Curbside Estate Planning: Safe Options for Getting Legal Help During the Pandemic
By: Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
September 10, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly a very good reason to have an updated estate plan in place. Understandably, though, many people have been putting off completing or updating their estate plans due to the risk of contracting coronavirus and required social distancing.
Fortunately, there are safe ways to get legal help with your estate plan during the pandemic. One you may not have even realized: curbside estate planning.
This process allows you to work virtually with your attorney to develop an estate plan or make changes to an existing estate plan, then sign the necessary documents without coming into direct contact with anyone.
Let’s walk through the importance of an updated estate plan and how you can obtain one safely in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic using curbside estate planning.
Why You Need an Updated Estate Plan
Having an estate plan is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones. In fact, it is never too early to start planning — especially if you have children.
Do you currently have a plan in place that will protect your loved ones in the event of your death? What about making decisions regarding your medical care and wishes should you become incapacitated?
In order to protect your assets and loved ones and ensure that your affairs and medical care are conducted according to your wishes, it is essential to have an updated estate plan in place.
Meeting Virtually to Create or Revise Estate Plans
While it might seem like you will need to have in-person meetings with your attorney to develop or revisit your estate plan, it is also possible — and in many cases preferable — to meet virtually.
Your attorney can help you with estate planning virtually using the following:
- Video conferencing, which allows you to virtually meet face-to-face with your attorney without leaving the comfort and safety of your home.
- Phone conferencing, which could be easier if you aren’t equipped for video conferencing or prefer not to use this method.
- Email, which is helpful for clients who prefer to do things on their own schedules, or to put their thoughts in writing prior to the creation or amendment of their estate documents.
Your attorney can discuss the specific options they have available for virtual meetings, and work to establish a means of communication that is comfortable for you.
Curbside Signing Options
Once your estate plan is updated, it will need to be signed in the presence of a witness. However, there are safe curbside signing options available that allow you to sign documents while still practicing social distancing.
In many cases, you can make an appointment to simply drive to your attorney’s office and sign the necessary documents while still in your car, avoiding the potential of coronavirus transmission.
If curbside signing is not possible, your attorney can help you find another signing option that allows for safe social distancing.
If you are interested in curbside estate planning, please get in touch with our offices.
Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
Strategic Planning With Purpose®
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