COVID-19 has forced many of us to consider all the unknowns that we have allowed to creep into our lives. Like pests that burrow into the foundation and structure of a house, these unknowns are now putting our lives and all we’ve worked toward in danger. As an estate attorney, I am tasked daily with making sure that my clients have all the information they need to keep these unknowns from hurting their estates.
This pandemic isn’t making it more difficult to create a solid estate plan—it’s just showing how essential it is for everyone to have one. Right now, we all have to think about whether the estate plan we have in place is adequate to protect our wishes and our families.
If you’re not sure that yours protects you, these five tips will help you get started putting everything in place.
If You’re Over 60 or Have an Underlying Condition, You Need One—Right Now!
The novel coronavirus can incapacitate or kill anyone, but experts say that older adults and people who have underlying health conditions—especially conditions that affect the immune system, heart, or lungs—are at a higher risk of complications.
If you have yet to create an estate plan and you fall into this high-risk category, now is the time to talk to an estate attorney.
Get Talking: Now Is the Time for That Family Meeting
Have a family meeting to discuss your wishes with your children. Of course, if your children don’t live with you anymore, you will have to figure out a way to communicate with everyone about what your plans are for your estate. With today’s technology, you have plenty of options for video and voice chat. You can start a group call on your android phone or iPhone, or you can try a group video chat.
Make Sure Your Documents Reflect Your Current Wishes
For those who already have an estate plan in place, when was the last time you updated it? It’s possible that your wishes and needs have changed in the intervening time, so right now it’s critical that you revisit the documents of your estate plan.
Have you had any major life changes in the time since your executed your estate planning documents? Births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and major purchases or sales can have consequences for your estate.
If Guardianship Is an Issue, Now Is the Time to Protect Your Loved Ones
Are you legally responsible for any children or adults with disabilities? Do you know what will happen to them if you die? Do you know the difference between guardianship of a person and guardianship of an estate? What will happen to you if COVID-19 incapacitates you?
You need to be able to answer these questions.
Talk to Your Estate Attorney about Finding Your Best Options
Even though the coronavirus has forced most of us to keep our distance from one another, if you have any estate planning needs during this time, you can still count on me. Our offices are closed, but you can still communicate with me by phone, email, or video conference. Get in touch with me today to set up a meeting.