Photo by Mayron Oliveira / Unsplash

Family Conflict After Death

Death can bring out the best and the worst in families. When a parent dies, adult children may grieve differently. Do not expect everyone to feel the same way. Conflict amongst families after a death can feel like a secondary loss.

Public Submission

By Gwen Randall-Young
January 29, 2024

Money can become an issue regarding funeral expenses or may have to do with the terms of the will. There may also be disagreement about the sale of the house. Because of the value of the home, some may want to sell immediately, while others might have sentimental attachments.

When to begin sorting through belongings can be an issue, if some want to do it right away, while others want a little more time. Related to this is the question of who gets what, if not specified in the will. There may have been disagreements about end-of-life care. If so, resentments can carry over after the death. Old issues between siblings, even from childhood, can often be triggered at this time.

These conflicts are often stressful. When we are stressed, our brains work differently. Our brain has logical/analytical parts, and impulsive, emotional parts. When in a heightened state of stress, it is harder to think with the rational part of the brain, so we resort to using the emotional parts of the brain. Reasoning and long-term thinking are compromised. This is why when a family has many individuals acting from a place of emotion, conflicts can easily arise.

This post is for subscribers only


Already have an account? Log in