While discussing estate plans with parents may be uncomfortable, doing so could help avoid significant problems in a California probate court. Older parents might not have the most comprehensive estate plans, and aging adults facing health issues could pass away. Dying without a will might prove highly problematic for surviving children, whereas drawing up a will may ensure the estate will be better managed.
Aging parents and estate plans
When someone dies without a will, the state’s intestate laws dictate how probate works. The outcome might not be even close to what parents want for their children, so drawing up a valid will that reflects the testator’s true wishes seems advisable. Additionally, the will could name the preferred person to handle executor duties, which might eliminate potential problems.
Discussing estate plans with parents allows adult children to review any current written estate-related documents. Although someone may engage in estate planning, they may still need to do things correctly. A will could be invalid because it does not meet state statutory requirements. If a will proves invalid, it can be rewritten to make it legally binding.
Other elements to an estate plan
Taking the time necessary to discuss estate plans with parents may allow the children to determine if other documents are necessary. When a parent can no longer manage their finances, they can grant Power of Attorney to a responsible child. A POA agent could file a parent’s taxes, pay their bills and represent them in other matters.
Healthcare-related issues might be concerning. Creating a healthcare proxy document would allow someone to make medical decisions for an incapacitated person. Having a responsible person ready to make such decisions may prevent many stressful problems if an unexpected emergency occurs.