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Hallhouse, my parents had a Will but it was older than dirt. I did something very simple, I used a "therapeutic fib". I told Dad that if the Will isn't updated, then the State would get most of the money he had saved. Next day Dad wanted me to set up an appointment with an Attorney.

Keeping it simple is the key here, so try that with your Mom. Let the Attorney [get an Elder Law Attorney] ask your Mom questions and let him/her tell her what is needed.

Remember, we are just the kids, and what do we know? :)
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Reply to freqflyer

Hallhouse, kudos to you and your husband for taking care of your mom. I saw in your profile that you and your mom live in Idaho, as do I. If your mom's assets total to less than $100,000 and do not include any real estate, then she does not need a will in order for you to inherit/administer her estate. Instead, you will be able to use Idaho's "Small Estate Affidavit" form to transfer ownership of all personal property, including financial accounts, vehicles and trailers. Also, even if her assets exceed $100,000 you might be able to use the small estate affidavit form if she has listed you (or anyone else) as "payable on death" (POD) on enough of her financial accounts so that her remaining assets do not exceed the $100,000 limit.

Affidavit forms are available at no charge from www.Idaho Legal and here's a link to the Idaho statute:

To non-Idahoans who read this, Idaho is not the only state that allows "small estate affidavits," but different states have different total estate limits for using this very easy process.
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Reply to bicycler

I agree with AlvaDeer's suggestion. Another suggestion would be to have someone you or she knows that experienced a loss share their experience of either having or not having a will & how it affected them. Also let her know that leaving a will results in less conflict within the family about their inheritance.
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Reply to ToniFromRVA

I agree with what others have suggested. Make sure she knows that you will drive her to a good attorney and that you will not be in the room when the attorney is helping her make out her will (this is how it was when I took my 2 elderly aunts to do theirs). This may help her feel less pressure and uncomfortable. The attorney will also be a good source to make the case for having the will, PoA, Advance Care Directive, etc. Even if you have to pay for the visit, it will be worth it. If she balks you can download and print out blank will and PoA templates from a free site and this way she sees what they generally say and what powers are being granted. She also sees that she can express her desired funeral specifics as well. She should also consider a pre-paid funeral, which will not be counted as an asset if she ever needs Medicaid, and takes the burden of payment off her children.
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Reply to Geaton777

Well it is a bit late, but I would have made having end of life documents prepared a condition of her moving onto your property. Will, POAs etc.

What is her reason for not wanting to prepare her Will? Without knowing that it is hard to recommend a strategy. I know my Dad thought that talking about a Will was morbid and he was in denial about needing one. Homes in two countries, a trust, and legacy issues from my grandmother's Will. Eventually my brother convinced him to do one up.

Alva has given you good advice.
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Reply to Tothill

I would tell her the facts. Sit her down in a good time, and gently tell her you will say this once and then NEVER again. Tell her that if she dies without one the State will swoop in and get some of her money right off the top. Then they will decide according to the laws of the State who gets what. Tell her that it will take years to settle out. Tell her that she can at the same time assign whomever she wishes to to be her POA, to carry out all her wishes for her, and a secondary if that first person beats her to the Pearly Gates. Otherwise, tell her that some doctor or someone else will decide for her, and they may just view her as another Little Old Lady ready to go.
Just tell her that if that is what she WANTS, then well and good. Don't do anything. And tell her that this is the LAST time you will discuss this with her. That if she wants to make her own decisions it is easy enough to privately see a Lawyer and set up her own will.
If after that your Mother still wishes to make no will, then there is no way you can convince her otherwise. Some elders have so much denial they think that addressing this makes it happen. Some old cultures think that these things, wills and inheritance are death wishes and I remember this well as in training the hospital I worked with had many old country Greeks who felt that speaking of insurance was wishing for the person's death. You will then know that the hospitals will likely look to the next of kin for POA/conservatorship, and the estate will go to probate with an assigned executor in the family. That's that. You honestly don't want all your last conversations with your Mom to be about "WHEN YOU DIE...........". So say it once, then leave it be. Pushing at her will only back her into her corner.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

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