Things to consider amidst COVID-19 pandemic

There are few things to consider during the coronavirus outbreak and those things include the formalities of your will. Death is something that no one can predict but with the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the increasing mortality rate globally, it is necessary to handle your affairs before it is too late. Firstly, you need to prioritize creating a will in these unprecedented times and securing the future of your successors.

Making sure your loved ones inherit your assets is critical during this daunting time. You don’t want to make the lives of your beneficiaries more difficult than they need to be. By creating a will you avoid the costly and time consuming process of having to go through a probate court especially if your family might be stuck in quarantine. Although if you have a lot of assets to distribute then it does become a bit more complicated. This is why most people opt to use a revocable trust so they can avoid a probate entirely.

Another thing to consider would be designating your financial accounts to your beneficiaries as a revocable trust might not cover all your assets. If you have an insurance policy or a retirement fund then you need to allocate who will be the beneficiary of these funds. Many people don’t list their beneficiaries for these accounts. Whoever you name as the beneficiaries for these accounts will receive the proceeds even though your trust states otherwise. That is why it is important to list out these beneficiaries with your financial provider, they usually will provide you forms for this. Also keep these updated in the event of a birth, marriage or death in the family and also in the event that you want to change your mind for personal reasons.

You also need to decide who will be responsible for making medical decisions on your behalf should you ever be incapacitated in any way. Consult your attorney and they will help you draft up documents that clearly state who you have selected to make your healthcare decisions if you are unable to. This also applies to power if attorney in regards to your finances, you need to appoint someone to handle your financial affairs if you are incapacitated or unable to. This will be drafted as a separate document from your healthcare power of attorney document. You can tailor this document how you want so it can be as broad or narrow as you wish.

It is also necessary to consult your attorney when drafting your trust or any related documents. Because there are a lot of nuanced details that go into creating a will, it is often extremely pertinent to have an attorney oversee not only the language employed but also to assure that all the each asset is being passed down to exactly one beneficiary. It should also be noted that if the will does not comply with the state’s standard for what a will should look like, it can therefore be contested against, and deemed invalid. You want to make it easier for your family to inherit your assets and you want to make sure your final wishes are adhered.