If you thought sibling rivalry died when the kids left home talk to any senior care provider and whether you’re talking about medical, financial, housing or legal, they’ve got horror stories to set you straight. Some of it is just what each adult child thinks is the best possible care for their parent(s) but it can involve where a parent lives, who cares for the parent and who should manage the parent’s money. I know one senior who is lucky enough to have a daughter with a nursing degree and a son in financial management, and a third child who lives too far away so the lines of care are easily drawn and the adult children have already taken their places for when this senior needs their assistance. But if you’re like most people and the lines aren’t quite so solidly drawn, you may find you need a sibling agreement (or family care agreement).
Sibling agreements can address issues like future caregiving duties, housing options, how or when to decide a parent needs to move into assisted living or a nursing home and whether or not the siblings should contribute to the parent’s care. A geriatric care manager can help draft the agreement and help find solutions if a sibling breaches the agreement. Read a USA Today article on sibling rivalry here.