My father is terminally ill with abdominal cancer.


My father is terminally ill with abdominal cancer… doctors are not sure how much longer he has – in November of 2008, they gave him 6-months – today, he is still functioning (cancer is growing slowly), and we can only hope he has another year.

My concern (question) is that he is very private person, and will not talk about anything…. he won’t even tell us what he wants after he passes away (memorial service, funeral, burial, cremation, etc…he just says do what’s in your heart, which is very difficult for us). He does not have a Living Will nor does he have any desire to create one.

My parents divorced 30 years ago, and he never remarried – it’s just me and my sister. His parents have passed away, and he has one estranged brother. When I asked him about a Will – he said there’s no need for one because the law will divide his money and property between his two children, and it’s as simple as that… Is this true?

Any advise is greatly appreciated during this difficult situation we are faced with.


2 thoughts on “Hi,

My father is terminally ill with abdominal cancer.

  1. Assuming that there are no people who claim to be long lost spouses or children, your father is correct and the estate will be divided between the two children. However, it is probably better to create an estate plan. This may protect assets from creditors and may save the expense of probating the estate.

    Alan Pransky
    Law Office of Alan J. Pransky
    20 Eastbrook Road
    Dedham, MA 02026-2075

  2. Absent any unknown child or spouse, your father is correct. But a simple Will or estate plan might be in the estates best interest as it may protect the estate from creditors as well as expenses of probate.

    At a minimum he should have a durable power of attorney and a MA Health proxy so if he reaches a point where he cannot make decisions or handle his affairs, that you or your sibling can handle them for him.

    Jonathan Roth
    Donovan Hatem LLP
    Two Seaport Lane 8th floor
    Boston, MA 02210

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