The coronavirus outbreak has now reached the level of a pandemic, according to the World Health Organization. As a result, countries around the world are taking serious countermeasures to slow its progress. Likely, you have already made changes to your everyday life to accommodate the government’s recommendations. However, planning for the future of your estate may have gotten lost in all the noise. Even though the U.S. is still collecting preliminary data, we know that the virus spreads quickly and can sometimes prove fatal. For these reasons, it is a good idea to revisit your estate planning documents. Preparing for the unexpected can’t hurt in these uncertain times.
Estate Planning Preparations to Consider During the Coronavirus Outbreak
- Create a will or living trust
In most cases, contracting COVID-19 means experiencing mild symptoms before making a full recovery. However, coronavirus can prove fatal for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Given these facts, it is not a bad idea to prepare an official record outlining your wishes for your estate. Passing away before having done so means losing the chance to determine what happens to your assets and wealth. Instead, the courts will decide how to distribute your estate.
- Review your will or living trust
If you have already prepared an estate plan, now is a good time to review it. As time passes, our wishes change along with our financial circumstances. If you have not reviewed your estate plan in a while, the information in it is likely outdated. Some questions to ask yourself about your estate plan are:
- Is my executor or trustee still the best person for this role?
- Do I need to add or remove beneficiaries from my estate plan?
- Do I want beneficiaries to receive an inheritance immediately?
- Do I want my estate to avoid probate?
- Will my estate plan avoid probate?
- Name or revise a durable power of attorney
If you have not already done so, you may want to appoint a power of attorney in light of the coronavirus outbreak. A power of attorney grants someone you trust the power to make certain decisions for you. Typically, this person will begin to make decisions on your behalf if you are mentally incapacitated. In this situation, a financial power of attorney will manage your financial affairs while a medical power of attorney will handle your healthcare decisions. Should you contract COVID-19, relying on a trusted power of attorney may give you peace of mind.
Review Your Documents With Our Austin Estate Planning Lawyers
Drafting your estate planning wishes, and keeping them up to date, is always a good idea. This is true regardless of whether there is a pandemic ongoing or not. However, the coronavirus serves as a reminder that the world can change in unexpected ways. To accommodate the uncertainty COVID-19 may introduce, have our estate planning lawyers review your documents. We can work with you to develop a comprehensive and accurate reflection of your wishes. To get started, give us a call at (512) 640-0588 or leave us a message online.