Talking with Estranged Siblings about Planning for Parents

Siblings sometimes cease talking to one another or rarely do – and sometimes there are good reasons for this. For siblings who never got along as kids and have had little to do with each other as adults, being thrown together to make touchy decisions about long-term care for parents could prove to be disastrous.

However, when it comes to planning for a parent with health or memory issues, tackling the challenge alone can be a burdensome task.  Estranged siblings need to find a way to come together and find common ground. It can be done, but sometimes it takes a great deal of effort on all sides. 
In times when siblings need each other, how do you reach those who are at arm’s length?

  • Rebuilding the Bridge — Call on the phone and send a personal letter. As long as the topic is focused on parental need, it may be possible to gain the communication and assistance of a distanced brother or sister. 
  • Peaceful Discussions — Moving mom or dad to a long-term care facility, or determining who should be guardian and conservator for a parent, is a taxing prospect and each child may have a varying opinion. A mediator (in person or online), facilitator, arbitrator, or other type of collaborative professional can be especially effective in these cases, able to field concerns and emotional outbursts, to lay out all the details and help point to the most effective solution.
  • Finding a Professional  Finding a collaborative professional who specializes in elder law is easy – one way is to go to and click “Search Professionals.”  Select the type of collaborative professional you want and then, under “Select Type of Matter,” choose “Elder.
  • Read More Click here for an article dealing with this type of mediation.

If you’re done with mediation, or if you’re a family where all the siblings already get along, please call The Fairfax and Fredericksburg Elder Law Firms of Evan H. Farr, P.C. at 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a consultation. 

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.