Essential Estate Planning During the Pandemic

Essential Estate Planning During the Pandemic

July 24, 2020

This may sound morbid, but there is no time like the present to start estate planning. Even if you are at low risk of complications of COVID-19, it is still a good idea to make estate planning documents in Miami, FL a priority, because the overall risk of death and disability is higher during pandemics. It is best to be prepared rather than throw your family for another loop. Here are four essential tasks to complete for estate planning now:

  • Check your will: If you have a will, check and make sure it is current. This is especially essential if you remarried or divorced recently or expanded your family to include additional born or adopted children. You may also have property that you feel deserves special consideration, or you may have decided to give assets to a charitable cause. No matter the reason, make sure your will reflects your current circumstances and wishes. If you do not have a will, now is a good time to hire an attorney to draft one.
  • Enact powers of attorney: You may not die of COVID-19, but it can render you unable to make decisions while you are on a ventilator or recovering from treatment. During these times, you likely need an agent to make healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf. Update or enact a healthcare power of attorney so you have an agent during times of disability or illness. The same is true for a general financial power of attorney. If you are not married, you still need to ensure someone can pay your bills and keep up your home. You do not want to leave the hospital only to find your life is in complete disarray.
  • Start conversations: Start talking with your family about your estate plan now. Share your wishes regarding medical treatment and the disposition of your property. Draft estate planning documents in Miami, FL that confirm these wishes and let your family members know where they are located. Many people feel like these are morbid and traumatizing conversations and often avoid them, which results in bad surprises later. During these times, it is vital that you share the details of your healthcare wishes and estate plan with your family so they can manage emergencies better if it becomes necessary.
  • Find your documents: There are few things worse than putting in the work to complete estate planning only to misplace your documents. The last thing anyone needs is you suffering from illness while people frantically search for your documents. Locate them and let your family or friends know where you store them. If you cannot find them, contact your attorney immediately. They will most likely have signed copies ready to provide. Once you secure the documents, give your agents, beneficiaries, personal representatives and guardians their own copies. It is especially important that your healthcare agent keep copies of any health care powers of attorney or advance directions should COVID-19 land you in the hospital.

Ruben J. Padron, PA practices estate planning in Miami, FL. If you require new or updated estate planning documents, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

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