Children, including adult children of older parents, tend to assume that their parents have taken financial care of themselves. However, many older adults haven’t taken the necessary step of estate planning.
Those who have an estate plan or last will may have documents that are so outdated they would never hold up in court. How can you determine if your parents existing estate plan is good enough or if they need to go back to update it?
Does it accurately reflect family members, their status and assets?
One of the quickest ways to get a last will tossed out as inaccurate or outdated is for the document to include assets that people no longer have or to list deceased family members as beneficiaries. The earlier in life that your parents created their estate plans, the more likely it is that there will be terms included that no longer apply to those estates.
Were documents drafted by an attorney and notarized?
Some older adults will slap together a digital last will or virtual estate plan using forms downloaded off the internet. While those documents can look valid, they may not hold up in court.
When there isn’t a witness who can verify that they saw the testator creating the last will or a notary authenticating who signed it, the courts may toss out documents or plans if a challenge is brought by family members or beneficiaries. Digital estate plans are particularly vulnerable to such challenges.
There are other concerns as well if your parents create their documents after they already were diagnosed with a significant medical condition like Alzheimer’s disease. Familiarizing yourself with probate and estate requirements in Colorado can help you determine if your parents’ last wills can hold up under court scrutiny.