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Friday, May 15, 2020

How Does the Coronavirus Affect Estate Planning?

The coronavirus is currently affecting people all over the world. It's infected over 400,000 people in the United States to date, and it's unclear how long this virus will continue to spread. Therefore, in addition to following the recommendations of health experts and official government mandates, individuals should consider how the pandemic may affect other areas of their lives, including estate planning. Although most people who contract the virus will recover, there have been nearly 15,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States. Therefore, although the odds of contracting and succumbing to the virus are low, now is as good a time as any to make sure your estate plan is current. In addition to the information below, please contact a Michigan estate planning attorney for advice on dealing with the coronavirus pandemic from a legal standpoint.

Last Will and Testament

The first thing you should review in wake of the coronavirus is your will. Specifically, you should review your will to ensure that:

  • Your executor is still capable of fulfilling his or her duties.
  • Your executor is still the best person to fulfill these duties.
  • Your listed beneficiaries are accurate.
  • The beneficiaries listed are responsible enough to potentially inherit valuable assets. If not, you may want to consider a trust.
  • Your estate is safe from any ex-spouses. Your Michigan estate planning attorney can help ensure that your estate assets and beneficiaries are protected.

Trust

Next, if you have a trust in place, you should review it to ensure that it contains the proper assets. If you are concerned about avoiding probate after death, you may want to consider a trust.

Durable Power of Attorney and Advance Directives

You should also review your estate plan to ensure that you have a durable power of attorney in place. A power of attorney gives another person the authority to handle your legal and financial affairs if you ever become incapacitated. Advance directives perform similar functions for medical issues. These documents will save your family the trouble of having to make these types of decisions if you ever become unable to do yourself.

Beneficiary Designations

Finally, now is a good time to check the beneficiary designations of your life insurance account, 401k, IRA, and annuities. It's necessary to list beneficiaries for each of these, and the failure to do so may subject them to the probate process.

Contact our Michigan Estate Planning Attorney Today

Whether you need to update your estate plan or want to begin the estate planning process, you need an experienced Michigan estate planning attorney on your side. At Keating Law, PLC, we will assist you with all aspects of the estate planning process, taking special care to answer any and all questions you may have along the way. If you'd like to begin planning for your future, please contact Keating Law, PLC, today for a consultation.


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