As the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis continues to unfold and impact more aspects of our day-to-day lives, many of our clients have been reaching out to our law firm to get advice regarding how to adjust current or draft new estate plans to address the volatility of the financial markets and the possibility of their health being directly impacted by the spread of the virus. Although it is completely understandable that this health crisis is making us all anxious about the future, our legal team at Legacy Law Centers is reminding clients that the present state of the world presents unique opportunities for wealth planning that should be seriously considered.
Planning for Elder Adults
Our elder clients can’t ignore the fact that COVID-19 is spreading at an alarming rate and primarily inflicting the segment of the population over the age of 60 with underlying health issues like cancer, respiratory problems, diabetes, asthma, and other serious illnesses.
If you are in this age-group, now is a good time to prepare for the unimaginable by checking-in on the following estate planning documents and legal matters:
- Review Designated Beneficiaries: If you have assets titled under your name and without a beneficiary designation, they will have to pass through probate court after you pass away. This is why you need to check to see if you have the right beneficiary named for your bank accounts, IRAs, life insurance, and annuities.
- Revocable Living Trust: Do you remember the last time you updated your revocable living trust? Will your beneficiaries receive the trust property outright or in trust? If your beneficiaries are minors, you will need to establish guardianship in order for them to receive the inheritance.
- Advance Health Care Directive: Your advance health care directive explains all of the medical decisions you want or don’t want to be made if you are ever incapacitated and unable to express your wishes. At a time when experts warn that there potentially might not be enough ventilators if the virus gets out of hand, having your advance health care directive in order is one the most important things you can do to prepare for the worst outcome.
- Power of Attorney: This legal document is essential if you make all of the financial decisions for your household and have exclusive access to your bank accounts. If you are incapacitated due to the coronavirus, do you know who will pay your bills or handle your other legal obligations? With a durable power of attorney, you can assign a trusted spouse or friend to handle these affairs and represent your best interests.
Inform Your Family & Other Beneficiaries
Unfortunately, families across the country are finding themselves in a position where they have to answer critical questions regarding healthcare treatments for loved ones who have been inflicted with COVID-19. Now is the time to make a list of all your monthly bills, as well as account passwords that your family, beneficiaries, and legal representatives will need to handle your various obligations while you are incapacitated by or recovering from the virus.
Your list should include the following essential information:
- The location of important estate, business, and financial documents
- Contracts that need to be fulfilled
- The names and contact information of accountants, attorneys, investment advisers, and other financial or business professionals
- All of the bills you pay each month
Don’t Panic, We Are Here to Help You Make Smart Choices for Your Estate
As people across the country self-quarantine to curb the spread of the coronavirus, know that we are still here to serve all of your estate planning needs through various means to help you maintain the practice of social-distancing. We can provide you with the real solution you need to protect your wealth and legacy during this time, and we are ready to get work for you today.
To speak to a member of our legal team about estate planning, please give us a call at (571) 200-5559. We offer complimentary case reviews.