This recent article on KUT.org discusses some of the issues that can be created when someone fails to prepare even a simple Will. While there are more reasons to plan than just fear of a pandemic, the article sheds light on how family members can be left in the dark about loved one’s assets, wishes and planing desires when they fail to leave a written Will in place.
As the article mentions, the need for court and attorney involvement will drive up the cost and time delay associated with probate and settling the affairs of a loved one who failed to plan. This stress and burden can be avoided with some simple planning upfront. The article doesn’t really cover the need for additional documents like powers of attorney for financial matters, medical power of attorneys, medical record releases, but these too are vitally important during any period of incapacity. By getting these documents in place you choose who handles your affairs and looks after you in the event of your incapacity, not the state.
Take some time now to get some basic planning in place. Talk to an estate planning attorney who can help customize a plan that makes sense for your assets, planning needs and family dynamics. The use of a trust to protect young heirs, incapacitated beneficiaries, or those who cannot handle money may also help protect your legacy over the years. Get all the options from an estate planning attorney so you can make an educated decision about how to best plan and protect your loved ones in case of your absence.