Your parents have likely spent their entire lives on supporting you and helping you to achieve stability and your dreams. As they enter the later part of their lives, it may be time for you to shift gears such that you are the one helping to take care of them. There are many ways you can help to support your parents, such as assisting with keeping their house maintained or transporting to medical appointments. One way you can help support your parent is to help establish a will.
One thing to keep in mind when helping your parent establish a will is to talk with them about their assets and their debts. When a will enters probate, the debts of the estate will be paid from the assets. The debts will be paid in a very particular order, with some debts receiving priority over others. That said, if there are more debts than assets in the estate, the assets could very well be completely consumed by payment of the debts. To protect from this, it is important to talk to a lawyer about asset protection.
Talking to your parents about what estate planning they have already accomplished. Creating an entire estate plan should be the goal, not just writing a will. With a proper estate plan, you can protect assets and make sure that your parents’ actual wishes are carried out. To that end, before moving forward drafting a will, it is essential to understand exactly what measures they already have in place. Failure to do this could result in conflicts between different estate planning documents, resulting in a total failure of the documents to accomplish the wishes of the deceased.
You will also want to talk with them about their wishes. Creating a will is not only about getting it drafted, it is also making sure the document accurately reflects the wishes of the person making the will. Especially if you are trying to complete drafting a will without seeking the advice of an attorney, provisions in the will could end up being ambiguous and have unintended consequences. Accordingly, like with asset protection, it is very important to consult with an experienced attorney.
We have extensive experience with estate planning. Call us today at (320) 299-4249 and let us help you.