Coronavirus and Estate Planning: what you must know

March 23, 2020

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With all the uncertainty in the last several weeks, it is important to have clarity and peace of mind where you can. Here are the top things to know about your estate planning during the coronavirus crisis to make sure your wishes are known should something happen to you:

Make sure you have up-to-date, accurate powers of attorney.

By having healthcare and financial powers of attorney in place, you ensure that the right individuals are making decisions for you in the event you are unable to make them for yourself- this includes if you find yourself in the ICU with coronavirus.  If a court has to determine who should make those decisions for you it will be more costly and take more time when your time should be focused on your health and family.

Consider a Living Will.

You should execute a Living Will which directs health care providers to specifically treat you based on your own medical choices in the event that you are unable to make decisions on your own. Typically these are used for direction regarding life-sustaining measures when the person who has signed the document has suffered an incurable, irreversible illness and that condition is terminal.

Make your final wishes known.

Having a Will makes sure that your estate passes to your loved ones as you want it to. Without a Last Will and Testament, your estate will be distributed according to intestacy laws passed by the state legislature.  Intestacy means that you pass away without a Will.

Avoid costly and unnecessary probate court by planning now.

If your probate estate is worth more than $50,000, your estate will have to be processed through the probate process in the county court where you resided after your death.  To avoid the probate process and having your estate administered in court, you can consider executing a trust to hold your assets.

Don’t wait.

We believe we are in serious times and we want all our clients to get trusted advice about their estate planning needs.  If you don’t have a Will, don’t wait.  If you have questions about a Living Will or Trust, call us, get informed.  We will provide clarity about the process and your unique situation.

Call the office at 402-932-9550, or contact us online and make an appointment to come visit with us (virtually for now) about your estate planning needs.

More information about Hightower Reff Law’s estate planning practices are here and here.

 


This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts. 


If you need help with an Omaha area case, contact Hightower Reff Law today and come visit (virtually) with one of the attorneys at the Omaha office.