Having an estate plan in place is important at any time, but it is now especially important during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the main reasons why you need to put a plan in place now.
You Need Someone to Handle Your Finances
Many people who become ill have debilitating symptoms that last for two weeks. You do not want to miss mortgage payments, utility payments, payments for medical expenses or other important financial obligations if you become ill. Likewise, you do not want your family not to have the resources they need because they cannot access your employment checks or bank account.
One way to address this concern is to appoint a durable power of attorney to whom you can grant various powers to handle your finances if you become temporarily incapacitated. By giving the agent you name your power of attorney documents, he or she can quickly get to work in helping manage your financial affairs if you become ill.
You Want to Designate a Person to Make Your Healthcare Decisions
If you do not have a written power of attorney for healthcare in place, your healthcare provider will follow the directions of your next of kin. While this might be fine if you are married, it may not be a good idea if you are single or estranged from your family. You can prepare a document now that specifies what type of medical treatment you want to receive. Additionally, you can communicate your values in your advance directive and appoint a person to make other healthcare decisions that are not covered by your living will.
You Need to Make a Plan for the Worst-Case Scenario
One of the scariest things about COVID-19 is its high mortality rate, especially for older people. While it is highly unlikely that you will die from the virus even if you become infected, it is still important that you make plans for the worst-case scenario. The last thing your family needs during a time of grief is confusion about your final wishes or how you would have wanted your property handled.
A will is a cornerstone of a solid estate plan. It allows you to designate who will receive your property after your death and in what manner. You also appoint an executor to handle the administration of your estate and can nominate a guardian to care for your minor children.
Another option is to create a trust in which you provide detailed instructions on how your assets should be managed in case of your disability or death. This also allows you to better manage when your minor children receive a portion of their inheritance and allow you to appoint a trustee to use the trust property to take care of their needs.
Get Started on Your Plan
For more information on what to include in your estate plan, estate planning advice or how you can address your estate planning needs during the coronavirus pandemic, read more at www.charlesfoxlaw.com/ or contact us at (724)-567-6728 to schedule a confidential consultation. We can discuss your needs over the phone and you will not need to leave the comfort and safety of your home.