I have a step-father in Kalamazoo, MI. Before my mother passed about 35 years ago, they had a Will prepared in Michigan. It states that once both parents (my mother & step-father) are deceased, I, as the only child of my mother (my step-father has none) am the Executor of the Will, if I am deceased, then the Estate is split between my 2 children. He is 93 years old, owns his own house, and still drives. When I speak with him on the phone, at times he seems fine, and other times he is "not all there" or does not understand me. We are very worried that his mental condition may get worse. I currently reside in Germany and I am 65 years old. My 2 children live in Florida. We all plan on a visit to Kalamazoo in March of 2010. What best recommended course of action, legally speaking, we should take concerning his needs for now and in the future? And is his Will, which was done at a Law Firm in Michigan still good?
1 Answer from Attorneys
I recommend that your step-father consult with an experienced estate planning / elder law attorney. The legal planning done 35 years ago may accomplish the desired objective, however, since there have been many changes. There is no way to express an opinion about a legal document without first reviewing it. In addition, even if the Will is still effective, what about financial and medical power of attorney? These are very important and can help avoid guardianship or conservatorship if something happens to him and he needs someone to pay his bills or make medical treatment decisions. Further, there is also planning to help protect your step-father and his estate. An experienced estate planning / elder law attorney should be well equipped to advise you of such planning options.
Sanford J. Mall, JD, CELA*, VA Accredited Attorney
*Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by
the National Elder Law Foundation
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