Why You Should Reevaluate Your Estate Plan Now

Unfortunately, this global health crisis can affect all aspects of your life. You should make sure you have these essential documents in place to protect yourself and your family
face mask

The coronavirus health emergency is a reminder that life is unpredictable, and it makes sense to be prepared. It may sound self-serving, but the threats to life and finances posed posed by the pandemic offer ample reason to reevaluate your estate plan — or create one if you haven’t already.

Experts recommend that you will need to revisit your plan after certain key life events, including changes in health, finances, or family status. Unfortunately, this global health crisis can affect all of those aspects of your life. You should make sure you have these essential documents in place to protect yourself and your family: 

Medical Directives. A medical directive may encompass a number of different documents, including, here in Florida, a health care surrogacy, a living will and a HIPAA release.   For the health care surrogacy, you designate someone to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. A living will instructs the withdrawal of life support if you are terminally ill or in a vegetative state. 

Power of Attorney. A power of attorney allows a person you appoint — your “agent” — to act in your place for financial purposes when and if you ever become incapacitated. In that case, the person you choose will be able to step in and take care of your financial affairs. Without a durable power of attorney, no one can represent you unless a court appoints a  guardian. That court process takes time, costs money, and the judge may not choose the person you would prefer.

Will. A will is a legally-binding statement directing who will receive your property at your death. If you do not have a will, the state will determine how your property is distributed. A will also appoints a legal representative (called a personal representative) to carry out your wishes. A will is especially important if you have minor children because it allows you to name a guardian for the children. However, a will covers only probate property. Many types of property or forms of ownership pass outside of probate. Jointly-owned property, property in trust, life insurance proceeds and property with a named beneficiary, such as IRAs or 401(k) plans, all pass outside of probate and aren’t covered under a will.  

Trust. A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a “trustee,” holds legal title to property for another person, called a “beneficiary.” Trusts have one set of beneficiaries during those beneficiaries’ lives and another set — often their children — who begin to benefit only after the first group has died. There are several different reasons for setting up a trust. The most common reason is to avoid probate. If you establish a revocable living trust that terminates when you die, any property in the trust passes immediately to the beneficiaries. This can save time and money for the beneficiaries. Provided they are well-drafted, another advantage of trusts is their continuing effectiveness even if the donor dies or becomes incapacitated. 

0/5 (0 Reviews)
0/5 (0 Reviews)

Share:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

More Posts

Trustees

Responsibilities of Successor Trustees

Many people becoming trustees for the first time have asked questions such as “What is a trust?” or “What taxes must I pay as a trustee?” or “Am I required to file annual reports with a court?” Most people have had little experience with trusts.

Senior man and woman couple embracing at sunset or sunrise on a deserted tropical beach. They relay in Jakob Legal for Probate

Be Very Careful using an Online Power of Attorney

As an attorney, I make sure that these mistakes do not occur.  An online form is just a piece of paper, and if any mistakes are made, the family will feel it for years to come.  Take a look at my post regarding POAs and the top 10 reasons you need an attorney to prepare one! 

Davie Alzheimer's Lawyer

Alzheimers

“Among the challenges are moments of joy.” Some of the terrific information contained in the site includes “life with Dementia”, Taking Action, Clinical Trials, Caregiver information, etc….

Alzheimers.gov is managed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Scams and Schemes

Protect Yourself from Fraud

Whether it’s guilting you into investing, instilling fear in you, or giving you the impression that they are professionals, con artists know exactly how to persuade you. Don’t rush yourself and don’t allow others to rush you. Take your time when making investment decisions, remain skeptical of unsolicited offers or offers that seem like they are too good to be true, and be sure that your money is always accessible.

Please Contact Me

Skip to content