By: Estate Planning Attorneys at Velasco Law Group
Each time you reach a life milestone is a great time to revisit your estate planning. During a crisis, like the current coronavirus pandemic, the urgency of updating your estate plan becomes even more prevalent. If you are expecting a new baby in your family right now, then your milestone coincides with a global crisis, and the urgency for an up-to-date estate plan cannot be overstated. With any important decisions, it’s often imperative to consider and mitigate against the worst-case scenario. For example, what If you were incapacitated by coronavirus? Without a plan in place who would take care of you and/or your child, should something happen?
Usually, it would be necessary for the matter to go to Court and have the Court appoint a guardian or conservator. This can be a time consuming and expensive process during normal times and is especially challenging currently, as Courts calendars have been pushed back and limited during the COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, this can be an expensive process for individuals and their families.
This nightmare scenario can be avoided with a comprehensive estate plan which should include a durable power of attorney, a healthcare proxy, and an emergency guardianship proxy.
This document names an Attorney in Fact to handle your financial affairs who can have instant access to your bank accounts and can sign your name on checks and other legal documents. You can even name a backup in case your primary choice is unable to serve for whatever reason.
The Health Care Proxy names an Agent who can make medical decisions for you. It may also contain ‘living will’ language which states your end-of-life decisions. You can also name a backup option here.
An Emergency Guardianship Proxy allows the parents to select who would care for their children in an emergency for a short time period in a situation in which both parents were sick and unable to care for their children. This guardian would make decisions regarding the care, custody or property of the minor that may be required during this period of incapacity.
It is also important to have a Will in place with provisions for a Testamentary Guardian because the aforementioned three documents dissolve upon death, meaning that if you pass, your Will determines who is named as the guardian and conservator of your minor children.
A new child or grandchild may significantly impact your estate plan in a variety of other ways. In addition to your will and trust, it may also impact your business succession plans, your beneficiaries on retirement and insurance policies and the general approach you use when creating advance directives. The uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic does not suit itself for procrastination when it comes to such important updates to your estate plan.
Take some time to talk with the estate planning experts at Velasco Law Group to update or initiate your comprehensive estate plan. At Velasco Law Group we are committed to assisting individuals and families with their estate planning needs throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic. This is an incredibly volatile and stressful time and the increasing number of people who pass away without the necessary preparations in place, such as a proper estate plan, place additional, and unnecessary distress on families. New parents have a lot to prepare for with the arrival of a baby but don’t procrastinate on your estate planning. Contact the Velasco Law Group now at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 562-432-5541 to make sure that your estate plan is up-to-date and comprehensive. Velasco Law Group is taking proper COVID19 safety measures. Appointments may be set up via video or phone. In-person appointments can also be scheduled, if necessary.
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