COVID-19 social distancing can be an excellent excuse for estate planning.
With the current events surrounding COVID-19, you are likely practicing social distancing and are possibly even in self-quarantine.
Perhaps you fall within a high-risk category and are protecting yourself.
Maybe you are young and healthy and simply want to safeguard others.
Whatever your motivations, are you feeling a bit of “cabin fever”?
Are you growing tired of binge-streaming online shows, watching cable news, playing board games (aka “bored games”), or working on 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzles?
As distracting as these leisure activities may be, you simply may be feeling the itch to be more productive.
But what can you do when you are stuck at home?
Can you be more productive without coming into contact with the general public?
The answer is a reassuring “yes”!
Why not make the best of this COVID-19 social distancing by working on your estate plan.
How do you do this?
Well, there are number of ways.
Assess your goals.
Who would you want to make personal, health care, and financial decisions on your behalf if you could no longer do so yourself?
Who and what do have?
Have you “legally” nominated guardians (backup parents) should your minor children be orphaned?
What do you want to leave to your loved ones, if you are no longer around?
Contact an experienced estate planning attorney.
In times when health and security are compromised, it is wise to get your affairs in order.
Estate planning is at all times an “essential” activity.
An experienced estate planning attorney can provide guidance and help make sure your affairs are in order in case “something” happens.
Be sure to research your attorney before you engage in legal services.
Many attorneys, like other businesses, are implementing COVID-19 protocols in order to better serve their clients during this challenging time.
Gather relevant estate planning documents.
Your estate plan works best when you are organized.
Many people believe they can simply execute their legal documents and be done with them.
Unfortunately, this “set it and forget it attitude” can leave trusts “unfunded” and executors or agents totally clueless when their responsibilities suddenly begin.
Searching for time-critical, relevant documents under duress is not ideal when a loved one suddenly becomes incapacitated or dies.
By taking the time to gather and organize these essential documents for your loved ones now, you will be setting them up to effectively (and successfully) execute your wishes later.
To assist you in this process, we have created a COVID-19 estate planning scavenger hunt checklist.
We hope it provides you with some productive time in the midst of your social distancing.
Feel free to share it with others who might be feeling a bit of the cabin fever, too.
We continue to pray for this latest pandemic to pass soon and that you may at all times enjoy the peace that surpasses all human understanding.
Keep calm and carry on.