Estate planning is such a delicate matter for everyone involved. And if the past year and a half has taught us anything, it’s that life can be unpredictable. COVID-19 has affected every aspect of our lives. But how has COVID affected estate planning?
How has COVID affected estate planning?
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen things being drawn out much longer than they used to be. Planning during this pandemic means that it can be harder to get your documents notarized. Checking for remote authorizations or socially-distanced signings can be time consuming and tricky to schedule. You’ll want to make sure you follow all of the necessary steps like drafting the documents, obtaining the valuations and filing the appropriate tax returns.
This is a great time for anyone to get the ball rolling on creating or updating your estate plan. Some things to consider when creating an estate plan are;
- Your family dynamics
- Personal financial plans, cash flow needs and goals
- Preserving your business valuation
- Interest rates
- Income taxes
Depending on what your personal and professional needs are will determine what kinds of tools you’ll need. You might need some legal orders in writing or tools for investing. The most popular is a Last Will & Testament, but if you don’t already have something in place, you might consider creating a trust for your family. A will can be more time consuming, and create delays in processing your estate. Or you might need one of these other tools;
- durable power of attorney-assigning someone the power to make medical decisions for you in the event that you are unable to advocate for yourself
- digital assets inventory-keeping a record of your files digitally can help in case something happens to you or your belongings
- Living Will or healthcare directive with detailed instructions
- HIPAA Authorization-to authorize the release of your healthcare information to your appointed representative
- Guardianship Designation (if you have children)
If you’re looking for ways to make secure investments, there are lots of options;
- long term care
It’s also important to revisit your estate plan each year to make sure it’s still sound for tax and inheritance laws.
If you don’t have a final will and testament, a great resource is Orbit Wills. With Orbit Wills you can easily create a will online that delegates your assets before the time comes.
There are so many options for you, and you really need to customize your plan to your personal assets and values. Our team at The Narrows Law Group can help make sure you understand all of those choices and cater your plan to your wishes.