I had an interesting conversation with a solicitor today (yes, that happens). Among many other things we spoke briefly about the ever-changing nature of family.
In our line of work we often see the beginnings of these changes, the trickles before the waterfall. And what is it we’re seeing at the moment? 3 generations in one household is becoming more and more common. It started with the increases in the cost of living forcing young people to stay with parents longer and longer.
Now we are seeing young couples with children of their own choosing to pool resources with parents to purchase larger properties and live together sharing the financial and practical responsibilities of the home. And I for one can only see this as a beautiful thing, an act of cross generational support. I hear more and more that phrase “it takes a village to raise a child”, and I hear more and more about older generations wishing to stay in their homes for as long as possible. It looks like we are returning to our “villages”.
I’m sure this will increase post-covid, when we try to figure out our new normal after a life of really getting to know our neighbours again, of being suddenly and drastically separated from our grandparents and older children or seeing our young children missing their grandparents.
But my experience of this is grown children so anxious to protect the financial investments their parents have made in their homes. “If something happens to us, what happens to mum?” is something I’m hearing more and more. And the answers can be simple, the answers can give you real peace of mind, but they might not always be what you think. Effective estate planning along with good financial planning (which is so much simpler and cheaper to put in place while you’re young) can really put everyone at ease and ensure you’re all protected, no matter what your futures hold.