Mary was concerned that she would soon need nursing home care. She did not want her funds used up in long term care expenses so she gave her only son, Joe, her life savings of $100,000. One year after giving Joe the money Mary experienced a major health crisis and needed to move into a nursing home.
You would be surprised how many times we get that call in our office. A Daughter or son calls and wants us to prepare a “simple” power of attorney for the parent. But it doesn’t always work out. Before anything else we ask, “Why is your parent not calling?” The answer to that question will tell us so much.
One day, a few years back, Nancy came to us to protect her mother, Betty’s, last $25,000. Betty, had been in a nursing home for three years and had used all of her savings except for that little bit. Nancy wanted to hold it back to use for Betty to buy clothes, a special chair and pay travel expenses so her disabled brother could visit Betty.
Years ago all attorneys, it seemed, kept their clients’ original wills and estate planning documents in a vault in the office. But at that time most people lived in the same house or town until they died. Today, people are so much more mobile, moving from one community to another, and one state to another, even late in life.
Every so often I come across a DIY will and wonder, why do people do this?
I know that wills look pretty simple. I also know that there are plenty of form wills out there. In fact we often hear the term, “A Simple Will” which might lead the unwary to believe, easy, or easy for anyone to do.