Should People Update Their Wills After a Health Emergency?

Elder Law Vestavia, AL: Updating Wills

Once you’ve had an elder law attorney draft a will, is there any reason to change it? Health emergencies can create situations that make it important to update a will. Here’s what your family needs to know.

A Health Emergency Leads to a Spouse’s Death

Suppose your mom and dad have drafted their will together. Then, your dad dies. It’s important for your mom to go to her elder law office to have her will updated. First, this ensures that your dad’s portion of the estate is handled properly. Second, it updates the will to cover any changes to the beneficiaries now that your dad is no longer living.

Your mom will now be the primary holder of all assets, so she’ll want to go over the assets and make sure they still exist. As your dad is no longer the primary beneficiary, your mom needs to determine who the new main beneficiary is.

There’s a Falling Out

As much as you want your family to remain tight, a health emergency can lead to arguments, especially over care plans. Your dad had a stroke and your mom, as POA, had to make long-term care plans that her eldest son disagreed with. He hasn’t spoken to her since.

Your mom has reached out multiple times, but he’s changed his number and his letters are being returned. She needs to update her will to remove him from being the executor. It can be a painful decision to make, but it’s important that your mom has an executor who she trusts. 

Finances Change

Even with insurance, healthcare costs can bankrupt older adults. Your mom had to sell a number of assets or properties in order to pay for hospital bills. If the list of assets has changed, it’s a good idea to talk to an elder law attorney and update her will.

In addition to changing the will, her attorney may be able to help her protect some of her assets from any claims or when qualifying for Medicaid if it comes to that. The more help she has with long-term care planning and asset protection, the better it is. Arrange an appointment to go over her will and discuss these other protective measures.

Family Structure Changes

No one wants to think about it, but a health crisis can lead to major lifestyle changes. Your mom may take a health crisis as a wake-up call that she needs to live her life to the fullest. If she decides to start traveling, purchase a home in a new country, or sell her home and downsize. All of these changes should have her going back over her will and making changes where needed.

It’s important to update a will after situations change. If a health issue has removed assets in order to cover the medical bills, left one parent a widow/widower, or created fallouts with beneficiaries, talk to an elder law specialist to make sure the current will still meets your current needs.

If you or a loved one need assistance with Elder Law in Vestavia, AL contact The Alabama Elder Care Law Firm, LLC today. (205) 390-0101