With still so much not known about the new coronavirus, many people have spent the pandemic in fear about the unknown – and we completely understand. The uncertainties are overwhelming, leaving many desperate to find out how they can update, or for some finally begin, their estate planning. So, for those who are especially concerned, our attorneys have put together a list of things to consider when estate planning, specifically what not to forget officially and personally as you face your fears amidst the coronavirus pandemic. At the very least, Aiello Law Group will ensure you’re prepared for anything that could happen while hopefully bringing you peace of mind.
Advance Health Care Directive
Often called a “health care proxy,” this form allows you to designate another person to make vital healthcare decisions on your behalf should you become unable to care or make decisions for yourself. In the case of a pandemic, like the coronavirus, this one document could mean the difference between your loved ones being in charge of your care, and someone you don’t even know.
Last Will & Testament
In order to be truly prepared, you will need an up-to-date will, meaning you must be ready to name an executor, designate guardianship for your next of kin if need be, determine your funeral/burial arrangements, and figure out how you would like your assets divided.
Financial Power of Attorney
If anything non-lethal happens to you, like being stuck in the hospital, or quarantined somewhere, life still goes on. Taxes need to be filed, bills need to be paid, and someone needs to be there to manage it all while you’re gone. That means, you need to remember to assign financial power of attorney to someone you trust.
Don’t forget to make sure your abundance of tax-advantaged savings are set to be dispersed to the right people if something were to happen to you, otherwise all that hard-earned money of yours will go to waste!
Do you have set beneficiaries listed for all your financial/investment accounts? If not, they will not automatically be transferred after death and your desired beneficiary will have to administer your estate with a court to gain control.
Getting life/disability insurance, or at least making sure yours is up-to-date, will save your loved ones so much hassle in the event tragedy strikes. In fact, you don’t even need to be sick or in peril, the younger and healthier you are, the cheaper your life/disability insurance will be.
You may have heard jokes before about designating a friend or loved one to wipe your computer hard drive upon demise to ensure secrets are never revealed, but the truth is you should protect your digital assets. All of your devices are full of important assets, including pictures, social media accounts, personal emails, and more. Make sure you mention all of this when assigning your financial power of attorney, or speak with your digital service providers to learn more about helping your loved ones take control when the time comes.
Even if you’re sick and temporarily stuck in the hospital, you need to make sure you have a plan for making sure your pets are taken care of. Make sure someone has a key, and access to all the records and relevant information they’ll need to take care of your furry friends as well as you.
Finally, Have A Family Meeting
With everyone equally uneasy, it’s important now more than ever you keep your family and loved ones close – in spirit of course. Make sure they know your plans, and encourage them to make sure they have plans of their own.
The most important thing to remember above all else is to remain positive. While social distancing directives have made things difficult for now, our estate planning attorneys at Aiello Law Group are committed to being there for you and helping you through this time every way we can. So please, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your estate planning during the coronavirus pandemic, do not hesitate to reach out! Call us, today, at 313.964.4900 or fill out the form in the sidebar or on our contact page, and learn more about how we can help you.