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Old 11-16-2011, 06:26 AM
 
144 posts, read 100,535 times
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Default Why don't people write WILLS?

My parents both died this year. Mother was 88 and father was 95. Both died without wills, although a few of their 7 children had urged them to do so. My father would not hear of it. What is it that makes a person not write a will? My mother in law, also age 88, died this year without one. She had two children. (Yes, its been quite a year!)
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:28 AM
 
Location: New England
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They either don't want to spend the money to have a lawyer draw up a will, or they are in serious denial of their own death and it spooks them to think of it. No will is a nightmare for the family if any property and assets are left. Even young adults should have a will, and also a living will.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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They don't want to have to make any tough decisions, or possibly don't want to admit their own mortality.

Actually, there are cheap forms anyone can buy online these days to write out their own basic will. It's probably wise to use an attorney if your estate is of any significance, but the "can't afford a lawyer" reason is a pretty poor one.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
27,544 posts, read 19,876,217 times
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Uaually it's out of ignorance or understanding what wills are for. Yes some people think they'll die right after they make out a will. And yes you do not need a lawyer for a simple will. You can hand write one and have it notoraized, or get a will form at any office supply store and have it notarized also. If you have a sizeable estate you should have a lawyer draw up a will or a 'revocable trust' to spell out everything and to avoid estate and court problems.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Hills & Hollers of the Aux Arcs
18,702 posts, read 15,315,251 times
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Ignorance, denial, lack of consideration for family members, laziness, the attendant costs - there are likely as many reasons as there are people who neglect to take care of business.

Tomorrow my wife and I go to the closest National Cemetery and I turn in the necessary paperwork to "reserve" our space there - they've already told me they have plenty. Once that's done we will pre-pay cremation and transport to the cemetery for both of us and purchase the urns (and not through a funeral home). Our internment plans will then be a done deal. Next up, have new wills drawn up specifying those arrangements and dividing whatever estate is left equally between our combined seven children.

With those plans made (we already have POAs, advance directives, etc.) family won't have a thing they'll have to do or pay for and nothing to squabble over. We think it the responsible and caring thing to do.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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A dear unmarried friend had terminal cancer and even after picking out a final resting place, put off drawing up a will. Upon seeing a doctor, he was immediately sent to the hospital, but refused to sign a paper allowing his sister or brother medical power of attorney. He died without a will and it was a nightmare for his family.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Hills & Hollers of the Aux Arcs
18,702 posts, read 15,315,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellwood View Post
A dear unmarried friend had terminal cancer and even after picking out a final resting place, put off drawing up a will. Upon seeing a doctor, he was immediately sent to the hospital, but refused to sign a paper allowing his sister or brother medical power of attorney. He died without a will and it was a nightmare for his family.
Both my wife's parents and my parents - all long-deceased - had wills and/or revokable trusts established as well as pre-burial arrangements made and paid for. There was no confusion, no additional costs and we both really appreciated it. That's the example we're following and hope to instill in our children.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:38 AM
 
7,824 posts, read 4,690,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Both my wife's parents and my parents - all long-deceased - had wills and/or revokable trusts established as well as pre-burial arrangements made and paid for. There was no confusion, no additional costs and we both really appreciated it. That's the example we're following and hope to instill in our children.
I buried my father when I was 19 (he was 52), my mother when I was 29 (she was 59), and my oldest sister when I was 34 (she was 44). None of them had wills or preburial arrangements. I loved them all, and don't resent having to make arrangements in the aftermaths of their deaths, but it would have been far, far easier if my surviving sister and I didn't have to figure out what to do and how to pay for things within hours of their deaths. I think one of the best things you can do for your loved ones is write up a will and plan and pay for your burial years before you think you're going to need to. My grandma, who will turn 90 this year, made her burial arrangements in 1985. She pre-paid ... I can't remember how much it cost her, but I know it was less than $2,000. That was very kind of her to think of so many years ago. When my sister passed in 2010, she made sure to show us her papers and give us instructions on what to do when the time came.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
22,033 posts, read 16,871,713 times
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They would rather you fight over what you get after they're gone.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque
745 posts, read 1,125,050 times
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Perhaps it's easier to make a will or establish a trust when you are still young enough and in good enough health to view death as "something down the road." My sisters and I have tried to get my father to do something, but he won't. He is almost 90...my mother is the same age and has substantial dementia. Dad views any attempt to encourage him as a sign everyone is after his money. He has no will, no trust, no power of attorney, medical or otherwise. He has no burial plots...no one (including my mother) knows anything about where all his money accounts are. He seems to trust absolutely no one and has been that way as long as any of us can remember.

He seems to think that this is his way to control the situation and exert power, and can't see that by doing nothing, he will lose control of how things are handled. For some reason, he seems incapable of dealing with any of this stuff.

I've used myself as an example to try and talk with him. I've told him about my "death folder," what all it contains, and my desire to not require my wife and son to have to scramble around not knowing where anything is. I may as well have been talking to the wall.
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