Estate Planning During a Pandemic

Estate planning is an essential step everyone must take to ensure their property and assets are distributed to those the writer desires. Though some people think it’s a task they can take on themselves, they quickly find organizing one’s property, concerns, and desires is a lofty task best handled by a professional. Estate planning is more than making a list and passing it to an executor. The process involves a number of powers from wills, to trusts, to powers of attorney, to do-not-resuscitate-orders, and more.

Credit: Realtor

More than that, this crucial aspect of law isn’t simply about organizing one’s wishes posthumously. Estate planning can also involve how one’s finances and assets are handled when one’s health deteriorates (be it suddenly or gradually). Important documents must be put in order so that the writer of the will’s desires are executed during all aspects of life.

But what would really happen if you don’t turn to an elder law attorney for your estate planning needs? More likely than not, your family will end up in probate. This requires mandatory court involvement to distribute one’s assets fairly. It is not only time consuming, but expensive. The fees usually come out of the estate to be distributed, which results in less money for the beneficiaries. By working with an elder law attorney to establish a trust, that doesn’t become a problem. Everything will be properly executed to whomever you desire.

Credit: Sweet and Maier, SC

The global pandemic has led many people to think about wills and trusts more carefully. But with that consideration, a problem quickly arises: how can you have a meeting with an elder law attorney when socially distancing and working from home are the standard? There are two, simple answers to this problem.

Many elder law firms have adapted their services to offer support to clients via phone or video conferences. These calls take place during normal hours, just like a normal meeting wood. This option gives clients the comfort of speaking to a professional who has their best interests at heart, as well as the peace of mind that comes from keeping safe and healthy at home.

As offices begin to open, many firms are returning to their standard of in-person meetings while incorporating extra precautions to keep everyone as safe as possible. For many, this means additional sanitizing measures and plastic partitions to ensure social distancing. Clients can have a meeting with their attorney while wearing a mask and keeping distant, giving some the comfort of one-on-one meetings with a professional who cares.

No matter which option appeals to you most, the answer is clear: clients have options. Avoid probate and secure your peace of mind by contacting an elder law attorney who will develop a plan that is right for you.

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Mark Shalloway is an elder and special needs care attorney in West Palm Beach, Florida.

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Mark Shalloway

Mark Shalloway is an elder and special needs care attorney in West Palm Beach, Florida.