Can somebody be too old to get a will?

It may be hard to believe, but seven out of ten Americans do not have a will. By writing a will, you’re letting your family and other loved ones know who should have your money, property, and other possessions after your death. It also allows you to name an executor, the person(s) who will be in charge of handling your estate as per your instructions.

Unfortunately, many people discover that their elderly family members have not prepared a will. So, the question then becomes when is a person too old to get a will? Under the laws of most states, a person is considered to be competent when it comes to signing documents such as a will if he or she can meet the following criteria at the time of signing:

  • The person understands the nature and extent of his or her property
  • The person remembers and understands who his or her relatives and descendants are and can articulate who should inherit his or her property
  • Understands what a will is and how it disposes of property
  • Understands how all these things are related to each other and come together to form a plan

An attorney must meet with the individual in question to try and determine his or her mental capacity before preparing a will. This is very important in preventing a will contest and invalidation of the will after the signer’s death.

The time is now

Having a will is probably one of the most important things that you can do for both yourself and your loved ones. A will makes the process of settling your estate less stressful and time-consuming. Without a will, all your assets will be distributed according to the California laws of intestate succession and not according to your wishes. And, lastly, a will is an important document to have if you have children or other family members who depend upon you for financial support.

So, the time is now to start the process of estate planning and to get a will if you haven’t already done so. Technically, you’re not too old to sign a will. If you’re physically unable to sign, you may sign an “X” in place of a signature if it’s properly witnessed or direct someone to sign on your behalf. The big question is whether or not you meet the criteria to be considered mentally competent to sign a will.

Helping family

How old you should be when you get a will is a personal decision, but putting off making a will can have tragic consequences, especially in cases of an unexpected disability or death. To help reduce the stress on your family members, contact the Law Office of David W. Foley, located in San Diego, to discuss your finances and to draw up a will stating how you want your belongings – assets, property, and other personal possessions — to be distributed after death.

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