Unless you are at least 102 years old, you weren’t even alive for the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918, much less remember it. While we do not recommend jumping on the panic bandwagon of hoarding all available toilet paper, being prepared during the COVOD-19 global pandemic is a smart strategy. Facing our own death and disability, and the conversations that go with it, is difficult for most of us even under normal circumstances. However, as the coronavirus pandemic presents a more imminent threat, now might be the time to ensure that your estate plan is in order.
Below are a few key items you should review pertaining to your estate plan. If you don’t have an estate plan, now would be a good time to think about putting one in place.
- Do your Power of Attorney documents name the individuals you want to be your decision maker in the event you are unable to do so yourself? You should also review any other documents in your estate plan to ensure that the people you have named for positions like your Trustee, Executor, or Guardian for minor children, are still the right individuals for those jobs.
- Do your adult children, age 18 and older, have Power of Attorney documents in place? If a medical situation arises, parents need a Power of Attorney to make decisions and a HIPAA release to get medical information. Once your child turns 18, parents no longer have the ability to make decisions for their now adult children in the event of a medical emergency.
- Review who your documents list to receive the assets of your estate. Do the individuals listed and the amounts each will receive still reflect your wishes?
- If you have a Revocable Trust, are your assets properly titled in the name of the trust? Having assets properly titled in your trust can help your estate avoid probate and protect your beneficiaries’ inheritance from creditors.
- Do bank accounts, retirement accounts and life insurance policies have beneficiary designations in place and are they still reflective of your current wishes? Most attorneys will include recommendations on how assets should be titled and wording for beneficiary destinations. Now is a good time to make sure these recommendations have been implemented.
At Strohschein Law Group our goal is to always Protect What Matters, even during the current COVID-19 threat. We have policies, procedures, and technology in place that should allow us to continue serving your needs during this challenging time. We are working remotely for our protection and yours, but we are here and we are ready to help!
If you have any concerns regarding your current estate plan, contact a certified elder law attorney, such as Linda Strohschein and her team at Strohschein Law Group. To set up an appointment, contact Strohschein Law Group at 630-377-3241.