How to help your aging parent create a will

No one wants to think about and prepare for a parent passing. One way to make this a less stressful time is by making sure your parent has a will in place. This simple step can help eliminate a lot of issues so you can avoid familial conflict and spend time bonding instead as you grieve together.

Although creating a will is not the only step in your parent’s estate planning, it is an easy place to start. And the sooner you start, the better.

Get legal guidance

The first step is to hire an estate planning lawyer to assist you before you begin drafting any documents. Having legal help from the get-go ensures you create the will according to Florida law and do not leave anything important out. This will help prevent delays and disputes and save you money.

The additional benefit of having an attorney is that this legal professional will be familiar with the content of the will and your parent’s wishes, which knowledge can come in handy during probate, administration and contestation.

Create the will

Sit down with your parent and your lawyer to discuss what you want the will to include, such as:

  • An executor of the estate
  • Guardianship for any minor children or adults with special needs
  • The distribution of assets
  • Disinheritance
  • Funeral plans

Your lawyer can advise you on other information you should add based on your parent’s circumstances. If your parent already has a will, have the attorney review it to make sure it is current and correct.

Discuss further estate planning

Some wishes your parent may want are not suitable to put in a will but require different legal documents to ensure validity. For example, your parent may want to name a power of attorney, create a living will, establish a trust or set up a business succession plan. Your lawyer may be able to assist you with all these matters to develop a comprehensive estate plan that will help your parent’s end of life be more peaceful.