Experienced. Resourceful. Effective.

Is it too late to write a will?

Many people feel that writing a will is something they can put off until a later time. As long as you or your loved one is alive, it is easy to rationalize waiting to decide how to divide the assets of an estate.

Life, however, is unpredictable. Whether it is sudden death or a severe illness, you or your loved one could end up in a situation in which will creation becomes impossible.

These are some of the conditions that could keep you or your loved one from writing a valid will.

Undue influence

Unfortunately, as people age, they become targets of all kinds of scams and schemes in illegal and unethical efforts to steal their money. In some cases, a friend or family member may appear supportive in someone’s life but could have an ulterior reason for becoming involved.

While there are many instances where people sincerely want to help, there are times when people take advantage of someone so they can inappropriately influence who inherits from their will. A person who has taken a renewed interest in your well-being or that of your loved one may suddenly find themselves in the position of being a significant recipient of assets through a will or trust.

Decreasing mental capacity

As people age, you may see changes in their ability to understand and interact with the world. The agile minded person of the recent past may gradually have a much more difficult time following complex negotiations or even simple directions.

Ideally, you and your loved ones should have estate plans in place before showing signs of decreased mental capacity. If cognitive tasks are becoming more difficult for you or someone you love to complete, it is essential to talk to a knowledgeable legal professional so that an enforceable estate plan can be set in place.

Consult with an attorney to outline how you want to distribute the assets you will leave behind. If a loved one does not have estate planning documents in place let them know they should speak with an attorney to take care of their estate plan while they are still able to do so. While it can be a challenging conversation, it is an opportunity to help your loved one establish a plan which supports their wishes.

FindLaw Network