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Talking to parents about wills and other stuff.

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Yesterday I had to rush up to LA after my clinicals because my mom had some problems with her blood pressure and ended up having to be admitted into the ER for a few hours. She's fine now and has to be on some blood pressure meds and have some changes in her lifestyle (thing is my mom eats pretty healthy, but her stress levels are kinda high).


These last two years, I have seen my parents slow down a lot and have some things happen to them. Last year my dad fell down and hurt himself pretty badly (he cut himself just right above the eye). Thank God my brother was home and he was able to take care of my dad, take him to hospital, etc. My mom just freaked out. My mom broke her wrist earlier this year and has been having arthritic problems with her left leg and hip, and now her blood pressure.


Last year I had a talk with my brother about whether my dad has a will or other things written concerning his and my mom's wishes in case of death or serious illness. My brother talked to my dad about it and got into an argument about it. My dad refuses to write a will or even discuss about anything in case that he or my mom dies or is incapacitated.


I know that I sound weird for wanting to discuss this with them. I dont know how to approach them and I would rather my brother deal with this (if my dad does finally write a will, I want my brother to be executor, NOT ME). I am not after their money, but I am afraid of the headaches that may come when they die. They are not young anymore. My dad is in his mid 70's and my mom is in her late 60's. My dad refuses to retire and wants to teach till the day he dies.


If you were me, how would you approach your parents about stuff like that. My dad got into an argument when my brother tried to talk to him about it. My dad's way of dealing with his aging is to throw himself into his work. My mother's health scare yesterday affected my dad, but he doesnt want to talk about it. He would rather do his research, write his papers, etc.


I want my parents wishes to be known, but I dont want to sound crass about it.


I know I sound weird about this.

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Yeah, it is hard to approach people on things like this. I have always been fortunate in that my mother has always been very good at regularly updating her will and also keeping me in the loop on it as to my role (ie guardian, executor).


I used to work in financial planning and there are is an extremely high number of people like your parents whom do not make wills, or do not want to approach it; so they are not that unique in that respect!


It may be best that both you and your brother sit down and talk with them, not about making them make a will maybe, but about a living will, in terms of what they want YOU to do if they cannot make decisions for themselves, and also let them know YOUR wishes. If you can show that it is something that as a family you want to discuss and that involves not only THEIR wishes but your own, it may be less scary. If you can get them started on the living will, moving to the estate planning may not be as scary. Let them know what you have done in case (because whatever your age and health...you never know what can happen).



It is about them also being able to take care of each other, if one of them is unable too either due to health or death as well.


While ideally it is good to have these things professionaly written to account for all sorts of variabilities, at least get a rough one written, witnessed and signed.

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It's not weird at all, and anyone who cares for their older parents should discuss it with them. Right now I manage my mother's affairs and have durable power of attorney. She knows I'll be there for her fo the rest of her life so she's kept safe. By the same token, as the executor of her will, I won't have to wrestle on the floor with my siblings. It's in writing for all to see.


To leave it up in the air isn't fair to the children or them. They need to establish their wishes while it's a simple matter. If one becomes mentally incompetant, who will know what they wanted?

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I don't know how to approach them about it. Even though my dad is close to me, he seems to respect my brother more (mainly because he is the son), so I would rather my brother approach them about it. My brother can get hotheaded about things and the last time he tried to approach my dad about it, my dad got into an argument about it and said that he had time later to take care of a will and stuff.


I guess as people get older, they dont want to think about their ageing and getting closer to death. I know my parents dont. My mom hates to celebrate her birthdays and she refuses to count how old she is. The only reason I know is because I had to help her deal with some medical insurance issues. She wanted me to call for her (she doesnt speak English real well) and she gave me her birthdate. If I were to ask her what her age was, she wouldnt be able to really tell me or she would just get mad at me about it. My dad refuses to celebrate his birthday or realize that he is aging.


I dont know when the best time to approach them is. It is like talking to a brick wall with them when it comes to this stuff. My brother doesnt want to deal with it either. I think everybody wants to think that they are immortal.


I have seen what happens when people die without a will. Lawyers get involved, things get convuluted and it becomes an expensive mess.


Yesterday, while I was at the hospital, I talked to my dad a bit about this but he didnt want to deal with it. He was just happy that mom was ok. Then he wanted to go home and deal with his own stuff in his own little world.


I dont know.

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I don't know what to say. I think your parents are being incredibly irresponsible.


Read some stuff by Suze Orman. She has a lot of books on financial planning. Try googling her, and see if you can't find if she has a way to encourage an aging parent to draw up a will, living trust, etc.... A will may not be the right option for your parents. I think they would also have to sign a separate document, a durable power of attorney for health care.

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My parents do need to draw up a will, I would think, and a durable power of attorney for healthcare. My parents own a house and some property as well as some other things and if there is no will, everything would have to go into probate, that I know. As for a durable power of attorney, I would rather them take care of that now. Both of them have some health problems and what happened to my mom yesterday, makes it very apparent. My parents refuse to deal with it, esp my dad. My mom is open to writing a power of attorney thing, but she doesnt want to do it without my dad.


Have any of you had to deal with parents who WERE reluctant to write a will or a durable power of attorney? If so, how did you convince that it was in their best interest to write one.


I guess my parents dont want to face their aging and their mortality.

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My mom is funny. I know she has one, but she refuses to talk to me about it. Her sister has possession of it. My mom is pretty superstitious that way, and I bet your parents are also.


I don't know.... I mean, just look at the Terry Schiavo case. Her husband's word wasn't enough, if Terry had her wishes in writing, none of those years of court battles and drama would have ever happened. And she was young, and it happens all the time. people get in car wrecks, become incapacitated.


I would just be honest with them. I mean, they AREN'T going to live forever, and it's important that they have some kind of plan so that you and your brother aren't in the middle of a mess.

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