Trying to take care of things during the pandemic is stressful, especially estate planning. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown, many people have been checking up on their estate plans. With mortality on the forefront of everyone’s mind, especially those of a certain age, its no wonder that preparing for the future would be high on the list of to-dos. But one thing that estate planners invariably say is that people should not wait until they are of a certain age or have contracted the virus to make their plans and arrangements. It is not best tot push these decisions off for some future date. In chaotic times, we never know how many future dates we may have left. With that said, here are some of our best tips and advice for pandemic estate planning.
Use Online Tools
These days there are any number of websites that can help walk you through a DIY will. Sites like LegalZoom and RocketLawyer are among the most popular, but a simple google search will bring up many others. Some of these websites are even creating partnerships with regional banks or to provide discounted services to bank customers. These sites are a good option for people who are just starting the process. However, if you have a large number of assets, children, or other circumstances that are more complex, this may not be the best option for your needs. These tools can also be used to give you ideas of how things should be set up, which you can then take with you to your estate planning agent for review and finalization.
Consider Your Options
One of the major reasons to speak with an estate planner is to ensure that you do not overlook any options regarding your estate plan and how it will affect your heirs. In your haste to get it done, especially with coronavirus looming outside, it can be tempting to pick the first option you see without reviewing all the possibilities and what actually works best for you and your family. It is crucial that you take your time and speak with an advisor who can talk you through all the best options that will work for your and your loved ones. Do not let fear of the unknown push you into making haphazard decisions that lead you in the wrong direction.
One thing is certain, life is always in flux. Once you have your estate plan in place, it is important to review it from time to time to make sure that it is still meeting your needs and has the most up-to-date information in it. Speaking regularly with your estate planning agent is the best way to make these changes and updates as they happen. Once again, they can walk you through all the latest options and all the changes that have come your way to determine the best fit.