By Ann Ruckdaschel
One of the more difficult conversations between parents and their children is concerning wills. Confronting one’s last wishes and distribution of a lifetime of assets can be a difficult thing for any parent to get their heads around.
Surprisingly, most people fall into one of two groups, those that are intestate (with no will), and those with an outdated will.
So, first and foremost, is there a will and when was the last time it was updated? This is especially important for those of us who are “middle-aged” and our children are no longer living at home, as we often don’t like thinking of those things. Now that my oldest is closer to 30 than 20, it would probably make more sense to have him as my Power of Attorney than my 90 year old mother! What I’m trying to say is, does the will reflect today’s reality or is it still reading as if it were written 20 years ago? If it reads old, then it’s time to amend or replace the will with one that more closely relates to today.
If you (or your parents) don’t have a will, get one! You can see an attorney, use an online service, or write one yourself. Most states do have laws regarding the disposition of assets when someone dies intestate, but if you have any assets at all, and want a say in how they are distributed, you need a will. You will also need to designate an Executor. There are those that will tell you to designate a family member, and those that will tell you the opposite. It really depends on your family dynamics, but the choice is yours.
It’s also never too early to start thinking about who you want as Medical and Financial Powers of Attorney in the event you don’t have the capacity to make decisions. Whoever you choose, make sure they know what your wishes are in terms of a Do Not Resuscitate order and any other life sustaining measures.
If you’d like to get more information about this and other topics covered in this series, or just don’t know where to start, Prairie Rose Care Management is here to help. Contact us to arrange for a brief consultation to get your questions answered.