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Can my elderly parent refuse to write a will if I’m their primary caregiver?

Upholding your parent’s final wishes may be challenging to do if they did not write a will detailing instructions for you to honor. There are many things to consider in addition to who should inherit which of their possessions. Do they want their remains to be cremated? If so, where would they like their ashes spread? If they want their remains buried, do they have a plot location in mind?

Without an estate plan or a last will in place, it can be difficult to know with absolute certainty what their final wishes were. To further complicate matters, it’s not unusual for surviving family members to disagree as to what they believe their loved one wanted. And in the absence of written instructions, it makes it easier for one or more family members to overrule what others believe the deceased wanted. However, what can you do if your elderly parent refuses to write a will or plan their estate?

Common Reasons for Why Many Are Reluctant to Write a Will

Unfortunately, it’s all too common for people to procrastinate when it comes to planning their estate or writing a will. Another scenario is that a person may have written a will many years before but it’s hopelessly outdated and will not be of much help after they pass. Why do so many fail to plan for their inevitable passing? Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • They feel they cannot afford to hire an estate planning attorney. Though the cost is nominal and it’s a worthwhile investment for their surviving loved ones, even those with a comfortable retirement income may feel it is out of their reach.
  • Simple procrastination. By helping them with the process, such as offering to find a respected estate planning attorney, this may motivate them to move forward.
  • They do not believe they have enough assets of any value to warrant writing a will. Even if their assets are not necessarily of financial value, they may have items of sentimental value.
  • They have become incapacitated in some way and do not understand the importance of writing a will.
  • They are reluctant to acknowledge that at some point they will pass away.
Estate Planning Attorney

When an elderly parent refuses to write their will or estate plan, talk to them about the reason for their reluctance. With patience and compassion, you may be able to address their concerns. You can also consider paying for the cost of writing their will. If they are still reluctant, let them know that an estate planning attorney can sit down with them and explain the pros and cons of planning their estate. They can also review the ramifications of not having a current and valid will or estate plan. In addition, if they learn about options such as a living trust they may feel more comfortable iterating their final wishes with the help of an estate planning attorney.

So if you’ve asked yourself, “can my elderly parent refuse to write a will if I’m their primary caregiver?” Contact an attorney from Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC today for more information on how to deal with a parents estate plan.