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Estate Planning in Times of Uncertainty

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has many wondering if they are prepared for the unpredictable future. People are taking this time to get organized, assess their situations, and address their needs.

An important part of this analysis is the need for a comprehensive and coordinated estate and asset protection plan. A comprehensive estate plan will provide for what happens to you and your assets during your disability and after your death. It also allows you to designate who will carry out your wishes in the event of your incapacity or demise. Estate planning has never been more relevant or more necessary than it is today.


ALREADY HAVE AN ESTATE PLAN?

For those that have some form of estate planning in place, you should dust it off and take some time to review it.

  • Pay close attention to who you have named to serve as your Executor and Trustee, if any.
  • Also take note of your beneficiaries. Is this in line with your wishes today? Should anything be changed or updated?
  • Do you have long-term care insurance?
  • If not, does your current plan include a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust to protect your assets from the exorbitant costs of a nursing home or other form of long-term care?
  • Does your plan include protective trusts for your children or other heirs that protects their inheritance from actual or potential creditors, or if they should divorce or become injured or sick?

Further, review your assets to make sure that they are properly titled, and that the appropriate beneficiaries are designated, where applicable. Include your life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and any old stocks or bonds you may have, as they are frequently forgotten.

This is also a good time to organize all your important paperwork, so it is easy to find if an emergency occurs.

HAVEN’T MADE ANY PLANS YET?

An est. 60% of Americans have done NO estate planning.

For those of you who don’t have an estate plan in place – and roughly 60% of Americans don’t, according to recent data – now is a great time to contact us to put one in place!

A good estate plan consists of more than a simple will to address your after-death concerns. Some of those critical documents to have in effect include:

  • A durable power of attorney for your financial matters
  • A health care proxy and living will for medical decision-making

Both documents are enormously helpful if you face disability or crippling illness. You may also want to ask about a trust and how to proactively plan for asset protection if the need arises for long-term care and Medicaid.

In these uncertain times, Blustein, Shapiro, Frank & Barone, LLP is here for you! We are still available during regular business hours so we can address our clients’ needs. We have incorporated the necessary tools to ensure that client meetings can still take place by video or phone, and to permit the preparation and signing of legal documents without a face-to-face meeting.

Give yourself some peace of mind in these uncertain times and contact us today for an estate planning consultation.