Estate Planning Awareness Week, which falls on October 19th to 25th this year, can be a time to review financial wellness and, if you have not done so already, take action to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your assets. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, now more than ever, individuals are realizing that proper estate planning can be a key priority, no matter their financial circumstances. Are you one of those people who have been reflecting on the importance of estate planning during the pandemic? An estate plan can end up saving you money, reducing stress and confusion during an already difficult time, and giving you and your loved ones peace of mind.
Benefits of Estate Planning
There can be many benefits to having a solid estate plan in place. For example, if you fell ill or passed away, an estate plan could:
- Determine who inherits your property, instead of state intestacy laws dictating who gets what;
- Designate a trusted person to make financial and property decisions, such as paying bills, purchasing or selling assets, or writing checks if you become incapacitated;
- Designate a healthcare surrogate who could make medical decisions on your behalf should you ever become incapacitated and unable to communicate your wishes for yourself;
- Document wishes about end of life care, such as whether to receive life support;
- Provide access to your email, social media, or other online/digital accounts;
- Inform family or loved ones about insurance coverage, such as life, health, long-term care, or others, in case they to file a claim;
- Organize accounts and key information so it can be accessible to whomever needs it; and
- Provide clarity to family and friends, so your wishes are clear.
Estate Planning Awareness Week during COVID serves as a reminder that preparing, or updating, estate plans can make a difficult crisis easier to manage. Further, many states are making exceptions to rules about witnessing, notarizing, and signing materials. Consider reaching out to our office to learn more.