No property is involved. Bank accounts were setup with beneficiaries or joint with adult child. Only other property is clothing and small amount of furniture. There is enough money to pay outstanding bills. No one is disputing claims.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
There can be other advantages or reasons for a will. So while nothing in your post tells me there is a reason for your parent to make one, I'd want to ask more questions to determine what planning is (and is not) necessary.
If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at firstname.lastname@example.org . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.
Estate Planning Attorney
Yes, your parent still a Will even if you are not aware of any need for it at the moment. Why? Because, you never know for sure what will come up that may require an estate administration. For example, the government may provide a benefit to the estate, etc. In this case, you can either have a well done Will to make the process simple and inexpensive or your parent can go naked and end up having the family deal with much more in hassle and expense. Why play it risky when a well done Will solves the potential future problem.
5 lawyers agree
Criminal Defense Attorney
I would suggest that your parent go and speak with an attorney so that the attorney may review their entire situation. In general it is always best to have a will. Just because there is no conflict now does not mean there will not be one later.
I agree with my colleagues that a Will is seldom a bad idea. I would only point out that, under the facts as stated, a Will is unlikely to ever be used. A Will only governs and controls probate assets. If all of the assets are jointly held or have beneficiaries designated, then there would be no need to open an estate, and the assets in question would also bypass a Will.
It is a good idea to meet with an estate planning attorney, anyway, because there are other estate planning documents needed, even if your parent decides a Will is not. For example, your parent should have a durable power of attorney for financial and medical matters. This will eliminate the need for guardianship/conservatorship proceedings in probate, if your parent ever becomes incapacitated.
*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.
1 lawyer agrees