Should I Make a Will and an Estate Plan During the Coronavirus Pandemic? | Rubén J. Padrón, PA

Should I Make a Will and an Estate Plan During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

April 18, 2022

Knowing how to make a will or estate plan is not something that comes easy to everyone. The same goes for knowing when to get an attorney for wills and trusts planning. In these rapidly changing times, the importance of meeting with an attorney or estate planner cannot be overstated. These meetings can be held virtually, allowing the client to make plans to sign the necessary documents.

The professionals will also be sure to have the documents witnessed and notarized as needed. Let’s take a closer look at all of the different ways that an attorney can help when it comes to making a will and an estate plan.

As the pandemic continues, more and more people are realizing the importance of these documents. It is not hard to see why so many people are thinking long and hard about their own mortality. The days of being able to coast on the idea that we will live long and healthy lives as long as we take care of ourselves are now a thing of the past.

That’s not to say that people are fearful, though. There is something to be said for being proactive instead of reactive. Unfortunately, there are a number of adults that do not currently have wills or estate plans in place. Caring.com conducted a survey in 2020 that provided a startling conclusion. Roughly 50 percent of adults over the age of 55 have yet to handle their estate planning and do not have the necessary documents in place.

The most important documents that need to be considered are as follows: a will, healthcare durable power of attorney, living will, durable power of attorney for finances, and HIPAA authorization. A digital assets inventory is also crucial. This is where online accounts, electronic files, and physical computers will be stored. Usernames, passwords, security question answers, and any other forms of information needed to access digital assets are also stored in the digital assets inventory.

Meanwhile, those who have a higher net worth will need to consider potential changes that could be made by the new administration in Washington, D.C. For example, estate tax exemptions could be altered in a significant way. Many expect there to be major changes to the step-up in basis rule, not to mention the changes from the SECURE Act that was passed back in 2019. This would have a noticeable impact on the “stretch strategy” on inherited IRAs.

The best time to handle these concerns is before they have a chance to become a massive hassle for loved ones who are left behind or forced to handle a major health crisis. If the proper plan has not been put into place, the family will have to stand by and watch in horror as state law and probate courts make the determinations that should have already been handled.

By putting an estate plan into place that is fully up to date and thoroughly considerate, a client can provide themselves with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that this all-important task has been taken care of. There are a number of different trusts that can benefit different clients in a variety of ways. Contact a professional attorney and allow them to walk you through your options so that you can choose the best one for you.

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