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Will Refusal: Supporting an Elderly Parent in Estate Planning

/17 Oct 2017
/By admin

To ensure that your loved ones uphold your wishes after your passing, it is beneficial to create your will.  It will be difficult for your family to determine what you would have wanted if there is not a will in place. This can leave family members to not only sort through the grieving process, but also your assets. It can be even more difficult when a loved one is facing a situation where their elderly loved one is not willing to write their will.

Reasons to Avoid the Will

You are probably wondering why an elderly parent may refuse to write their will. There are many reasons for avoiding putting the time into a will. The most common include:

  • Financial hardship
  • Falling ill and unable to write their will in time.
  • Procrastination
  • Not feeling they own anything that needs to be in a will
  • They do not want to face that they are nearing the end of their life.

In the event that your loved one passes without a will in place, you will find it difficult to carry out the division of their assets in the way they would have liked. Without a will in place, their assets will more than likely go through probate court, which can be a lengthy process. Although it may seem easier said than done, persuading an elderly loved one to complete their will may be rather challenging.

Take Small Steps

When working with an elderly parent on their will, starting with small steps will help to be the most successful in getting them to move forward. The following three measures may be helpful in starting the process:

  1. Designating a power of attorney
  2. Power of attorney can be included in a living will. Often, a close family member may hold power of attorney.
  3. Once power of attorney has been designated, the appointed will be able to look into the parent’s assets and financial situation. This may be helpful as power of attorney will also allow you to represent the parent.  

Obtaining an Estate Lawyer

An attorney such as the estate planning attorney Scottsdale AZ locals trust  may be helpful in providing information to the elderly loved one about what the process may look like if they die without a will in place. In meeting with them, the process can begin to move forward by appointing power of attorney, and beginning the initial stages of writing the will. A contested will following the death of a loved one, can be a long, drawn out process. By working with an estate attorney, the likelihood of the will being contested will be minimized.


A special thanks to our authors at Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys for their insight into Estate Law.