I have been after my parents for years to get their legal affairs in order. They are both in their mid-80’s and my Dad’s health is not good. The main reason that they do not want their Wills done is because they want everything divided equally among their 4 adult children. The problem is that over the years, they have lent money to each of us and none of it was properly recorded. Because they do not know what they have given us, they don’t want to divide things up in their Wills now. I have tried to tell them that it does not matter what was given to each of us, just forget about the past and make the Wills today. They also won’t even go to a lawyer’s office to talk about these issues, just too much bother. They have several homes and several businesses still in place. They live in Toronto, so there are no shortages of lawyers, but they won’t go and see any of them. What should I do to get them moving on this very important issue? My siblings have given up trying to get them to act.
I feel your frustration and agree that they need to get their legal affairs in order. If they don’t, you will have lots of heartache and potential complications in the future. Contact a lawyer (perhaps as a referral from a friend or contact the Law Society of Upper Canada to find a local lawyer.) The website for the Law Society of Upper Canada is: www. lsuc.on.ca.
Once you have found a lawyer, explain the situation over the phone to the lawyer and see what they recommend on how to get this process started. I am sure that experienced lawyers will have seen this type of problem in the past and will have suggestions. You could also do some homework and ask each of your siblings how much they have received/paid back. This will help answer the money objection that seems to be holding your parents back. I expect having those numbers will help move the process along and your parents and a lawyer will be better able to talk through the money issues with greater clarity.
I also know lawyers in the GTA who will come to people’s homes, nursing homes etc. to discuss and prepare Wills. You have to keep up the battle to get your parents to meet with a lawyer and get their Wills prepared. I assume their Power of Attorney documents are also not in place, a lawyer can do those documents at the same time as preparing Wills. Because of our Power of Attorney project, we now have contacts with wonderful lawyers that I would be pleased to refer you to.