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Estate Planning in the Time of COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has upended every area of life, including planning for one’s death or disability. Whether you have an estate plan or need to create one for the first time, this crisis is a valuable reminder about the importance of estate planning.

Fortunately, the pandemic doesn’t have to stop you from making or revising an estate plan. Most estate planning lawyers will consult with you by video conferencing or other internet communications.

No one likes to dwell on illness or death, but there is security and peace of mind in knowing your loved ones will be provided for when you pass away. Useful estate planning documents to consider are a last will and testament and a revocable living trust, which both direct the proper management, administration and distribution of your property.

Other estate planning documents you might consider include:

  • Durable power of attorney — This document allows you to designate someone to act as your agent with respect to your financial affairs in the event you are too sick or mentally incapable of making business or financial decisions.
  • Designation of health care surrogate — This is an individual you authorize to make health care decisions for you in the event you are mentally or physically unable to do so. During the coronavirus pandemic it is especially important to have a health care surrogate, as there have been many cases in which people stricken with the virus have been intubated or placed in a medically induced coma.
  • Living will — Also known as an advance directive, a living will is a document that allows you to state the type of medical treatment you do or do not want to be provided if you become terminally ill, permanently unconscious or otherwise unable to make health care decisions on your own. This can include a directive not to resuscitate you if you become too sick to survive without life-sustaining equipment and you can designate the person or persons to make this decision on your behalf.

Your estate plan is not a permanent plan that you can “make and forget.” While creating your plan is a crucial first step, you should regularly revisit your plan to make sure it still fits with your goals and needs. Updating your estate plan after a major life event such as the birth of a child, a divorce or a death in the family, is often especially important. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, it’s more urgent than ever to make sure you have a plan in place that protects you and your family.

The estate planning lawyers at Bankier, Arlen & Snelling Law Group, PLLC in Delray Beach help individuals create estate plans which give them confidence and peace of mind about the future. To schedule an estate planning consultation, please call M. Adam Bankier at 561-278-3110, Robert M. Arlen at 561-279-1880 or Linda L. Snelling at 561-501-7778 or contact us online.

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