COVID-19 has changed the way the world operates and will for years to come. The pandemic has been a wake-up call for many people to slow down and reevaluate a lot of aspects of their lives. Man people are revisiting is their estate plans. Now is a great time to either look at your current estate plan or to get one in place, especially with how quickly life can change. Estate planning during the pandemic may seem daunting with everything going on, but that is all the more reason to get a plan together.
Don’t ignore this wake-up call to put a plan together in case you lose capacity or in the event of your death. Here are some tips to get you started:
Understand Your Needs For Your Estate Plan
We are starting to see a niche market of DIY estate planning websites amidst the growth of the pandemic. There has been a push from companies partnering with these sites as a way to offer these services to employees and customers. One thing to understand is that while these websites offer a nice idea that estate planning can be done easily from the comfort of your own home and without much help, a lot of times the offered documents and plans only work well for individuals without many assets or intricate family situations.
If you are a business owner, have a blended family, are re-married, or have a unique family situation, we strongly encourage you to work with a professional to accurately assess your estate planning needs.
Don’t Take the Easy Way Out of Estate Planning
With more time on our hands and the constant stream of news, many people feel a sense of urgency when it comes to their mortality. Rushing to create an estate plan out of fear can lead to many mistakes. For example, you may be able to set a living trust online, but were you advised how to structure it, how to fund it, or how to do so?
This is why we urge you to consult an estate planning attorney who focuses on the crafting of the right estate plans for you. In light of the pandemic, estate planning attorneys have embraced virtual practices and can meet online to figure out your needs. The first step in estate planning with Lexern Law Group is a Family Wealth Planning Session that can be done virtually.
Whether you meet with an attorney or use an online service, make sure your plan is right for you by asking many questions or even seeking a second opinion.
The Estate Planning Process Has Changed
If you have an idea of what working with an estate planning lawyer may be like, know that the process has changed as we are all adapting to working during a pandemic. Estate planning lawyers have been challenged recently with increased volume in the amount of clients seeking their services and with in-person meetings not being an option, pivoting to a virtual practice has been key. Meeting using video calls, electronic documents, and remote notarizations, are all options while we are all staying home.
Ask The Right Questions
Research your options whether you are using an estate planning attorney or a DIY service. There are many ways to find the right estate planning lawyer for your situation, including asking your family and friends who they may have worked with. Take the time to ask questions if you have contacted a firm that you think may be the right fit for you.
With using an online service, check reviews of the service or try to get in touch with someone who has used the one you are considering. Ask questions if they have a chat option or a customer service team.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to serve as a general summary of the issues outlined therein. While this article may include general guidance, it is not intended as, nor is a substitute for, qualified legal advice. Your review or receipt of this article by Lexern Law Offices, Ltd. (the “LLG”) or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the LLG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors of the article and does not reflect the opinion of the LLG