Estate planning ensures that clients and their loved ones are protected. During the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. High risk individuals may be more motivated to update existing plans or create new estate plans. If you haven’t started planning, now may be a good time to act.
There is no “one size fits all” method to estate planning. Many factors come into play. Here are a few things to consider to get you started.
Estate Planning During a Pandemic
- An advanced health care directive or living will, lets you specify end-of-life treatments. What you do or don’t want to receive if you become terminally ill, or permanently unconscious is spelled out.
- A living trust allows you to leave assets to your heirs without going through the probate process. You can direct your trust to pass your assets to your beneficiaries immediately upon your death or to distribute the assets over time and in amounts you specify.
- A financial power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone the authority to conduct your financial affairs. It allows them to pay bills, write checks, make deposits, sell or purchase assets – if you were unable to do so yourself. You can establish the financial power of attorney without giving your representative any ownership in your assets.
- A last will and testament, allows you to choose how you want your assets will be distributed. You appoint an executor to oversee the distribution and name a guardian to take care of minor children. If you don’t have a will, a court might assume these functions.
Estate planning tools can be complex, so before taking action, you’ll need to consult with an attorney.
While COVID has created challenges with social distancing, I have been working with clients as usual. That includes finding ways to get documents notarized and witnessed. If the pandemic has raised your concerns about the legacy you’d like to leave, please contact me to help you launch or update your estate plans!