Although your most important concern at this point is the illness of your parent and hopefully seeing them returned to health, it is still important to appreciate the financial implications of your parent's death. You and your family members need to ensure that your parent has a valid and well structured Will in place. This will prevent unwanted complications and misunderstandings when death does occur. Even if a Will is in place, it may have been drafted many years ago and may not reflect your parent's current wishes given changing circumstances. Whether you are creating or updating a Will, refer to this Will planning checklist for important issues to consider.
Here is a link to a basic Will: Last Will and Testament
A lawyer should be consulted when a Will is being considered. There are legal and family issues that need to be addressed if this route is taken.
Once again, this will require some frank and open discussions that should include all interested parties. This personal record keeper can be a great starting point to facilitate these discussions. Complete the personal record keeper together with your parent to identify important information that can be shared with other family members, including your parents' executor or executrix.
Legal challenges can be mounted even with a properly structured Will. It is advisable to hire a competent lawyer to assist in creating or amending a Will. Dispositions of assets and Wills are a provincial/territorial concern and there may be particular issues that need to be dealt with. Particularly with larger estates it is extremely important to ensure that all your parent's affairs are in proper legal order. Your financial advisor may be able to refer you to a business contact who can help your parent with updating or drafting a Will.
It may also be a good time to discuss estate arrangements with your family members. This estate planning checklist provides insight to the areas you should give attention to when planning your estate.