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Reevaluating Your Estate Plan Amidst Covid

by Danny white

This epidemic poses substantial hazards to our life, including bodily, mental, and financial well-being, and the implications are difficult to quantify.

Those who have completed their legal documentation are ahead of the game. Life is still an evolution, and things change all the time. Now is an excellent time to read your materials. Are your wishes still reflected in them? Do they continue to say what you want? Are you still dreading getting your affairs in order?

Consult an experienced Princeton NJ estate planning lawyer to identify your financial and health-care objectives, along with how you would like to distribute your assets after you pass away.

Unfortunately, we are all affected by the global health issue, as are our loved ones. Legal documentation must be in order. The following things each of us should do:

Wills and Testaments

When you die, a Will specifies who receives what and who is in charge. In your Will, you specifically name the people or entities who will inherit your assets (and under what conditions) after you die. A will also specify an executor, who administers the estate, collects assets, pays expenses, and distributes assets to your beneficiaries. 

A guardian can be appointed when a minor or disabled child is involved. Without a valid Will, your assets will be distributed according to your state’s intestacy laws.

Maybe a Trust

We use trusts as part of our estate planning for various reasons. Some people may need a trust to hold and manage assets for a disabled or minor beneficiary. A trust can also assist a disabled recipient in preserving government benefits.

Directive on Health Care

You can do the following with an adequately designed Health Care Power of Attorney and Advance Directive:

  • If you are unable to recover, indicate your wishes for end-of-life decisions;
  • Designate someone to translate your expressed desires, and
  • Authorize someone to make medical decisions that do not involve end-of-life decisions on your behalf.

A well-crafted Health Care Directive will include a HIPPA Release.

Powers of Attorney

You select someone to take your place and make financial choices on your behalf with a financial power of attorney. These contracts might go into effect right once or when you become incapacitated in the future.

Jointly Held Assets and Beneficiary Designations

Further, now is an excellent time to update your beneficiary designations for life insurance and retirement funds (IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, and annuities).