The recent COVID-19 pandemic has reminded all of us that a return to what was considered “normal” is far from imminent. The economic and public health crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic have had many unforeseen consequences, and the news and growing death toll in the United States forces us to come face-to-face with our mortality.
For those who have been delaying finalizing an estate plan, the uncertainty of the pandemic should serve as motivation to act. Without an estate plan in place, an incapacitated individual will be faced with the untenable prospect of depending upon probate courts and state law to determine who will be responsible for their financial and healthcare decisions. A well-thought-out, up-to-date estate plan, provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones and allows you to control where your assets go at your death.
Tips for Updating Your Estate Affairs
The good news is, it’s never too late (until it’s too late) to get your affairs in order. Following are some helpful tips:
- Review the current status of your financial and estate plan. This is especially critical for older individuals and those who have health conditions.
- Ensure that you have sufficient ‘“emergency fund’” cash available to provide for your needs over the next six months.
- Review your Will and trust documents to be sure that they reflect your current wishes and take advantage of all available tax benefits.
- Review your financial power of attorney, health care power of attorney and Living Will to be sure they are accurate and in line with your current thinking.
- Review your titles and beneficiaries to be sure that the individuals you want to benefit will be the ones who actually receive the proceeds.
- Review your asset allocation to be sure that your investment risk moving forward aligns with your current financial circumstances.
- Review the following asset categories: IRA’s, life insurance policies, bank accounts, and other assets, such as real estate.
- Give thought to naming contingent beneficiaries in case the primary beneficiaries predecease you.
- Contact the experienced California estate and trust administration attorneys at Hollander & Hollander, P.C. to help you make sure everything is in order and that you have all of the necessary health care and financial mechanisms in place.
Contact Hollander & Hollander, P.C. for Help You With All of Your Estate Planning Needs
If the recent pandemic has reminded you that your affairs are not in the kind of shape you wish them to be in, contact the experienced team at Hollander & Hollander, P.C. today to set up a no-obligation, free initial consultation.