If your parent is getting older and they don’t have an estate plan, you might want to talk to them about that. Especially if you only have one living parent or if your parents have divorced, having an estate plan in place is very important for your family.
Encouraging an older loved one to create an estate plan can help them take control over their legacy. They still have time to think about what impact they want their life and resources to create for others.
However, you may find yourself worrying that they are actually too old to make testamentary documents at this point in their life. How old is too old for someone to make their own estate plan or will in California?
There is no upper age limit for legal rights
Typically, someone has to be an adult to assert all of their legal rights. Someone either must be 18 years of age or have achieved emancipated minor status to have testamentary capacity or the right to make a will. That right persists until someone experiences cognitive decline.
So long as someone’s mental acuity remains intact, they could start estate planning after their hundredth birthday if they wanted to do so. On the other hand, someone in their late 60s with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease may no longer meet the state standards for having testamentary capacity.
Obvious evidence of confusion/diminished mental capacity or a diagnosis with a condition like Alzheimer’s disease may end your parent’s right to make their own estate plan. Knowing the rules around estate planning can help you support your parent as they begin this important process.