Whether it is your spouse or an elderly parent, it can be frustrating when a loved one refuses to write a Will. If you’ve found at that your loved one does not have a Will, it is a good idea to encourage them to create one. However, confronting the socially awkward topics of money and death can often cause someone to stubbornly refuse to create a Will. Read on for some tips on how to handle a loved one who is refusing to write a Will.
Why Your Loved One Should Write a Will
Creating a Will gives your loved one the power to determine what happens to their property and assets when they die. A comprehensive Will can:
- Allow them to appoint an executor. This person will be responsible for carrying out their wishes and obeying the laws of your state.
- Otherwise, the court will appoint someone
- Name the beneficiaries who will inherit their estate
- Otherwise, state law will decide who inherits the estate
- Name the beneficiaries who will NOT inherit their estate
- Otherwise, and potentially against their desires, state law will decide who inherits their estates
- Minimize legal frustration during an emotional time
- Otherwise, the probate process can become stressful and expensive
How to Talk to Your Loved One About Writing a Will
If things get tense when you bring up writing a Will, there are a few steps to take to make your loved one more comfortable with the idea:
- Consult with other family members, like your adult children or siblings. You might even agree to all get your Wills done at the same time, so your loved one doesn’t feel so isolated and singled out in the experience.
- Be honest about your motives. Make it clear why you are broaching the subject. Your motivation should be focused on your seeing your loved one’s wishes through and minimizing legal costs and frustrations after their death.
- Be prepared. Do some research on how to create a Will, what it costs, and the pros/cons of writing one. Coming to the conversations with resources will better allow you to explain why you think creating a Will is so important and explain that the process isn’t as complicated as they might think.
- In the course of pursuing this topic, listen to your loved one and be sensitive to their hesitation and fears. It can be difficult to talk about finances and death, and it may take a while to warm them up to the idea.
You Can’t Force Anyone to Write a Will
In the end, you can’t force anyone to write a Will. You can only provide them with information and resources. Even if you get them into a lawyer’s office, they are still the one to sign the document.