Considering estate planning during COVID-19

People in Georgia and across the United States following the spread of COVID-19 across the country might be wondering how the illness could potentially affect their family. As the financial markets fluctuate, estate planning details might change.

Experts recommend that estate holders focus on the well-being of their family during times of uncertainty. They can begin by reviewing estate planning documents, such as a will, health care directives, revocable trust, power of attorney and beneficiary designations. Having these documents in place can prevent feelings of anxiety and fear should someone in the family become ill.

It's also a good idea to go over efficient transfer of wealth strategies. When the market becomes volatile, the government often tries to stabilize the economy by lowering interest rates. This is an ideal time to make financial decisions that could be beneficial over time. Taking the time to transfer wealth to beneficiaries during this time might be in the best interest of the estate holder. Finally, individuals can take into account any charitable donations they want to be made by setting up a charitable lead annuity trust. Assets can be transferred to a trust for a certain number of years. After the number of designated years has passed, the remainder of the trust would transfer to the designated beneficiary.

During times of distress, it's normal for people to react out of fear. Probate lawyers typically recommend that their clients take the time to be proactive by going over their assets should the worst happen. This helps allow an estate holder to continue to care for their family should anything happen to him or her. For example, a probate lawyer may be able to help set up trusts with family members as beneficiaries and carry out any last wishes with a health care directive and power of attorney. This may help make end-of-life planning less stressful for both estate holders and family members.

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