wishes
It’s important once you have decided to opt for a pre-planned funeral to gather the family together and discuss your wishes. Some families want to be involved in the planning process while others don’t, but it can be helpful for families to plan together. However, by talking through what you wish to happen, from what kind of funeral you want, whether you want a burial or cremation, whether the funeral is to have a religious or non-religious service and all the other incidentals, your family is more likely to be reassured and is more likely to follow your wishes.
The Advantages of Using a Funeral Planner
It can give you enormous peace of mind to know that you have received expert, independent help to fully tailor your bespoke funeral and create your personal legacy. Funeral planners can even help you to record your memories to leave for your loved ones should you wish. Having your wishes, personal contacts, and other information, such as important documents, stored safely in one place in Legacy of Lives’ funeral planner will give you complete control and security, safe in the knowledge that your loved ones will be relieved of the need to argue about funeral arrangements.
Planning ahead can also be a shrewd financial move as by fixing the costs involved at current prices, you can potentially save your family thousands.
A well-arranged funeral can help those who are left behind to move forward with the grieving process in the knowledge that everything you wished for yourself has been carried out and you will get the send-off you want. While your loved ones will undoubtedly grieve, this could give them the peace to pull together after your death, rather than pulling apart.