As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten our health and financial security (on which our health care depends), it’s more important than ever to ensure that all life planning documents are in order. The time to make sure you and your loved ones are protected is now.
With video conferencing, your Will, trust, estate plan, and other advance directives can be prepared and signed from the comfort of your own home.
You should consider, or update, the following planning strategies and documents:
☑ Health Care Proxy/Living Will
Designate a trusted agent to make medical decisions for you in the event that you can’t, and provide your family with directions regarding extraordinary medical care and end-of-life decisions.
☑ Medicaid Plan
Structure your financial resources and prepare documentation to ensure you qualify for long-term care while safeguarding your assets and inheritance.
Appoint persons you trust to be your children’s, parents’, or your own guardians in the event of death, incapacity, or absence.
☑ Power of Attorney
Designate a trusted agent to make legal, financial, and business decisions for you in the event that you can’t.
Stipulate how your assets should be distributed after death, designate beneficiaries, and appoint an Executor to carry out your directions.
☑ Estate Plan
Plan distribution of your assets in detail, minimize estate tax, and specify any other instructions to be carried out.
Manage, protect, and minimize taxation of your inheritance to minors or persons with disabilities.
☑ Life Insurance Beneficiaries
Name beneficiaries on your life insurance policies.
☑ Retirement Plan Beneficiaries
Name beneficiaries on your IRA, 401(k), pension, deferred compensation plan, and other qualified and non-qualified retirement accounts and annuities.
☑ Financial Accounts Beneficiaries
Name beneficiaries on your bank and brokerage accounts.
☑ Real Estate Ownership Agreements
Designate co-ownership and joint ownership of real estate holdings to ensure your properties will pass as intended.
☑ Creditor Protection Plan
Protect your assets and beneficiaries in the event of bankruptcy, lawsuits, or debt left behind at death.
☑ Tax Plan
Take advantage of tax opportunities resulting from depressed asset values and low interest rates.
This list is not comprehensive, nor does everyone need all documents listed. The information is general and is not intended to be, and should not be considered, legal advice. For specific questions please consult an attorney.
This article was first published on 6/12/2020 on the LIHerald.com "Ask the Lawyer" column: https://www.liherald.com/stories/now-is-the-time,125874