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My parents current Will was written 12 years ago, and in said Will are names of people who have since past on..... the way the Will had been written regarding the people listed, the words *their heirs* could be open to interpretation, like finding everyone on all the different family trees... thus heirs my parents never met could inherit some of their estate.

In my parents Will they have each other as Executor of their Will... that was fine and dandy 12 years ago, but today Mom [97] is legally blind and has lost almost all of her hearing. A second Executor was also listed, the attorney who drew up the Wills.... a general practice attorney. My parents had first used him for their real estate closing. Ok, but where is he today?

For the past year I have been hinting to my parents that they need to see an Elder Law attorney and with State laws always changing it is time to update their Wills, POA, etc. Finally got my parents into see an Elder Law Attorney. But Dad has been moving at the speed of molasses on filling out the paperwork for the Trust, which I agree are complex, it's been four months already.

Finally I decided to have the Elder Law Attorney draw up new Wills, POA's, Health Directives, etc. and leave the Trust for another time. My parents got the drafts of said new paperwork last month.... here comes the molasses again... Dad claims he's been too busy to finish reading the drafts [too busy at 93?]. Keeping my finger's crossed my parents sign all the papers this coming Monday.

Lesson learned, get all this stuff done like yesterday. Last year I updated my legal papers, now I can rest easy on my stuff.... still a basket case regarding my parents.

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I blame the insurance company. I listed my husband and work made me list my girls too. My sister didn't have a benefiary on her insurance. My brother became her sons guardian and had to go to court to establish my nephew as her closest relative.
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I thought I was keeping everything up-to-date before Mom and Dad died, but I forgot about life insurance. Dad only had Mom listed as his beneficiary and she died a little over a week before he did. I have been dealing with the insurance company as well as the VA ever since then. They won't accept a will. They insist it must go to all next of kin. My sister is uncooperative and so it is dragging out. All of this could have been avoided if I had known to check the policies.
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Even with no siblings or children, if one has an estate it is better to have it in a trust. If my sig other goes before I do, then my Attorney will be my representative, and she can deal with the estate where I had indicated what institutions will receive funds.

In my area, the doctor offices and all the hospitals are patient-computerized, thus info can fly back and forth.... the closet hospital to me already scanned a copy of my Living Will and DNR the last time I had a hospital stay, they had requested said info. Talk about timing, I never expected to be in the hospital for a stay and here I had signed all my updated legal paperwork just days prior.
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I think people have the wrong outlook of an executor. My parents will stipulated both my brother and me. When Dad died Mom redid herr will with just me. My brother lives in NC, 7hrs away. All an executor does is probate and make sure the parents wishes in the will are met. Of course sale of assets. If the executor doen't follow thru he can be sued by the others in the will. The executor can take 6% off the top. Person named as executor can hand over to someone else. Think this can be done at probate.
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If no siblings or children a DNR and livng will may be enough. Copies to doctors and hospitals u may go to. Call your local ambulance service to find out where u can leave copies in ur home so they have ur info. (Used to be a pill bottle in the refridgerator freezer)
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Cmagnum: Dad has not got dementia but paperwork of any sort overwhelms him... the slightest thing. So I shopped around and found a solicitor others had recommended for elder folk stuff like these. She was amazing! Just the right level of empathy and bossy.
My dad has some strange ideas that she talked him out of. But she has just moved away, so I need to find another.
I handled everything for him
Re mum's illness, death, funeral and estate.
But it took a lot out of me.
I think he would make me executor, and I am well aware what that entails (not looking forward to sibling dramas, but I am tough old nut, they don't scare me;)

I don't care about his money. I just know I'll be a mess when he dies, so all I want are his wishes all tidy in an envelope safe so we can all relax and enjoy dad's last years. Then when the inevitable happens the settlement of the estate will not shred me and my siblings to pieces.

Maybe I should write this down in a letter to him. Or just make the damn appt for him.
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meatjeanne, depending on the paperwork, in some cases you can name the Attorney to represent you in financial decisions.... I wanted my attorney to be the medical Power of Attorney but she said she couldn't do that. It was very difficult trying to come up with other names. It's tough when there are no siblings and no children. And when our friends disappear because we no longer have time to be with them :(
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I forgot to add the family drama detail, that when my mom re-established her own life, after dad died, she changed the will & poa to be handled by me, and the eldest male child was VERY upset, even though it made absolute No Sense to have him handle it. There are these types of man out there, one is my brother, who just assumes they are Oldest & Therefore Wisest.....and everyone should just accept that. But aactually the practical matter is, handling someone's affairs, both before & after their death, is extremely difficult from afar. It's hard to "know" your senior parent if you've only been with them a handful of times IN THIRTY FIVE YEARS. Yeah. Right. I think just about Anybody trumps a supposedly - loving child, who hardly EVER visits. Feels good to know my mom finally stood up for what she knew was the right thing to do. Even though, it is a lot of work for me, she is getting the best care this way (and it's way cheaper for me to settle her estate, than someone far away).
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Frustrated, agree with you. We gave our daughters a set time to make their minds up about College. Why, I was 36 and husband was 38 when our youngest was born. So my husband would be close to retirement when she went to College. Once retired, he didn't want a College bill. Both girls furthered their education and have good jobs. I'm here to help if needed but not to support.
POA can be rescinded by the person who had it written up. Also, null and void upon death. Its there for someone to help the person not keep them from spending.
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My parents had a basic will & poa naming eldest male child to take care of everything. Was in place for 20+ yrs until dad died. A few yrs after that, while trying to re-establish her own life, she changed both will &poa to be handled by me, since I'm the only one who does anything of substance for her. She also made me joint owner on a couple bank accounts, and I haven't needed to write checks for her but she insists that I do, just in case some day I actually need to....that way the bank won't be questioning my writing a check. The updating of will & poa seems like it should not need to be done unless there is a change in senior's desires, or a change of tax laws (which wouldn't pertain to smaller estates). Most importantly, I have an ORIGINAL copy of these 2 documents tucked away in my safe at home and my mom has them in her safe in her home.
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In 2008 my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. One day he pulled the truck into a parking lot in front of a building. We got out, and I saw the sign that it was an attorney. He already couldn't say many words at the time, but I figured out he wanted to get our wills done....second marriage for both of us, no children for both of us, no brothers or sisters. What a smart man he was. This attorney had paperwork that I had never heard of, but it was everything we needed in the next 6 years. Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate, living will.... everywhere we went, those papers were asked for. Doctors, bank accounts, hospital ER, assisted living etc, they all asked for those papers, and many places were surprised we had them. My husband could not speak shortly after we had the will done.
He died last November. NOW.... I have to get a new will. Problem is I have no one to name. No family, I lost all my friends while caregiving. I trust very few people. I have no idea who to name....Durable Power of Attorney, or on my bank accounts, or house, or car, or....I am lost. But I am so glad HE had the sense to get a will done.
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Probably almost everyone here has a horror story or ten regarding money, wills, inheritance, etc. I really almost doesn't matter how much or how little there is. If Something's left, there will always be those who feel they got cheated, someone else was favored, or they thought more would have been there than was. My ex husband's grandmother passed away at 93 and always laughed that her will was in her top drawer in her bedroom and it would be there when she passed away. She was the mother of an only child, my ex mother in law, to whom she gave her home when there were four boys born two years apart and for most of the marriage, my ex's dad served in WWII and Korea. Granny lived on her husband's railroad pension which was intact until her death. She lived the last 30 years of her life with her daughter and four grandsons and her daughter's husband, when he finally came home from serving our country. Her 'will', written on a napkin, was found in her dresser. In her handwriting it said, "Being of sound mind, I spent it all". It was hilarious.
My own parents are wealthy. All our lives there has been manipulation regarding and implying "You better do what we want or you might be written out". I think that is awful. My husband and I both have striven to be self sufficient and prepare for our retirement independently, and see anything as 'gravy'. Money can be a terrible curse, causing terrible strife in families. I think the best gift we can give to our offspring is to be able to promise them 'you will never have to pay a cent of your own money or be forced to bring me into your home to take care of me'. We have a blended family and I am sure whatever we do, someone will be upset. But we for sure have written it down, chosen the 'one' who will be our POA if we cannot do that for each other, have it all legal and locked away in a safe deposit box, which we have made known to the one who will, with our attorney, put everything 'to bed' when we are both gone. We plan to have fun having worked very hard and will not eat cat food in our 'golden years'. The term 'estate' used to really mean, ESTATE. Land that was kept in the family particularly to provide farming income to support that family. It was worked. Now our 'estates' can equal, in the minds of some, a free handout payday. We made sure all our kids got decent educations and helped them get good starts in life. It is not our job to make up for blowing money rather than saving it or refusing to defray any luxuries like we had to if they cannot afford them now. Some have learned the lesson better than others, but that is up to them now as adults.
As for POA's, you do NOT have to have the agreement of a POA to rescind it. Any person of sound mind can rescind it any time they want to. So if parents are POA for each other but become unable to act, the parent who IS of sound mind can just appoint someone else.
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Sorry, couldn't read everything, too long.
When my Dad died, Mom redid her will. As one of 3 children, I'm executor because I live near Mom. I also have a POA and Medical POA with my daughter who is an RN. When it comes to Wills it goes by state. No will causes a number of problems. If there r children the wife only gets a percentage and the other percentage goes to the children. The state taxes when no will. We updated our will once the girls were adults. I feel for u that parents have ailments that keep them from making informed decisions. Good Luck.
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Make sure you know where Will is kept!!My Dad had will. I saw it, but not other siblings. Now Mom&Dad dead and will CANNOT be found! My sibling spent her winters at parents home when it was vacant for 20 some years and now believes home is hers. Whereas Will stated pass on to next sibling at her death. Instead she made her kids beneficiaries of parents house upon her death. So last sibling out of luck!!That's me, the youngest. Any suggestions?
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The whole issue with the medical Power of Attorney came to light the last time my Dad was in the hospital after a fall... my Mom is Dad's medical POA... but as I had mentioned earlier she is legally blind and very hard of hearing. While sitting in the ER I stressed to my Dad that Mom should be here because I cannot legally make major decisions for my Dad. And he agreed.

Last time I talked to Dad he was gun-ho for signing the documents on Monday. Not sure about Mom, I just hope she will follow Dad's cue that it is important to have all this signed. Mom is still sharp as a tack, but doesn't come across that way because of her hearing issues.

The law firm I am using will not allow someone to sign if they feel that the person doesn't understand what they are signing. The attorney has met with my parents twice for two long sessions, so she understands their wishes. Just keeping my finger's crossed.

I really wishes Dad would have worked on the paperwork for the Trust, as I really dread if my parents pass as their estate is very complex. Their new Will has my Mom as Executor, and me second in line. I would probably hire the firm to deal with my parents estate. I am pushing 70 years old, only child, too emotionally exhausted to concentrate on this stuff :P
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My physically disabled husband and I are in our early to mid 60s and live in Massachusetts, USA, which has recently updated its probate court procedures. We had Durable POA and Health Care Proxy docs but have updated them for him (as well as the same for me), and for the first time in our decade-plus marriage have established wills, all to make things easier for the Personal Representatives (successor term to Executor/Executrix) who will have to mop up after us when we're gone. I can attest to how psychologically painful this can be, even if there are no family tensions about it (and we're lucky that way), and we're relatively young compared to many of the examples given in these posts, so I can only imagine the sense of loss that the older people feel when they have to face this. My dad died suddenly at age 64 without a will, 30 years ago, and my mother promptly drafted one for herself after she went through all sorts of legal strife trying to take care of his loose-end legal affairs. Please, please, don't assume that all assets pass from one spouse to another, particularly if the surviving spouse is in some way incapacitated.
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Anytime there is a life changing event, such as a new illness, a death-esp. of someone named as executor or poa a new document will need to be drawn up.
Advance directives/living will should also be completed. It doesn't matter if you are 18 or 93, it needs to be done. Anything can happen in an instant; a stroke, a car accident etc. that can change a life. I recommend everyone complete the forms,
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I had my Mom's will and trust redone 2 years before she passed away.
Be very careful on how both are worded.
It can be made very vague and open to interpretation, or very specific to make sure your parents wishes are honored exactly the way they wanted them.
If you are the successor trustee, make sure to update the trust every couple of years, as laws change, and may leave your trust wide open to new laws.
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It's too bad there isn't a "National Update Your Will Day" to take the tabu out of things. Would sure be lots easier if things were disclosed, discussed, made legal, ahead of time.

My Great Grandparents, who practically raised me from birth to 5 were wealthy. When they passed it went to my paternal Grandparents who had 3 sons. When they passed son #3 got 1/3, he helped his kids with school, cars, homes. Son #2 was deceased, so his 2 sons got his share, (where it would have gone anyway since he was loaded). They are good boys and will use it to secure a good future for their children, so that's neat. Son #1 is my Dad, he remarried 10 years ago. He and the new wife are spending it with abandon, brand new super high dollar cars, giving gifts to her kids, etc. The plan is that when Dad goes she will get it all, (as though she was wife #1 of many years), then when she goes it will all be divided equally by her 4 kids and I. Nice hugh? I've never met any of her kids, none of my Grandparents ever met any of her kids, they got their own inheritance from their Father already, ...? So basically the lives of 23 people were greatly enhanced, with me, (being the 3 oldest direct relative), being completely cut out. I was a fave or Great Grandparents as well as Grandparents who always said I was in their will, so I know for sure this isn't what they wanted, but there really isn't anything I can do about it.

When my Big Sis died she had put in her will that she wanted her car to go to our Stepdad, he'd floated her a personal loan for it and it wasn't repaid, so she wanted him to take the car and sell it, pay himself back. She had 2 large dogs, one newly adopted, that didn't get along with the older one. She wanted the newly adopted one to go to an Uncle who used to have a similar breed. He'd agreed behind the scenes to consider it when I asked him towards the end. I know he would have taken him in when I'd shown him the will. But my welfare queen, gold digger druggie niece showed up on the scene in Sis's last few days, and the will my Sis had made and just gone over disappeared. Niece begged for the car, said it was rightfully hers, convinced Mom and Stepdad to give it to her. (She beat it, wrecked and abandoned it-the cops called me to see who it belonged too.) No insurance, hadn't even titled it. Poor dogs got kept together in an outdoor kennel without the will that spelled it out, they're still not getting along, I feel for the newer one who's getting his butt kicked all the time by the older grumpy one. He could be a happy only dog on a farm in Iowa with great owners.

As for my Mom and Stepdad, (married 30 years), I am their only child. Yet Stepdad's big brother and nephew are always talking about what items belonging to my parents they expect to "inherit". (?) I've told them I don't care if it all goes to charity, make a stupid will! Will they listen? Nope! I dunno, I don't want heirlooms of mine going to gold diggers, or the pawn shop, so sure don't know why they would. I've spelled out certain items, and given notice on paper to little cousins, my heirs, and their parents so family items and my valuables stay in family hands. I know I could get clobbered in traffic tomorrow, so don't understand what the big deal is spelling a few things out to make it easier for everyone else. (?)
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Here is a cautionary word to the wise, so to speak, about what can happen. A very close friend of mine was divorced after many years of marriage after he forty-something husband (this was about 20 years ago) decided he liked cocaine and younger women. He was making a lot of money at the time, but as I expected might happen, once their marriage fell apart he did too. Her brother, a lawyer advised to her take settlement up front and skip alimony, expecting the same thing I did, to happen. He was never well employed again. The younger woman he got engaged to dumped him when she found out his ex wife (my friend) was getting most everything. He married a woman who was divorced for several years from a cardiologist. She (new wife) was a part time secretary at a church at the time they got married, and he had temporarily taken a stab at a job selling cars. Then her ex husband the doctor died. He NEGLECTED TO CHANGE HIS WILL WHICH LEFT HIS EX WIFE EVERYTHING. That meant their kids got nothing at all. So now his ex, who was his wife when he made up his will, was married to a deadbeat, who liked drugs. He relapsed into substance abuse and began spending, with his new wife, the two million dollars left to her. He quit work, then suffered a heart attack but did not die. His new wife's three kids were obviously livid. Their mother, who had never worked really, did not have a concept of how to manage this windfall and much of it was blown before they convinced her to divorce her dead weight new husband (took five years). Whatever money wasn't spent ended up divided two ways. Kids were, well, screwed. VERY IMPORTANT to update and keep current on wills, trusts, POA's, living wills. VERY.
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I also agree about
DPOA and POA, living wills, all of that. If the will is basically sound and those things are updated it shouldn't be all that bad. If it isn't that much money to worry about, although ideally the 'heirs of heirs' is not really great, it is a lot more important to make sure someone can act on their behalf in end of life situations.
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I also disagree that one of the 'kids' should be the executor. Depends on the family. It can be a terrible thing to 'do' to one of the kids or to oneself if the 'kid' isn't right.
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freqflyer, so right!!! We have an appointment each year with each other and then with our lawyer to update, refresh and review our trust and wills. Very important.
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It might be a good idea to get rid of the 2nd executor, the lawyer. If at all possible. How many children do they have, one of them should be an executor. Elder layer sound good, go for it. But do something soon.
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I have the same problem. My dad is 85 and says to me he has a will but my stepmother says he has nothing. I have a sister who believes she is entitled to everything and manipulates my dad all of the time with using her kids. I don't really know what the truth is except that I cannot control the situation. My suggestion would be to state your helpful opinion and then relax because that is all you can do.
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The most important papers for you right now are a Durable Power of Attorney and medical POA. Most likely someone will need to act on at least one of your parent's behalf (in the hospital or to help pay bills and manage care). I had one major financial institution tell me they wouldn't accept my parents DPOA because it was more than 2 years old and a second one refused because it was more than 5 years old.

Most people (7 out of 10 according to the U.S. Dept of HHS) will need some type of care and someone needs to have the ability to help step in and advocate for their needs. Take some smaller steps, and I would focus on getting the tools in place to help them while they are still here first.

Best wishes.
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YoungestOfSix, at 89 understanding and writing a Will might be beyond the ability of his mind. My dad's 89 and I'm so glad that he wrote his will almost a decade ago. On the other hand, my mother's will was so old (they were divorced) that I wish she had updated it after having it prepared in 1979. Parents can be a challenge in their old age. Does your dad have dementia?
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OMG I am feeling your frustration!
Neither of my parents even had wills (despite me trying EVERYTHING including colluding with mum to get a recommended will writing service guy come round 'to write mum's' in the hope he'd nab dad at the same time.

Dad is a nightmare. Says 'it doesn't matter because everything will go to your mother'
'What if you are both in a car accident?'
No response. My father, even when younger, always had a problem with the concept of writing a will.
I asked him gently why, was it because it was facing mortality? He said no and shut down the subject.

Mum 'started' to write hers, but it gathered dust.
Then mum died last year, intestate.
LUCKILY I dealt with the somicitor for dad and it was a fairly straightforward one as her half of the house passed to him, and she hardly had any savings (lots of low value ISAs and Life Insurance policies.. that was hard administrative working making sense of boxes of paperwork in envelopes spanning 30 odd years!)

So I got the lively lady solicitor to 'order' dad to come back in to write his will (she said she often saw husbands not live long after their wives die... I can see my dad dwindling in spirit in front if my eyes)
Yet he STILL makes any excuse not to write it!

I've shown him reports of what happens in probate cases, I've tried to appeal to the father in him saying none of us are going to be in a fit state to go through that when he passes (it would be left to me as 4 of my siblings are not up to dealing with all the paperwork at the best of times, and they have trust issues with my brother who could be of use as he has track record of dishonesty and self serving.

I have told my dad I have written a will (saying tgat this article reminds me to update it as the guardians for my son are now on the brink of divorce!!!)

I'm going to try to print out some more info from the internet about the importance of this. Leave it at his and hope he reads it!
I just need to burst into tears I think. Takes a lot to get through to my dad. And at 89 he gets SO easily overwhelmed, so I do understand how daunting it is for him.

He knows this is not anout money, but to try to prevent the chaotic aftermath of him dying intestate.

Now the lovely lady solicitor has left, so that does not help (he seemed to enjoy her brand of bossiness)

Old men... can't even lead that horse to the water!!!

Any tips gratefully received.
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FF, perhaps someone (maybe you, maybe someone else ) could read dad the wills, or could you have them enlarged for easier reading?
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