My mom is terminally ill and fading fast. My dad doesn't want to face death and will not make a will. What can I do to persuade him? - AgingCare.com

My mom is terminally ill and fading fast. My dad doesn't want to face death and will not make a will. What can I do to persuade him?

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I am confused. You say your mom is terminally ill but your dad won't make a will. In most States, a married couple hold their estate in common or jointly. This means that if your mom dies, her share of the estate automatically reverts to your dad. Your mom would require a Will if she wants to leave her share to someone other than your dad--like a charity or distant relative. But the real issue here is who holds Power of Attorney for your dad. Assuming he is currently handling all of your mom's financial affairs and he has a stroke while your mom is still alive, without PoA, neither you nor your siblings could conduct any financial transactions on behalf of your father--including paying medical bills. You would have to go to court just to get permission to write checks or use credit cards that are registered in your father's name. Doing so could be considered a felony in the eyes of the law. And if your dad should preceed your mom in death, this could open a whole host of problems for the family. If mom requires Assisted Living or Long Term Care in a nursing home they will not admit her unless 1) She has Long Term Care Insurance that will cover the cost or 2) the family can afford to pay the entire cost (private pay) or 3) they can place a lien on her estate to cover the cost. This will not be possible if there is no Will and ownership of the home etc can be contested in court.
For the sake of all concerned, you need to take action NOW. My father took care of all of this and I can tell you, his loving provision allowed me to focus my attention on both him and my mom when the time came. He even set up their house in a Living Trust so that ownership passed directly to me when he died. It did not have to go through probate.
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LI:

The AgingCare family has given you wonderful tips to take care of the will. ... And we'll also be here 24/7 to help you heal from within.

Here's a big hug from the Bronx, and don't be a stranger now.

-- ED
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get outside help, to try to make your dad understand reasons for making a will, while moms hanging on get hospice on board. their social workers and pastors are so great in helping people understand things that need to be done. do you have a lawyer friend or relative? dad just might listen to a third party. hugs to you-and mom and dad
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If your own will is already done, is there anything you can have re-worked to include mention of your Dad? If yes, and you let him know that you want him to be there when you communicate the change to the lawyer, it is a business transaction that you can use as a springboard to discussing what he wants and letting him know that he is the best person to be in charge of that, not a court of law, or warring family members.
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longisland14, If you haven't done your own will, make an appointment to have your will drawn up and ask your Dad to join you. If possible, find some way to weave his name into the will so that you can show him how painless it is, yet how important. The ideal might be to have your will and his drafted at the same time, using what you already know of him and talking it over with him so that he can make as many changes as he'd like. In person with an attorney might be worth the effort to allow him plenty of time to talk through his fears. It takes time, but it is worth it. I worked on my own will at the same time I invited my mother to work on hers. It was a great opportunity to talk through scenarios with each other. My parent wasn't thrilled, but we did talk comfortably and at length.
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I would encourage you to take him to an attorney who deals with elders and have the attorney explain what happens if there is not a will in place... My understanding is that the state recieves the persons assets if there is no will! I had to have a discussion with my parents about this. It is not easy and NOONE wants to face their own death or the death of a loved one. My Father passed away a month ago. He had everything in place for my Mother and my sisters and I, it has been very helpful. We miss him but still feel this loving provision for us!!!
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My mother-in-law still hasn't made a will, and I think it's because if she doesn't put it in ink, then she won't die. Weird but true. It's just a way of hiding from the truth that everyone has to die. I guess I would talk about how YOU are going to do YOUR will and what you think needs to be done for YOU. Just talk about it as though it's no big deal, just another thing to do like insurance for the car, making sure you have enough fire insurance on the house etc. Take the dread and fear out of the actual 'will' and see what happens. We finally got my mother-in-law to make one of her sons the executor of her estate and he and his wife also have the right to sign for her when it comes to selling her house, property etc. But still no will.
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Ask your father:
How would he feel if a Judge decided where his assets go.
Ask your father how would he feel if his children and family build walls against each other fighting over the estate.
Some states do not require an attorney to draft and sign a will. Example:New Jersey a will Does Not have to be made or signed by an attorney.
Answer: If you are NJ resident. Buy software Qucken "WillMakerPlus2010 or newer".
Read Quicken directions, complete all forms, print out will then ask your father 2 question above, let him make up his own mind and sign it.
Don't forget to have 3 neutral" witnesses sign it. If your fathers living and tax filling residence status is Not New Jersey check with your state to see if someone can write a will without an attorney.
How does your father look at you, neutral or not, perhaps have someone neutral and "Of Authority" speak with him.
Who does he respect? His Doctor, old friend, another sibling, maybe ask these people to talk to him.
At the end of the day he must feel it was his idea.
Theodore Roosevelt once quoted: "Motivational is when you can convince someone that it was their idea in the first place".
Good Luck,
Experienced Estate Planning Sibling.
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Could you draw up a basic will so that both your parents are covered and ask them to sign it? I am not suggesting you fool your father - show him the will and tell him this will preserve his assets rather than have the state assign where they should gol. Perhaps if the will is right in front of him and takes no effort on his part he will be willing to sign.
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Hi Nicole: I would suggest that you bring in Hospice Care for support for everyone...they are a wonderful agency, and probably will have a solution to your query. As an alternative, I would conact your local ageny on aging. Since I do know know her illness-I do not know where else to suggest.
I do hope you find the type of support you need-at such a difficult time.
Hap
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