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Covid-19 Provides Opportunity For Estate Planning

Covid-19 Provides Opportunity For Estate Planning

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Estate planning in light of a global pandemic requires specific strategies to execute a proper estate plan while protecting people from the virus. The reality of a global pandemic has caused many to think about what would happen to their loved ones if they were gone. This is an excellent time to start an estate plan or give an existing estate plan another look, and most of the steps can be taken safely even in light of a global pandemic.

Extra Time Makes Estate Planning Easier

As people are working from home and avoiding their daily commute, and some even face layoffs or furloughs, they find themselves with additional time. This gives them the ability to think through the estate planning needs they have been postponing due to busy schedules. In this way, COVID-19 makes estate planning just a little easier.

Estate Planning Can Be Done Remotely

Much of the work of the estate plan does not require an in-person meeting with an estate planning attorney. Attorneys can meet with clients via video or over the phone to discuss many of the factors of the estate plan. Some states have implemented emergency rulings that allow attorneys to sign documents digitally during the pandemic. Others allow short, in-person meetings with proper safety precautions to allow the signing of documents, but document prep takes place remotely.

Estate Planning Documents Have Different Notarization Requirements

Before starting an estate plan during a pandemic, individuals should reach out to an estate planning attorney to learn what is required for notarization. Not all estate plan documents require a notary public’s signature. Some states are offering more flexible options during the pandemic, allowing people to postpone notarization until the global health crisis is over. In many states, online notarization is being considered, which would add even more options for those tackling the estate planning process during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Does Not Mean Estate Planning Has to Wait

While COVID-19 has shut down many businesses, including law firms, and forced companies to find digital options, it does not mean that people have to put off their estate plans. With virtual options and fast signing appointments, it is possible to create end-of-life documents, even in the pandemic. In fact, because of the unknowns it brings, the pandemic is an excellent time to focus energy on estate planning.

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