When an Elderly Parent Forgets A Will

estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZAs children find themselves taking on the responsibility of caring for aging parents, the topic of estate planning often comes up. If you’ve found at that your elderly parent does not have a Will, it is a good idea to encourage them to create one. Reach out to an estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ relies on to get the job done right. If an elderly parent passes without a Will, dealing with their estate can quickly become expensive and complicated.

Why an Elderly Parent Needs a Will

Executor. If your parent makes a Will, they can appoint the person who will be responsible for carrying out their wishes and obeying the laws of the state. If they don’t make a Will, then the court will appoint someone

Beneficiaries. A Will lets your parent determine who receives what from their estate. It also allows your parent to determine who will NOT receive assets from the estate. Without a Will, state law will decide who inherits the estate.

Legal Fees & Frustration. Creating a Will minimizes the amount of legal and financial fees and frustrations the family will have to deal with during their time of grief.

Healthcare. An estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ can count on will often offer estate planning packages that include not just a Will, but also Healthcare documents. This might include a Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Will, and HIPPA authorization. As your parent ages, healthcare planning is just as important as financial planning.

When an Elderly Parent Forgets a Will

If an elderly parent forgets to create a will before passing away, then their estate will have to go through intestate probate. Traditionally, probate is the court-supervised process of proving the validity of a Will. When someone dies and they leave a Will behind, the court must determine the Will is valid. Once it is verified, the desires and the instructions of the deceased may be carried out by an appointed Executor.

As any estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ recommends can attest to, if an elderly parent dies without a Will, their properties and assets must go through what is called intestate probate. The family and friends of the deceased will have to petition the court to appoint an executor, and have the court clarify the succession of heirs. Each state has a different “intestate succession” laws, but usually the order of heirs to an estate is as follows:

spouse → children → parents → parent’s descendants (siblings)→ grandparents→ the state

In this example, the deceased elderly parent has no control over who manages their estate nor who receives assets from it.

Probate can be an expensive lengthy process, lasting anywhere from six months to a few years, depending on the complexity of the estate and the court it is filed in. As a result, an experienced estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ trusts becomes an invaluable asset to the family. Probate is also not a private process. The act of filing documents with the court makes the case and all associated filings public record. The thought of “airing dirty laundry” might be daunting to some families.

Hire an Experienced Attorney

Whether you are looking to help a parent set up a Will, or need help probating the estate of a deceased parent, consider meeting with an estate planning attorney Phoenix, AZ recommends. At Kamper Estrada, LLP, our experienced estate planning attorney can help guide you through the estate planning process and help set your family up for the future.