Four Estate Planning Items to Check During the Coronavirus Pandemic
By: Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
October 1, 2020
Florida’s recent spike in COVID-19 cases shows us that coronavirus is not going away any time soon. Over 5,000 people have been killed by the virus in the Sunshine State alone, and COVID-19 affects people of all age groups and social classes. To stay safe, everyone should be following federal guidelines, including social distancing and wearing masks.
But what if the worst happens anyway? Who will make decisions for you if you get sick? Where will your wealth go if you die? Will your family receive the help that they need?
If you have been asking yourself these questions, stop asking and take action. Check on your current estate plan and whether your original strategies still hold up today. Small changes now may end up being a big relief for your family later.
Get started by checking on these four items.
Who Is Listed In Your Power of Attorney
Estate planning documents cover more than what happens after your death. If you are incapitated or unable to make decisions for yourself, you can choose someone to take over. This person is typically named in a power of attorney.
Who is listed in your power of attorney? Do you have someone to handle your finances and medical decisions when you can’t handle them yourself? Check up on what this process will look like, and make changes if necessary.
How Your Life Insurance Coverage Handles Coronavirus
Life insurance companies have already made big changes to their policies and coverage in response to coronavirus. Does your policy cover COVID-19? You will have to check. If you are interested in applying for coverage now, you will also have to check what recent changes have been made and whether you can still get the coverage you want.
Recent Changes to Laws and Estate Planning Policies
Global pandemics are not the only events that change how probate is carried out in Florida. Every elected official has the potential to introduce new laws.
The tax reform legislation in 2019 forced many to adjust their estate plan. The introduction of electronic wills opened up the doors for many to create an estate plan while social distancing. Other changes in recent years may throw a wrench in your current plan.
Stay up-to-date with the law so you, your family, and the state of Florida are all on the same page.
Your Next Appointment With Your Estate Planning Lawyer
You do not have to update your estate planning documents alone. Estate planning can be a tedious and uncomfortable process.
A lawyer can help you understand changes to the law, walk you through everything that will happen after you pass away, and let you know when updates are needed. Probate will only add more stress to family members who are already stricken with grief. With the right lawyer, you can avoid probate and distribute your estate without worrying your loved ones.
It is more important than ever to plan for what happens to your estate. Get in touch with a Florida estate planning lawyer today to get started.
Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
Strategic Planning With Purpose®
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