How do you discuss or bring up topic of making a will or some kind of document to protect family?

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I would really like it if my mom would sign some kind of papers in the event something happens to her I can take over her financial obligations, and medical decisions. Not sure how to discuss this with her. Don't want her to feel bad or take it wrong. I just know how important it is to have things in place. I'm only 35, and have my affairs in order for my son if something was to happen to me before he is 18, and there after as well. It just makes sense. Will a document hold legal merit if I just fill out a sheet of paper, we both sign it, and just have it notarized? Sure would be a lot easier, and she'd be more likely to just do that, and not continue to put it off. I want it to place me in charge of her medical decisions as well so I can make the best choices for her, and also support her wishes. Anyone have any tips, info., or advice on this topic to share please? I'm the type of person who likes to have things in order, and in place for "just in case". However we all need it at some point. Don't get why some people won't discuss these things. Thanks a bunches!

Answers 1 to 10 of 21
Open the discussion by leaving a copy of your will with them. Then ask if they have one and if so, where is it kept? If not, ask them to discuss it and make a lawyer appt. You may even have to offer to pay for it, if they are weird about finances. Explain that a medical and financial POA makes sense so that you could take care of them if they were ever in a bad car accident or something.

Good luck to you.
Top Answer
Kelly, do you have any siblings, and if so, are they on board with your plans? Since you want the authority, I think it would be a good idea to make sure the siblings are in agreement, as too often these kinds of family issues can cause a lot of friction and resentment.

As to your question about a will being legal if you filled "out a sheet of paper", you both signed it and it was notarized, the answer is absolutely not. That is not a legal or binding will.

Don't try to do it yourself. I see well meaning people do this and later, when they need the document, there is a problem they had no way of knowing because they are lay persons. It's too important. Shop around and get someone reasonable. It's worth it.

If you can't think of a way to bring it up, just say that someone at work suggested it because they heard of a terrible thing that happened to someone who didn't have their affairs in order. I think a little white fib is okay for the greater good. Tell them it would make you sleep better knowing all was taken care of for the future. This would include, Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare POA, HIPAA releases, Will, etc. They may even want to see an Elder Law Estate attorney if they have resources they want to protect.
Kelly, I forgot to add that if you prepared the document and witnessed it, it would likely be considered invalid. Best get it done properly by an estate planning or elder law attorney.
So true. Each state has their own requirements for legal documents. Once you really need them, if there is a mistake, it's too late. Have it done properly by an attorney. They will provide them with a form of questions so they can properly advise them of their best options.
Get your mom a copy of the book "can't we talk about something more pleasant ? " by Roz Chast. A cautionary tale about what happens when you don't plan. Also very funny.
Kelly, one way I got my parents to update their Wills, Power of Attorneys, etc. was to tell my Dad that because of new State laws if your Will isn't update with the correct wording, the State could take half your estate. That perked up my Dad's ears big time :)
Kelly, do it now. You say your mom has alzheimer's/dementia. In the event something happens to her has already arrived because there is a time when one cannot legally execute those documents, then you may need a guardianship or conservator through the courts. Start now, download a general POA and a medical P.O.A., then go to her house with a notary (best if they know her) and persuade her to sign it. Does she have a lawyer? Call.
Babalou, I just read that book,,,,good for any of us to read. Had it in the new book section at the library. This would also be a good read for people whose parents hoard or will not get rid of anything.....

This book is a bit of "balm for the soul"...about controlling parents that really never thought of their only daughter as an adult. Worth finding.
Kelly, if your budget is tight for the legal, check around to see if the local legal community offers a "free" or pro bono night at a community center. Here they offer a free evening once a month in our local library. Maybe worth looking into.

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