What do I need to know about estate planning for an elder relative? Is there a good book or information out there to help my Mom with her will and estate planning? She is 75 years old and has asked me to be her executer of her estate.




I usually post responses that often have a theme of 'take personal responsibility' and do your homework. But, I'm a believer in consulting a lawyer (of course, one that specializes in elder law) to handle will and estate planning. There are different laws among the states, and it's too easy to leave something out of a will that should be noted. It also depends on how complex your mom's finances are, and if other family members are involved.


Now, having stated that, I still believe in doing some homework, which you are asking about.


Planning Your Estate: Ten Things You Should Know ... - Law


AARP - Estate Planning - Living Wills, Trusts, Inheritance ...


Do I Need Estate Planning? - The State Bar of California


(This last link is for California, but I believe it contains a lot of good info in general)


It is always recommended that you consult an estate planning lawyer with experience in drafting wills before attempting to make or interpret a will.


Your local probate court or the probate court that your mother's estate would go through when she dies would also be a good resource about a role as an executor or personal representative. Although they cannot give legal advice, they do have information and answers about administering an estate.




Yes, I agree that you should contact an estate planning attorney, for example:


It would be a good idea to search for a local elder law attorney in your area on the NELF website.


The National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) is the only national organization certifying practitioners of elder and special needs law. There are nearly 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys across the country.


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