The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way that Californians are managing fundamental aspects of their lives. Since COVID-19 has become a global health concern, citizens have adjusted to working from their homes, buying goods and services online, and conducting certain business transactions remotely. The pandemic has also raised awareness regarding how quickly a health crisis can strike and the importance of being prepared. Those who need to attend to estate planning during this uncertain time will want to know: How do I plan for my California estate during the pandemic?
Contact a California Estate Planning Attorney
If you don’t have a California estate plan, one of the best things you can do is contact a California estate planning attorney. You and the attorney can review your information, evaluate your assets, discuss your goals, and plan for your estate. Although the pandemic has changed some things, there are ways you can meet with an estate planning attorney to discuss your needs. Phone consultations and Zoom meetings work well during the pandemic. Once you talk with a lawyer and define your estate-goals, you can determine your next steps.
Gather Relevant Information
After you meet with an estate-planning attorney, you will most likely need to gather relevant documents and information about your assets and heirs. You will also need to identify the people you want to act on your behalf through your power of attorney and Advance Health Care Directive. When selecting an agent or attorney-in-fact for your power of attorney, you will want to choose someone you trust to manage your financial interests if you become incapacitated. Your Advance Health Care Directive will allow you to designate a medical decision-maker to see that your directions to your care providers are properly carried out. This person will also make choices about your medical treatment if you are unable to do so.
Talk to Your Loved Ones
As you are getting your estate plan in order, you will be considering your heirs, assets, and whom you want as your agent and medical decision-maker. While you are making certain decisions, it would be good to give your loved any necessary information so that there are not questions about them later. For example, suppose you intend to leave one of your kids more money than the other. In that case, you may want to explain your reasoning for doing so to them beforehand. If you want a particular person to be your decision-maker, talk to them about the designation. For instance, you may wish for your sister to serve as your agent for your power of attorney or medical decision-maker in your Advance Health Care Directive. However, she may not feel comfortable in that role. By talking before you make the designation, you can learn if the chosen relative is willing to accept responsibility for making financial or medical decisions on your behalf.
Evaluate Your Current Estate Plan
If you have a California estate plan, now is an excellent time to review your documents and determine which ones need to be updated. You may have drafted an excellent will or trust years ago that needs to be changed to reflect your current preferences and assets, and any updates to the law. Your power of attorney for finances and Advance Health Care Directive may also require revisions. You can take this time to meet with your estate planning attorney and make sure that your documents are accurate and have current information.
Having a trust can be a valuable part of your overall estate plan. At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we are estate planning attorneys with experience helping clients prepare for the future. We can help you review your situation and help you determine the best measures to put in place for your goals. Please contact us online or by phone to schedule an appointment today. /contact/