How to Make Your Estate Plan Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has many of us on edge. We are forced to face our fears in many ways. Whether we are scared of falling ill, of losing someone close, of losing a job, or having to spend time alone in isolation, we are all scared of something. And it’s perfectly normal – humans are naturally anxious and we are fearful about the unknown. Many of us try to get rid of anxiety by getting our affairs in order.

Although COVID-19 is not as dangerous as we previously thought, as most people have mild symptoms, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared if you may need to be hospitalized. It may be scary, but you must prepare for a period where you can’t make decisions for yourself.

An estate plan is the perfect tool to ease your fears and make you feel more comfortable during the coronavirus pandemic. After all, an estate plan drafted by professional estate and will lawyers will give you peace of mind and will help your relatives if something bad happens.

The truth is that everyone should have an estate plan, even if there is no looming pandemic. If you don’t have an estate plan, this is probably the best opportunity to get one. So, how can you make sure you work with the best estate planning firms in your area? What should you know about estate planning during the pandemic? Let’s take a closer look:

The documents you will need

Any person who is over 18 requires some form of estate planning. However, estate planning is not just about wills and trusts. These are obviously not as important if you’re single, have no kids, and limited wealth. Estate planning is more than just this – it also includes a revocable living trust, financial powers of attorney as well as health care powers of attorney, which can be very useful during this difficult period.

Both the financial powers of attorney and the health care powers of attorney are the most important documents for clients during this period. You must have a trusted person who can take care of your financial obligations and make critical medical decisions if you are quarantined or hospitalized. This is especially true if you become incapacitated or need special longterm care. Every strong estate plan should include these documents, so make sure your estate and will lawyers know exactly what you need.

Let’s take a closer look at the documents you need and what they mean:

The financial power of attorney

This document may sound quite formal, but its role is quite simple and straightforward. The financial power of attorney is a legal document that lets your lawyer handle your financial affairs on your behalf. The lawyer will be able to protect your assets, handle your payments, debt, and other financial interests or obligations while you are incapacitated. If you sign a financial power of attorney, the agent (in this case, your lawyer) can pay bills, write checks, sell or purchase assets, make deposits, or sign tax returns.

Depending on the jurisdiction, the agent can be any competent adult or your lawyer. However, you should choose a responsible, competent, and trustworthy person as your financial agent. Also, choose a backup agent, if the main one is unavailable. If you don’t have a valid FPOA, there will be no person able to act on your behalf and your family will have to go through the delicate probate process in order to appoint a guardian to handle your financial needs. This process can be very time-consuming and quite expensive. Avoid it by choosing the best estate planning firms in your area.

The health care power of attorney

Similar to the financial power of attorney, the health care power of attorney is a legal document that gives an agent (a person you choose) the authority to make health care decisions on your behalf, if you are incapacitated or incompetent. If you don’t have a valid HPOA, your family will have to go through the probate process in order to appoint a guardian that has these powers.

The HIPAA waiver

The Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act (abbreviated as HIPAA) is a law that provides security provisions and data privacy for patients. Even if you have a valid HPOA, the agent may not be able to access all your medical information in order to make the right decision for you. To avoid this from happening, you will need to have the HIPAA waiver as a backup document. It allows your agents to have full access to your medical information in order to speak freely with your health care providers. This document is very important in case of a medical emergency, so make sure you talk to your estate and will lawyers about it.

The living will

Also known as the advanced health care directive, this legal document lets you specify what end-of-life treatment you want or if you don’t want it at all. This is important if you become terminally ill, permanently unconscious and you can’t survive without constant supervision and life support. If you don’t have this legal document, the final decision must be made by your HPOA agent, which can be traumatic, particularly if the person is close to you. In many cases, the agents are hesitant about making this decision, bringing more pain and suffering to patients.

The last will and the testament

This is an important document that lets you distribute your assets to your heirs, after your death. The will lets you appoint an executor who will handle the legal proceedings after you die. The will and testament are important because everyone has assets that need to be transferred, so it’s applicable to virtually every person. What’s more, they are your assets, and you should have the final say about what happens to them. You will be able to specify precisely how the assets are distributed and in what circumstances. Make sure to contact the best estate planning firms in your area in order to get the best legal support.

Demand For Wills Surge In Times Of Coronavirus

(prsubmissionsite) 26/06/20 The COVID-19 pandemonium is running rampant throughout the entire country. It’s become more and more self-evident that many businesses have to change their routines with their current clientele, in order to retain the productivity they need for their livelihoods to survive.

For people who are looking to readjust or create wills during these pressing times, it’s important that you work with the right will and probate lawyers in Miami.

In times like these, many people are going to want to take a second look at their wills or even draft a new one altogether. Comprehensive will and probate lawyers in Miami have the tools and experience needed to get the job done on your behalf.

A well put together estate plan will do wonders in protecting your family for years to come. Not only do these plans ensure that your family is well sought after in the event of your passing, but should you be rendered immobile under any circumstances, your will and probate lawyers in Miami will help in choosing someone that you have a relationship with, to oversee any and all decision-making processes.

You may be wondering: What is being done differently if there weren’t a pandemic occurring right now? Well, in a sense not much is changing.

Perhaps the face to face interactions with attorneys will be temporarily mitigated in order to curb the spread of the virus, but business can proceed as usual if done safely and responsibly.

As a presumptive Miami resident, you should stop at nothing in pursuing the most equipped will and estate law firm in Miami. Many of these firms will offer free consultations to all of their prospective clients and it’s encouraged that you take advantage of these opportunities as they come about.

Keep reading below to have a better understanding of how to work closely with a will and estate law firm in Miami while maintaining safe social distancing protocols in adherence to COVID-19. Drafting wills is always going to be of importance for anyone that is involved in this intricate process from start to finish. You can’t do the entire thing by yourself and you should not have to, regardless of the circumstances that are in front of you. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Drafting your Wills Online?

I know. It seems quite perplexing, doesn’t it? For what it’s worth, the experience you foster when working with a will and estate law firm in Miami is unmatched. Hardly anything beats the inner workings of a budding relationship between a client and their attorney, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

It’s become much more feasible to draft your own will online. Of course, it’s going to come off a little intimidating because of how new this concept is. But rest assured, there are plenty of resources and tools that are readily available which will help get you started.

With that being said, if you so wish to speak with an attorney, it’s recommended to do so for any of your burning questions. The last thing anyone would want is for one small mistake to occur which can prompt a setback or delay in the process of drafting your will.

The Power of Video Chatting

The best thing to come out of this whole situation surrounding COVID-19 is the fact that all businesses can find ways to stay in touch through platforms like Zoom and Skype. According to STA-Law.com, “Businesses like Zoom are experiencing a quadrupling of daily users.

Part of this significant increase includes hosting secure attorney/client meetings for will preparations”. Attorneys know all of the ins and outs when it comes to understanding the lingo and technicalities associated with creating wills.

Upon completing your will, make sure it gets notarized and that it’s devoid of any errors. As previously mentioned, any missteps in the process could result in an improper will or a delay in the entire process.

Virtual Signatures

Typically speaking, it’s required to have two witnesses and a notary when compiling virtual signatures of any kind. It’s become easier to sing virtual wills due largely in part to laws like the Electronic Wills Act which “permits the electronic signing of wills and allows probate courts to deem electronic wills legal.” Obviously, these laws vary from state to state. Florida will begin to adhere to this rule, starting on July 1st of this year.

Following your Wishes

Regardless of how and when you create the will is immaterial. What matters is how you’re going to follow the wishes of your client and their loved ones. The following are a list of steps to strongly consider when in the early stages of drafting a will:

  • Who will you confide in as your executor?
  • Who is going to benefit from your estate?
  • Are there any dependent family members?
  • What assets do you have and where are they located?
  • Do you run a small or large business?

Discussing the answers to these questions with your attorney will make it so that all of the relevant considerations are taken into consideration, and that the well being of your family, finances and business proceedings are dealt with in a tax-efficient manner, in order to comply with the demands enforced by the state and federal regulations.

Having a personal directive and a power of attorney is just as if not more important than a will. This allows you to designate someone to handle your personal and financial matters, should you fall ill or are unable to make coherent decisions on your own.

The people you decide to appoint as agents and attorneys should be on the same page about your personal wishes and values and be trusted to act on your behalf when it’s necessary to do so.

An estate planning professional can break down the duties and responsibilities of these important parties in order to help you make a smart decision when choosing a designated representative that can do you no wrong. Be diligent in this very important decision-making process.