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Mom is 80 years old, and dad passed on. She lives in Ohio. She said she does need a will because I'm the sole heir.

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Specifically, "protect the estate" from what?
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Your mother has cancer? Tell her you both will have better peace of mind by making sure everything is in order. Consult an Elder Law attorney.
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hondagw79, I agree with GardenArtists above, have an Attorney review what is in the Estate and how it is worded. The Attorney might suggest that your Mom have a Will drawn up, along with other legal documents. I would make an appointment with what is called an Elder Law Attorney.

If you have any siblings, it is better to have them in the Will... you never know if down the road one of those siblings devotes his/her time as Mom's caregiver. It would be sad if nothing from the estate was given to him/her.
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Are ALL her assets title jointly between your mother and you, with rights to survivorship? If so, she's probably right that she doesn't need a will. However, if you have any siblings or relatives who could possibly be considered heirs, she should have a will to enumerate her specific desires. No one knows if a distant relative will suddenly come forward after someone's death and challenge a will.

Play it safe, get a will done. And have an attorney review the inventory of assets and how they're titled.
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