COVID-19: The Ultimate Guide to Estate Planning

With the COVID-19 pandemic at large and death rates continuing to rise, the US now has more known cases than both China and Italy. During this current crisis, it’s best to remain calm and use this “stay well at home” time to do things you’ve been putting off. One such thing that may be worth considering during this unprecedented situation is setting up an estate plan.

Attorneys all across the United States are seeing rises in inquiries from individuals pursuing updates, changes, and the creation of estate planning measures such as a will. The sudden interest in these topics are most likely due to projections of the effect of coronavirus, such as this list provided by the New York Times that shows the total number estimated deaths over the next year due to the virus:

 

numbers on a graph

People who are at high risk for the coronavirus (individuals age 60-80+) should consider taking time right now to set up an estate plan if they don’t already have one in place. Even without the threat of coronavirus, an estate plan is always a good thing to set in place at an advanced age, or at any age when you have funds or properties that will need to be directed if you were to suddenly pass away. Even with the inability to meet in person, it is still possible to develop an estate plan with a trusted attorney such those at Lowthorp Richards.

The Means By Which We Can Assist You

  • Video conference by a preferred method (i.e. Zoom, G Suite, Skype)
  • Telephone
  • Email

We plan to continue to serve our clients during this time, and should alterations or the development of an estate plan be needed, we can provide professional assistance by any of the above mentioned means.

For Clients Without Plans In Place

It is important consider all the reasons for creating an estate plan during ordinary life, and also amidst a global pandemic. Some reasons that one might seek to create an estate plan right now may include:

  • A lack of predictability of the financial future
  • Worry or doubt of one’s health currently or in the future
  • The need for one’s wealth or property to be managed or inherited upon possible death
  • The need for a will or a living trust

For Clients With Plans In Place 

Clients with estate plans in place may wish to make adjustments to their plans during these times. Some reason for adjustments to an estate plan might include:

  • A desire for changes that may have needed to have been made previously
  • Changes to health-care surrogates
  • Living-will changes in desire for (or refusal of) life prolonging treatment in a terminal state
  • Changes in living trusts
  • Reallocation of assets

 

The Power of Attorney  

It can be astonishing how much the power of attorneys can assist clients in normal times, and even more so in times of crisis – and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. With this global event comes flexibilities on behalf of all attorneys, giving us the power to continue to allow clients the ability to designate parties to make financial decisions on their behalf.

Do you need help planning your estate amidst the COVID-19 pandemic? Get in contact with us today. Our attorneys live and practice in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. We are a client business service and provide prompt and cost-efficient legal services with specific expertise in estate planning.