no matter what I say my dad will not make out a will... without one I know he could lose a substantial amount of money and it could take forever to probate his estate. Does anyone have an idea about something I can say to show him what a mistake this is?
If your dad has a pet you could show him a will is a way to ensure the animal is lovingly cared for should something happen to him. The results of dying without a will are different depending on what state you live in. At http://www.mystatewill.com/ you can use “intestacy calculators” to determine who will likely get his money if he dies without a will.
I'm assuming your dad is an old/er man now would that be right? He may have some agenda around making out a will, some people can't handle it. I'd suggest a third party to mediate. Maybe someone who works with the elderly. If he's a much younger man, give him a break. None of us like to think about 'the end' do we.... far too spooky.
Tell him he has a will already ... though it may not say what he wants it to. That is, if he dies without a will his estate will be handled by the court under a statutory will each state has. On the other hand you may want to read your state's will in the state statutes. If his estate and beneficiary issues are simple them you may find it adequate
Often a will does not help save money, other than attorney fees. Beneficiary designations may avoid probate completely, depending on the kind of assets - retirement plans, bank accounts, insurance proceeds are examples. In some states he could have beneficiary designations (TOD or Transfer on Death) on houses and cars. A useful step, if he will cooperate or you know enough, is to make a list of assets, and be very clear how each one is titled and if it has a beneficiary designation, and if it could have one.
I agree with DanJ. Try to have an attorney help you with the task of convincing your father - there are attorneys who specialize in estate planning, and that would be the type to seek out. You may both come to learn that even a will is not sufficient - you may find you want to go with a living trust. Definitely seek out an attorney's help.
If he doesn't have a will, he probably doesn't have other important documents such as a durable power of attorney for health care either. In most states, that can be a serious problem if he suffers a protracted illness or incapacity. Normally, such documents are prepared in conjunction with estate planning documents, but they could be stand-alone documents as well. Perhaps a "living" document that specifies his wishes during his lifetime would be a good start. Beyond that, I also agree with Dan J.
Getting the parents to write their will and other important documents are kinda tricky. They may think you are after their assets which is not good. I like the suggestion given by DanJ which is to consult him for advice/input during the process & then, offer your attorney's services as a gift to him
This is not an easy position for you to be in, having to speak to your father about such a thorny subject. However, you’re right in terms of what he stands to lose in terms of money and time to probate the estate, not to mention the heartache and headache this will cause you and other family members too.
As per the experts at Forbes.com, if you die without a will, your assets will be divided up according to the law in your home state. The state will only act according to law, which may mean the final decisions/divisions of assets will not necessarily be in the best interest of surviving family members.
Use this calculator to show your father what that might look like (what percentage of the estate goes to whom) should he continue refusing to make out a will, besides the pressure it puts on your and the rest of your family: http://www.forbes.com/static_html/2007/intestacy/calculator.html.
Perhaps you could talk to him about why he is opposed to creating a will. What’s the reason for his refusal? Maybe it’s something as simple as addressing a fear about death or a concern about what will happen to his family after he passes at the root of this refusal.
- submitted by Boomerater Staff
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