Julie Hall is an expert in dealing with personal property from the Depression era. Estate dissolution and helping grieving families make appropriate decisions during the estate settlement process are her specialties. She is a certified personal property appraiser, an estate sales professional, a residential content removal specialist, and a broker of fine items. As owner of The Estate Lady®, LLC, she brings 18 years of experience to families facing the overwhelming task of dissolving the family home.
Question: My mother refuses to have a last will and testament drawn up. She doesn’t want to hear about the ramifications if she died without a will. It hurts me to think she will not take care of this matter. How can I get her to listen?
Answer: You are certainly not alone in your concerns for your mother. For each of us, facing our own mortality can never be a pleasant thing. Yet preparing a will and other legal documents is perhaps one of the greatest gifts we can give our loved ones. When you prepare a will, you ensure that things are done according to your wishes when you pass away.
I recommend that you contact an attorney or paralegal. While I am not one, I can share with you many situations where I am brought into an estate for which the individual died intestate (without a will). What a complete nightmare! I wouldn’t wish that horrible mess on anyone, let alone my loved ones.
The attorneys/state get deeply involved, creditors hassle the family, family members are in a constant state of unrest, and any money from the estate often goes right out the door, instead of going to loved ones. It is grueling and time consuming, not to mention distressing and miserable! When you don’t have a will, you potentially doom your heirs to years spent closing your estate. Why would you knowingly do that?
We go to great lengths to preserve our heirlooms and other personal property. Since we can’t take them with us when we pass away, doesn’t it make sense to make preparations for all that you worked hard for in your lifetime and protect it with a will or trust and other legal paperwork? It makes sense to me!