When parents don’t have a will, young people face challenges

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2021 | Probate

It is common to hear that it is never too early to plan for the future. Yet, many people – especially young adults – put off creating a will because they believe they have time to address these matters later in their lives.

However, what about the parents of these young adults? Most California families do not want to think about losing a loved one, but no one can predict the future. And the COVID-19 pandemic has left many families and young adults in situations they never expected.

Young adults facing sudden loss and overwhelming stress

Dealing with the loss of a parent is not easy at any age, whether it was the result of a terminal illness or a terrible accident. The grief can feel especially overpowering for young adults, who imagined they had much more time with their parents.

On top of that, losing a parent can also leave young adults facing considerable stress as they try to manage their parents’ estates and finances, as well as the probate process. The COVID-19 pandemic only emphasized this issue. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on several cases like this, with young adults struggling to do anything from locating their father-in-law’s wallet to obtaining a forbearance on their father’s mortgage.

Do your parents still need a will?

A significant percentage of adults across the country still do not have a will, or any other estate planning documents for that matter. This can lead to even more confusion for their young adult children dealing with probate.

Without a parent’s estate plan to guide them, young adults may have no starting point to:

  • Understand, manage or even locate assets and debts
  • Adhere to a parent’s wishes for their medical care or funeral
  • Access mail, financial accounts and even property
  • Begin probate

Taking any of these steps is stressful – and devastating – for anyone, but it can be especially when children are unprepared. No one wants to deal with such anxiety and uncertainty. And no parent wants to leave their child unequipped to handle their affairs or protect their wishes.

Estate planning is not always an easy topic to discuss, but it is worth it for children to discuss it with their parents, and ensure they know what to do to protect their legacy.

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