Sometimes people are forced to face their own mortality. The COVID-19 pandemic has become one of those times. The current pandemic has shown how important estate planning and incapacity planning are.
Get Your Estate Plan in Order
If you’ve been putting off estate planning, now is a good time to work on this.
Your estate plan allows you to communicate your wishes, including how you want your assets to be distributed. A solid estate plan can give you control of important end-of-life decisions while helping your loved ones avoid unnecessary costs and conflicts.
- When choosing beneficiaries, make sure your will is consistent with other documents, such as life insurance policies.
- Don’t forget to include your digital assets in your estate plan. Make sure your beneficiaries will have access to important digital assets and accounts.
- If you have children who are still minors, necessary arrangements may include nominating a guardian and providing financial resources, possibly in the form of a life insurance benefit.
- If you have pets, consider making arrangements for their care, as well.
- You can also make donations to charitable organizations part of your will.
- Discuss your plans with your loved ones. This can prevent surprises and disputes.
Get Your Incapacity Plan in Order
It’s also important to plan for the possibility of being incapacitated. If you are sick or injured and unable to express your desires, you need to make sure people know what your wishes for medical care are. You can also select someone you trust to make important healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated.
There are several legal tools that may be important to have, including:
- A living will
- A medical power of attorney
- A revocable trust
Update Your Plan
If it’s been a while since you updated your estate plan, this might be a good time to go over it again. This is especially important if you’ve had any significant life changes, such as:
- Getting married
- Getting divorced
- Having a child
- Moving to a new state or country
- Buying a new house or another major asset
Getting Things Done While Practicing Social Distancing
When working on your estate plan, it’s important to get assistance from an experienced attorney who is familiar with the relevant state laws and the necessary legal forms. However, in a period of social distancing, this can be complicated.
Oregon, like many other states, has issued a stay-at-home order. Some individuals may be under even stricter self-isolation and quarantine rules due to health problems or exposure to COVID-19. Many meetings can be done virtually, but the need for social distancing can make it difficult to get legal documents notarized. However, if you have all the paperwork prepared, it will be easy to quickly sign everything when social distancing requirements relax.
With social activities and travel curtailed, many people are finding that they have a little extra time, so it may be an ideal opportunity to create or update your estate plan.
Need help with your Oregon estate plan? Skinner Law is here to help. Contact us to learn more.