While it’s still hard to tell how the Coronavirus will impact us in the long term, it’s become a subject that’s impossible to ignore. While some are advocating we prepare to be quarantined, potentially for months, others are saying the virus is nothing more than a common cold. The World Health Organization takes a more middle-of-the-road approach, advising we take precautions without becoming alarmed.
We’re going to take a similar middle-of-the-road approach and empower you to make informed decisions for you and your family. As a life and estate planning attorney, I look at this from an estate planning attorney’s perspective. What steps can we take to ensure that you and your family are protected? What should you do from a legal perspective?
1. Review Your Living Trust and/or Your Will (or even better, contact us to review your plan with you):
Do the trust and the will accurately reflect your wishes?
Are there any changes to your family? Are there any changes to the named beneficiaries?
Are you comfortable with the age(s) your beneficiaries will receive their inheritance?
Should you have a dynasty trust in place?
Should you have an asset protection trust in place to protect the inheritance from your beneficiary’s creditors, bankruptcy, or a future ex-spouse?
Are the trustees and executors current?
Will your executor or successor trustee be able to serve?
Is the executor or successor trustee still the best person to help?
2. Review Your Trust Funding:
If you have a revocable living trust, are your assets properly transferred to your trust?
Is your home in the name of your trust? If you recently refinanced your home loan, the bank may have required that you transfer the property out of your trust. If so, was it properly transferred back into your trust?
3. Review Your Advance Health Care Directive:
Are your agents current?
Does the directive accurately reflect your wishes including who may make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so, whether you would like to be on life support as long as possible, and whether you would like to make gifts of your body parts, just to name a few.
Does your agent have a copy of your health care directive?
Do you have a separate HIPAA Waiver?
4. Review Your Durable Power of Attorney:
Do you have the proper agents named?
The Health Care Directive and Durable Power of Attorney documents are very important in the event you became incapacitated.
5. Review your Guardianship Nominations and Your Kids Protection Plan:
Do you have current guardianship nominations?
Do you have current temporary guardianship nominations? Do your temporary guardians have copies of the documents in case of an emergency?
Do you have a written plan with information regarding your children’s doctors, insurance, allergies, medical conditions, etc.
Do you have health care directives for your minor children?
Do you have an ID card in your wallet with the agents information?
If your children are over 18, do they have health care directives and durable power of attorney documents?
6. Review Your Beneficiary Designations:
Check the beneficiary designations of your IRA/401k/annuities and life insurance to make sure you have the trust or the correct people named.
What to do now.
NOW is the time to make sure your estate plan is in order. We can help you prepare these documents, either to take precautions against coronavirus or for any other reason. Please get in touch if you are ready to get this handled and would like our help.
We are here to support you making educated, informed, empowered decisions for yourself and the people you love, in all areas of your wealth, health, and happiness.