Top Estate Planning Tips in a Time of Coronavirus 2020/21
The Coronavirus pandemic has opened many people’s eyes to how quickly things can change. Many people hold off taking care of their estate because they think nothing bad will happen in the immediate future. They hold off looking for will lawyers or trust lawyers. However, as COVID-19 has shown us, you should not hold these matters off because anything drastic can happen when you do not expect it. It is the right time to look at your estate again. Knowing the top estate planning tips in a time of coronavirus so that, should something like this ever happen again, you will be prepared. “Is there an estate planning lawyer near me?” is a logical question. You want to ensure that everything is done correctly and having an estate planning lawyer help you is beneficial to get your desired outcome.
Why Now is the Right Time to Look After Your Estate
If you are over the age of eighteen, you need to look after your estate, which includes all property you own. The novel coronavirus has shown people that they need to take their estate seriously. However, estate planning does not mean you only have to focus on writing a will or starting a trust to protect your assets. It can comprise other elements too, such as a power of attorney to handle financial decisions you may have, or a health care proxy to help make medical decisions you may encounter should you find yourself incapacitated. It is possible you already have some estate planning tools in place. The first thing to do in a time of coronavirus is to make sure they are current and reflect your current wishes. If you have questions regarding a will or a trust, you can contact a trust lawyer or a will lawyer near you who can guide you through the process. During these pandemic days of social distancing, a lot of these consultations can be done over the phone or on a video call.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Using a Financial Power of Attorney a Top Estate Planning Tip in 2020/21?
One of the top estate planning tips in a time of coronavirus is using a financial power of attorney. A power of attorney is an estate planning tool whereby you can appoint someone else, known as an agent, to act on your behalf. This includes acting on your behalf when it comes to financial decisions, such as decisions that relate to your bank account, or any transactions that need to be finalized. Moreover, your agent can also pay and files your taxes if you are not available.
The reason that using a power of attorney during times of coronavirus is because you never know if you will have to enter quarantine or if you will have an extended stay in a hospital. In these circumstances, it can be very difficult for you to take care of certain financial obligations. Having an agent appointed by a power of attorney will help alleviate the stress.
How Can a Revocable Trust Help During Times of Coronavirus?
Another top estate planning tip in 2021 is to implement a revocable trust into your estate’s plan. An estate planning lawyer can help you design one that will be most beneficial to your circumstances.
A revocable trust can be changed. Unlike other trusts, it can be altered as necessary during its duration. Moreover, it is a very useful tool to have, especially during the pandemic. Since this pandemic is unpredictable and dangerous, it is good to know that your assets are taken care of.
Additionally, a revocable trust avoids lengthy probate proceedings, so you can be sure your assets will be distributed promptly. So, if you were to become incapacitated, the trustee you have appointed to the trust would take control of your assets.
How Can an Estate Planning Attorney Near Me Help with Estate Planning During Coronavirus?
An estate planning attorney is an important person to contact during the coronavirus. They will have the knowledge and expertise to know how to help you. With so much uncertainty generated because of this virus, you may not know where to start with your estate.
An estate planning attorney will look at everything you have currently in place to protect your estate. If you have been holding off taking care of your estate, then an estate planning attorney will help you get started.
Moreover, they will make sure that everything you have is updated to reflect your current status. Oftentimes, estate planning tools and documents are created and then forgotten. With the coronavirus causing anxiety in a lot of people, it is best to make sure everything is as it should be. If it is not, then it should be updated.
Why is Making a Will Important During Times of Coronavirus?
A will is an important document to have because it will expressly dictate your wishes as to how you want your property distributed should you die. However, many people hold off on drafting a will for one reason or another. A will lawyer will be able to sit down with you and discuss the best way to draft your will.
Social distancing has made it much more difficult to meet your lawyer in person, but many law offices have methods to meet via phone or video call during the coronavirus. You will still be able to ask your questions and have a good discussion regarding your estate.
However, you may wonder if you can write your will on your own. During coronavirus, this may seem like the option you need to go with. It is possible to write your will on your own, but having a consultation with a will lawyer near you, even if just on the phone, will help dramatically with how the will is drafted and implemented later.
How Can You Have Witnesses to the Signing of a Will During Social Distancing?
Wills need to have witnesses, but with social distancing still prevalent in many parts of the country, it can be difficult. However, it is not impossible to secure a witness for the signing of a will or other legal document. If you practice social distancing, you can get family or friends to witness the signing.
How Can a Will Trust Lawyer Near Me Help During Times of Coronavirus?
Having a trust lawyer will help you create a trust to help protect your assets and property. It can be a complex process creating a revocable trust, so having a trust lawyer to help you navigate the process is very important.
Should You Have a Discussion with Any Agents or Executors You Have Named in the Past?
Yes, you should have a discussion with any agents or executors you have named in the past, as the lawyers at Morgan Legal Group can explain. It is best to make sure they are still interested in helping you. For example, an agent makes decisions on your behalf, whether as part of a power of attorney or a health care proxy. You want to make sure they are still willing to do so. During the coronavirus, where an extended hospital visit could incapacitate you, having an agent is crucial to making sure you get the care you need. An estate planning attorney will help you should you need to appoint new agents or executors.