Next Avenue: Do your parents have a will? Is it up-to-date? How do you even ask?

by | Sep 20, 2022 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from My mother told me many times over the years that she had a will, and I believed her. When she died, we discovered that her will was 40 years old — and completely useless. To start, she had never signed the copy we found, and the man named to be executor had died a decade before she did. Grandchildren born after she wrote the will were not mentioned, and items left to some people had long ago been passed on to others.

Such problems are not uncommon, because many older adults and their children don’t want to talk about death. Of course, you could simply ask your parents or others about their wishes, but how do you make sure the transition after they have died is smooth, without sounding harsh or greedy? Read: My mother’s husband has two children. What happens to my inheritance if my mother dies first? Will my stepfather’s family inherit money from her estate?Who needs a will? “The question in so many minds is, what happens if my parent dies without a will? The short answer is, it depends,” says Rebecca Goldfarb, estate planning and elder law attorney, and co-founder of Goldfarb & Luu, a law firm in Tarzana, California. “If you die with very few assets an …

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