When love and relationships become strained, often the furthest thing from both parties’ minds is the idea of assistance in any form. Yet when it comes to an estranged sister, sometimes the right thing to do is to offer assistance even if a reconciliation isn’t possible. If you’re considering helping your sister financially, here are a few suggestions to make the process as smooth as possible.
The first step is to think long and hard about why you feel compelled to support your sister. Are you wanting to help because you still care for her or because you have guilt or regret? Regardless of the reason, being honest with yourself is essential so that you don’t cause more damage through your actions. Another important factor to consider is how your sister would potentially receive your offer of assistance. Could she see it as an intrusion or a lack of respect for her personal autonomy? The last thing you want to do is create more strife between the two of you.
Take a moment to consider the best way to approach the conversation. Should you reach out in person, by phone, or through email? Be aware of how the request might come across and choose the method you feel most comfortable with. Before you actually offer financial support, make sure you have done your research. Check any current financial resources your sister has access to and don’t forget to examine your own resources to ensure that you can handle helping her.
Once viable options have been laid out, take a logical assessment of the situation. You may become tempted to give your sister whatever she desires or needs, but use caution and thoughtful reasoning in this situation. Come up with an agreement that is good for both of you. Having a written document outlining the details will help ensure that each party involved understands the expectations going forward. It may also be beneficial to consult an attorney during this step to make sure both you and your sister are protected.
Helping a loved one financially can be a tricky situation, especially if it's a sister who is estranged. With patience, understanding and respect, however, you can create a mutual agreement that benefits you both. No matter what, remember that your offer of assistance is a big deal. While it may not fix all of the issues between you, it can show that you still care and want the best for your estranged sister.