CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) & ESTATE PLANNING
During times of crisis most of us share similar fears and concerns. The
Coronavirus pandemic is no exception. Collectively, we are all worried
about our families and friends, livelihoods and neighbors.
What used to be a nagging voice in our head is now a full conversation
with the volume cranked up to ten! What will happen if I get sick? What
will happen if I become incapacitated or die?
ESSENTIAL ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS
If you are over 18 you need a “baby
estate plan.” *If you are older, especially if you have children and assets
(even just life insurance), you need a comprehensive
The documents below allow others to make decisions for you should you lose
mental capacity and ensure your wishes are honored at your death. Without
them, your family will likely waste tens of thousands (or a lot more)
in court trying to care for you and administer your estate.
While we hope that these tragedies do not happen for a long time, it’s
important to create the documents now before it’s too late. Once
you lose mental capacity, you cannot create them.
The details of an
AHCD should be carefully considered while you are healthy and able to think
through quality of life issues and appropriate medical treatments. The
more details that are included, the easier it is when family or close
friends need to make difficult choices in emotionally challenging times.
A Durable Power of Attorney for Finance (DPOA)* authorizes someone to make financial and legal decisions for you if
you become mentally incapacitated. This including paying your bills, filing
taxes, dealing with Social Security or your insurance, etc.
A Will states who receives your assets when you die but, contrary to popular
understanding, almost all Wills go through probate. Probate is very expensive
and assets are frozen for months. You can avoid this with a Trust.
Will also names a guardian to raise your minor children and a caretaker for
your pets. With a
Will alone, your children inherit everything when they turn 18 (and that can
be its own kind of disaster).
A Trust also states who receives your assets when you die but, if done correctly,
it avoids probate. It also allows you sprinkle assets over time for your
kids or grandkids and impose conditions on when and how they inherit larger
sums of money.
DPOA make up the “baby
For more details,