The U.S. is seeing a steady growth of coronavirus cases as well as explosive increases in deaths. California just became the first state to add more than 30,000 new cases in one day, with Los Angeles County setting a record on December 10th with 12,600 new cases.
The COVID pandemic reported in February 2020 will still be with us as we head into 2021. Even though there is hope on the horizon, now that the first vaccine has been approved by the FDA for use in the U.S., more and more states are imposing new restrictions to try to slow down this new surge.
While nobody wants to talk about their own mortality, it would be prudent to consider estate planning during this potentially life-threatening pandemic. This is the time to ensure that your personal affairs are in order, with the appropriate legal vehicles in place, so that you and your family are prepared for all possibilities.
It’s now more important than ever to organize all of your documents to determine whether updating your estate plan is necessary. If you do not have one, setting up an estate plan should be high on your priority list.
Coronavirus has Changed the Landscape
This latest surge in coronavirus cases across the nation brings with it a fresh sense of urgency for setting up a new estate plan or updating your current plan. Contracting the virus could result in serious illness that requires hospitalization and extensive treatment. Without advance arrangements in writing, patients who can no longer speak for themselves may not get the medical care they would want.
There are several essential documents to have in place:
- Advanced health care directive and/or living will
- Financial Power of Attorney
- A living trust which avoids probate, unlike a simple will.
- HIPAA authorization
In addition to getting the above documents in order, organize the following and assure that your beneficiaries know their location:
- Retirement, bank, and investment accounts
- Life and/or Disability insurance
- Digital assets
- Funeral and burial arrangements
- Plans for the care of your pets
By planning ahead and creating a comprehensive estate plan, you can be confident that your healthcare decisions and wishes for end-of-life care will be honored and that your family and your legacy will be protected.
Staying Steps Ahead of Unexpected Scenarios
As part of your plan, you may want to consider setting up a HYCET Trust: a multi-purpose trust used for comprehensive estate planning. In addition to offering the flexibility of being able to reclaim all or part of gifted assets, the trust also provides superior asset protection. It’s a powerful option for these uncertain times. Please contact us for details.
And remember, talking to your family about your estate plan in this time of COVID-19 is very important, especially when it comes to understanding the benefits of a HYCET Trust and how it can protect your legacy for generations to come.