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I recall meeting with a man who asked me if it was too late. I could not give him the assurance he wanted. His mother was a stroke survivor; and recently had a serious fall. These are two of the most common reasons seniors need long term care; and both can occur in an instant. Seniors make up almost two thirds of those hospitalized for a stroke. Similarly, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for seniors.

In this case, however, the issue was different. His mother intended to make some significant changes to her will but had not done it yet.

Unfortunately, her son was not sure if his mother still had the mental ability to change her will. If she signed a new will, would it be valid? Before I could answer that question, we had work to do, and the answer may not be what he was hoping for.

Idaho law allows any person of “sound mind” to create a will. So, what is a sound mind? A person has a “sound mind” if that person understands the document to be signed is a will and the purpose of a will. Additionally, he or she must understand, without prompting, the nature of the property he or she is giving, the people who will be receiving that property and his or her relation to them.

We all know that circumstances can change in an instant. The complications of life, such as failing health for us or a loved one, can occur at any time. Once that happens, our options to adjust our estate plans may be gone. As a result, some people may receive an inheritance that was no longer intended for them. Conversely, those who were intended beneficiaries may be left out.

As your wishes change, your estate plan must as well. Come to a free presentation to find out how a few simple steps will help ensure your estate is handled the way you intend.