The Pandemic is Causing Families to Reconsider Their Estate Plans

As the United States struggles to handle the coronavirus outbreak, many people are realizing the importance of emergency planning and preparing for life’s uncertainties. For many, circumstances and priorities have changed as a result of pandemic and the related fallout. Now, many are thinking about the difficult questions in life, namely: “what would happen to my loved ones if I were to die?”

While this can be an overwhelming and heartbreaking thought, COVID-19 has reminded us that emergencies arise without any warning. To help prepare for future emergencies, more people are creating or updating their estate plans.

Reasons to Create or Update your Estate Plan

COVID-19 created uncertainty in our normal routines and lifestyles. The current environment reminds us that our lives can change dramatically at any time. It is crucial to have an updated estate plan in place to preserve assets and plan for your family’s future.

To avoid immediate confusion after a death, individuals should consult an estate planning attorney to create a comprehensive estate plan. A properly drafted will ensures that the financial security you have worked hard to establish during your lifetime will pass as you intend, not according to state inheritance laws. A power of attorney can help decide how medical assistance and financial actions will be handled in the event of an emergency.

A thoughtfully designed estate plan cares for loved ones correctly throughout and after an emergency and is a vital part of through financial planning.

Recommended Documents

To ensure an estate plan is in order, Attorney Paul Romano recommends updating or creating the following materials:

  • Will
  • Medical Power of Attorney
  • Directive to Physicians
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • Declaration of Guardian

“With those four documents, your estate plan should be able to address a variety of circumstances,” says Attorney Paul Romano of Romano & Sumner, PLLC. “Consider what would happen if you die unexpectedly. Without a properly drafted and executed will in place; no one will know what your wishes are after death or how you intended to distribute your estate. You will want an experienced estate planning attorney to help write those provisions and guide your family through the legal process.”

A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help guide you through potential emergency scenarios and formulate a comprehensive plan to properly execute your post-death wishes. The attorneys at Romano & Sumner will prioritize your goals and deliver a plan that will work in difficult or unforeseeable situations.

Since this is a crucial time to create and update these documents, some states have relaxed estate planning requirements to accommodate social distancing measures. This means that sick or vulnerable populations can still properly execute these essential documents without risking COVID-19 transmission. In some instances, these meetings and signatures may be done virtually or in a “drive-thru” format.

To understand the new estate law and meeting requirements, contact a local estate planning law firm. A skilled lawyer can explain your options and help create a comprehensive plan that accounts for the unforeseen circumstances of COVID-19.

Given the current health crisis, now is a great time to create or update estate planning documents. By creating a comprehensive plan today, you can address different circumstances and help loved ones act appropriately.