Ensuring His Family's Future

Christopher has inoperable brain cancer and is preparing things for his family when he passes. He wants to sell the house and move them closer to their families. She doesn’t.

QUESTION: Christopher in Oklahoma City has inoperable brain cancer and is preparing things for his family when he passes. He has $1.5 million in life insurance with a will and additional savings. He wants to sell the house and move them closer to their families. She doesn’t. Dave thinks they should make the house decision slowly.

ANSWER: I think you’re doing a very loving thing for your family, and I’ll try to help you any way I can.

You’re making some wise suggestions. I think mechanically and mathematically what you’re describing—and the fact that she would be near family—is all wise. I like all of those suggestions. The down side is she needs to feel good about it. But she’s got a process of dealing with this like you’ve had a process of dealing with it for the last month or so, and that’s a pretty fresh piece of information that’s devastating. It may take her a little time to get to where you are. You’ve become pretty calculated, pretty quick here. We may need to give her a little time, in other words.

The other down side of your plan is that you’re going to spend a lot of your energy of your last two years—you’re estimating—on marketing, selling, and moving a house, which kind of defeats the purpose of spending all of your time with your family. I think you and your wife probably spend some more time and make that decision a little bit more slowly, praying about it and thinking about it. Really, where she wants to live does matter. She can accomplish the same thing after you pass with the insurance dollars and the money that you have in the bank and stay in that house if she wants to. It may be a little more upkeep, but if that’s where she wants to be, then that’s an okay thing with me. Her vote on this really does count big-time, because it’s going to be her who’s living there. She may not want to live in the town you’re suggesting.

I think anybody needs to be near family as they face that. I think there’s a lot of reason to have family around her, but we’ve got to listen to her vote in this, too. Just take your time. Spend some time in prayer. Spend some time talking about it, and make the decision to sell it. Mathematically and from a family support situation, what you’re describing makes a lot of sense. But right now, she’s still kind of trying to hang onto stuff, which is a normal part of her process, too—hold onto little bits of you. I think it would be a good move, but she needs to feel good about the whole thing, too.