The COVID-19 virus has taken over our lives and many people are thinking about how they and their families are protected. With more people getting sick and experiencing the loss of loved ones, there has been an explosion in the numbers of Americans rushing to make their will and living trust. According to Caring.com, the rate of will and estate planning has been on the decline since 2017 but this trend is quickly reversing itself with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic. Understandably, COVID-19 has reminded people of the importance of setting up wills and end-of-life-directives. However, many are turning to the internet to fill out online do it yourself (DIY) wills. These are often deemed invalid in court, as they usually do not comply with all of the legal requirements of your state. Are you looking into your will and trust options during this pandemic?
Factors to Consider Before Going Online
So, who needs a will? If you die, do you care what happens to your estate? Do you know who will act as legal guardian for your minor children? If you answered yes to either one of these questions, you probably need a will and trust. Anyone who is married, has kids, or anyone with assets needs a properly executed will. Meaning, they need a will that is more comprehensive than the D.I.Y. ones found online. Wills are governed by state law. Your will should reflect your wishes in the format that is required by the state in which you live. If it doesn’t, it won’t be valid.
The Michaelson Law legal team shifted to teleconference during these uncertain times. With social distancing protocols in place, we can still provide legal services such as drafting a will and trust. Our attorneys will leave you feeling safer and more secure in the time you spent putting you will together. We will walk through the process together, answering your questions and providing expert guidance. Once your will is complete, it must be correctly notarized, something we can continue to offer here at Michaelson Law. If mistakes are made during the will-signing process, and you do not have a notary present, it can potentially invalidate your will. As your estate planning attorney, we will guide you through the signing process with your safety top of mind.
Other Estate Planning Documents
Beyond the creation of a will, many Americans are increasingly concerned about their powers of attorneys, health care surrogates, living wills, and end of life directives. These documents are equally as important as your will. These are difficult conversations to have, however, named executors, successors, beneficiaries, power of attorneys should have several back-up representatives as the mortality rate due to the coronavirus remains difficult to pinpoint.
As they face the pandemic daily, many doctors and medical professionals are rushing to have their wills updated. According to research in a recent New York Times report, health care workers are more likely to contract COVID-19 than normal because they are on the front lines of the fight. In addition to doctors, all essential workers should create a will, or update their current documents.
There is very little we can do to battle a virus, other than social distancing and following all CDC health safety guidelines. We cannot stop an invisible disease very easily, however, we can keep ourselves prepared. The creation of your estate plan is an action that you can take today to protect you and your family. We can help. Visit MichaelsonLaw.com to schedule a phone or video conference and we’ll get this importance process started for you right away.