Has the COVID-19 pandemic caused you to reflect on things, like estate planning? Typically, planning for the death or incapacity of ourselves or one of our family members is not on the top of our to-do lists. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has brought this issue to the forefront of many Americans’ minds.
This new virus has unexpectedly devastated the lives of so many. This has happened by not only causing incapacity or death by contracting the virus, but also by causing family members of someone with a severe case of COVID-19, without an estate plan, to scramble to make healthcare and financial decisions during a time of social-distancing and quarantine without any directive as to his or her wishes as outlined in estate planning documents.
As we enter Estate Planning Awareness Week, it is a good time to focus on the importance of creating a comprehensive estate plan to protect ourselves, our families, and our assets in case we suffer death or incapacity at the hands of this virus, or for any other reason. If you do not have an estate plan or if you need to update your estate plan to reflect your current lifestyle and wishes, do so right away. There are ways to create and execute these documents while maintaining social-distancing so that you and your family can take comfort knowing you have a plan in place if tragedy strikes.
In estate planning, you can create a will and/or a trust specific to your needs to manage and distribute your assets in the case of your death.
You can also execute health care planning documents, such as a health care surrogate and a Living Will, to outline your health care and end of life decisions and appoint an agent to ensure those wishes are implemented. You can also establish a durable power of attorney providing directives and designating an agent to handle your financial affairs in the event you are unable to handle them yourself.
For help establishing or updating your comprehensive estate plan, our office is here to help. Please contact us today to schedule a time to meet.