Estate planning is always important, but a global pandemic definitely accelerates the need to have one today. COVID-19 has forced us to face the reality of our own mortality and consider several “what ifs” that were previously never considered, or just situations that nobody ever likes to think or talk about. Such what ifs involve physical incapacity and even death. To ignore these events as if they could never happen, is a pretense that we cannot afford, and it is better to be prepared than to not. Most people think only the elderly need an estate plan, but in fact we all do – single, married, divorce, parent, sibling, homeowner, business-owner, and the list goes on.
More than 5,000 people have died in the United States within a two week span due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, this number is only going to increase. And although we take the utmost safety precautions, this virus is still spreading and impacting the lives of many.
Do not take your health for granted or think that your tomorrow is guaranteed. It is important to consult with an attorney to determine the specific needs for your estate plan, but at a minimum it should the following:
When selecting people to fulfill these roles and act on your behalf it is important to choose people who are responsible and wiling to act in your best interest. For medical concerns it may also be important to select someone who lives in close proximity to you, in the event they need to meet with doctors to discuss your medical options.
If you already have an estate plan, then that is great. However, you should review it every two years to account for current assets, as well as the current status of relationships. All estate plans require ongoing maintenance.
It is also imperative to review and update as necessary beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and life insurance policies. Holders of these accounts should be able to change beneficiaries online.
The Curry Law Firm LLP provides this information as a service to clients and other friends for educational purposes only. It should not be construed or relied on as legal advice or to create a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking advice from professional advisers.
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