The coronavirus pandemic has made estate planning much more difficult. This creates a situation where there is an increased need for estate planning services due to the possibility of a sudden health emergency, yet people may be reluctant to get the right legal help during this crucial time due to fear of person to person contact. However, professionals agree that there are some important measures that should be taken

Estate planning documents that are always important

There are some documents that are always a part of any estate plan which should not be overlooked. Anyone over 18 should have some kind of basic documentation in place, however a will is usually not the first or most important document when someone begins their plan. A revocable trust and instructions for powers of attorney that can be amended over the years are often good places to start, as they can cover sudden emergencies or incapacity and changed financial circumstances. There are even certain medical powers of attorney and advance directives that can be drafted to give detailed instructions about how a person’s treatment and financial matters should be handled if they become seriously ill or die. These documents allow someone else to make banking, financial, and medical decisions while someone is quarantined or hospitalized. It is important to name someone who will be able to take steps to preserve your wealth during a time of unavailability. 

A thorough estate plan can be created once these documents are in place to cover the realities of a sudden emergency. Financial power of attorney is significant for those who are concerned with end of life issues. This power can allow a trusted person to begin to manage someone’s financial affairs on their behalf, including basic tasks like paying bills. Without a financial power of attorney in place, the family may have to wait until a will goes through probate courts and deal with an avalanche of problems at all once. It also helps if a person appointed to handle these matters lives in close physical proximity. 

A living will, which is also known as an advance directive, is important for those in their final years because it allows them to refuse or request certain forms of treatment, even if they lose the physical ability to do so because of health problems. Some other important decisions about discontinuing life support during a terminal illness can also be addressed by this document. 

A standard will or trust document is the final step to plan for distribution of property and assets after death. 

Start planning for the future

If you need to speak with an estate planning lawyer in the Vero Beach area, there are licensed professionals ready to guide you towards solutions. Speak with someone at: 

The Estate, Trust, and Elder Law Firm

850 NW Federal Highway, #1004, Stuart, FL 34994

772-261-8556

www.etelf.com

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