ESTATE PLANNING IN THE TIME OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

As most of us can acknowledge, things are far from returning back to normal in the midst of this global pandemic. Slowly but surely we will reach a place of normalcy, but it’s not going to happen overnight.

A variety of people have had to readjust their game plan in order to adhere to the new rules and regulations that have been enforced on us.

Businesses can carry on as usual in certain fields, some of which include the area of estate planning. Estate planning is a serious matter and you should coordinate with the right estate litigation lawyers in Miami, in order to get the job done by someone who is qualified to do so.

A nicely structured estate plan will do wonders in protecting your assets, family, and above all, it will provide peace of mind, knowing that your well-being is in the hands of a trusted estate litigation lawyer in Miami.

Estate planning is not only sufficient in protecting your assets but in the event of you getting sick, there will be protection in place if you are rendered helpless from making your own decisions.

In terms of working around the pandemic situation, where there is a will, there is a way (no pun intended).

The following are a list of protocols that your estate litigation lawyer in Miami can implement in order to comply with the social distancing and stay at home regulations:

Making a Virtual Will

One way to work with a trust litigation attorney in Miami during these pressing times is to construct a virtual will. Bear in mind, many of these documents require a witness and the person signing the documents must be 18 years of age or older. Many states are very lenient on these kinds of readjustments.

Before the Coronavirus commenced, 23 states already permitted remote online notarization in which a notary and signer are in different locations and they use two-way audiovisual communication to safely monitor the progression of these electronic documents.

States that have been included in this are Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

A nationwide solution is in the works in order to make this official for many states. This would permit remote online notarizations in any state, so people have the free will to conduct legal actions without violating the social distancing protocols. Your trust litigation attorney in Miami can still provide you with all of the help that you need, just in a different environment.

A Virtual Estate Consultation

What’s one positive take away from the pandemic? The fact that we can still carry on with business proceedings on video chat programs like Zoom or even on facetime. Clients usually want to review the following documents during an estate consultation:

A comprehensive will that legally names who should inherit the property they own; A cohesive power of attorney that assigns another person to make financial decisions on their behalf if they’re incapacitated in any way shape or form;

A health care power of attorney, as well as a living, will which allows a designated individual to make health care decisions for them if they can’t do it on their own; and lastly, the HIPAA authorization form to approve someone else to access medical information from a health care provider, on your behalf.

Is it Necessary to Hire a Trust Litigation Attorney in Miami?

The cost of putting together estate planning documents will vary depending on your location. Typically speaking, many attorneys will charge a flat fee for their services.

For people who aren’t looking to spend an absurd amount on attorney fees, there are DIY methods in compiling estate planning documents.

It’s very simple to use, and these programs are usually devoid of any unnecessary fees that one would normally have to put forth if working with an attorney.

The only setback from this is that you aren’t receiving the personal advice that you would get, had you chosen to work alongside an attorney.

These programs have the right ideas in mind, but if you feel like you still need to consult with an attorney anyway, that can easily be arranged, depending on the kinds of services and advice that you need.

The Importance of Having an Estate Plan

As previously mentioned in the above sections, it’s always important to have an estate planning document drafted out. You never know what could happen, and nothing is ever guaranteed. This pandemic will test our readiness in the face of adversity, we have to be prepared for any and all outcomes that may come our way. Plan in the event of an emergency, in order to avoid any hardships that can ensue later on down the road.

The following is a list of reasons for putting a will in place:

  • Planning for Health Care: It’s imperative for your estate plan to include an advance directive, which describes your wishes for how decisions will be made if you become really sick to manage your own health care. Under an advance directive, you will pick an agent who will be responsible for making the appropriate decisions about your care, this can include the medication you should take if you become very sick, the medical procedures that should be used to combat the progression of your illnesses, and which doctor should oversee your care.
  • Planning for Your Assets: Your assets are important to protect. No one, under any circumstances should have access to them, unless they have been designated to do so. A lawyer that has your best interest in mind will ensure that your assets are well sought after, in the event of an unexpected death or from any other scenario. In the event of your passing, you can designate a trustee to closely monitor and control all of the assets that were once in your possession. Your assets can include an inheritance that is meant for your children or spouse and it’s the job of the trustee to ensure that this gets in the right hands.