What Has Changed for Estate Planning During the Pandemic?

What Has Changed for Estate Planning During the Pandemic?

July 25, 2022

The recent pandemic has brought estate planning to the forefront of many people’s minds. When it comes to the many components of an estate plan, firmly establishing your healthcare wishes is important. There are a number of different ways to protect your wishes, including naming a healthcare power of attorney.

Making sure that one’s affairs are in order has become of greater importance, especially for older folks who are more likely to be affected by ill health. With an advanced health care directive in place, one can avoid receiving unwanted treatment, especially if they are unconscious or otherwise unable to state their wishes. 

Impact of the pandemic on estate planning

More people are opting to put codified advance health care directives in place as well as naming healthcare power of attorneys. In addition to these factors, another popular estate planning tool that has come into great use since the pandemic is the living will. A living will is a legal document that ensures that a person’s end-of-life wishes are carried out in the event that they are incapacitated or otherwise unable to speak for themselves.

End-of-life care

The living will document goes hand-in-hand with healthcare power of attorney designation. When a person is unable to express their wishes, this named designee can step in for them and ensure that their wishes are acted upon. When a person has a fatal disease or is in otherwise ill health, there can be a number of treatments that they do not want to receive. The most common directive of living wills is the order to not resuscitate the patient in the event that they lose consciousness. 

Financial estate planning

The need for proper estate planning has not diminished, and having a clear financial plan in place is something that is necessary for most everyone. In addition to a will, you may also want to set up a trust for your funds. Be sure to review your plans regularly, especially after significant life events like marriage, divorce, births, and deaths. Keeping your beneficiary up to date is another important part of proper estate planning.

Don’t overlook this step, as it is often the case that a designated beneficiary attached, for example, your brokerage account can override your stated wishes in your will. Many legal advisors recommend that an estate plan or will be reviewed regularly, at least once a year. And that any necessary changes are made promptly. 

Schedule a consultation with your legal advisor today

Now is the time to meet with your legal advisor and confirm that your affairs are in order. Simply having a will is no longer sufficient for many people’s needs. Having their medical interests cared for is now a major part of estate planning. Make sure that you have the documents that you need, as this is not an area where you want to put off taking action. 

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