Being homebound due to the coronavirus has many challenges. One potentially
unexpected challenge is trying to figure out how to pass the time at home.
One project that you may be interested in tackling is updating your estate plan.
Take advantage of the opportunity to first, find your existing estate planning
documents (wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney, living wills and
designations of health care surrogate). Second, review them and see if
they still accurately express your wishes. Have your wishes for who would
speak for you if you became incapacitated (durable power of attorney and
designation of health care surrogate) changed? Has the person you want
to be in charge of your will (personal representative or executor) or
in charge of your trust (trustee) changed? Finally, do you need to update
or change who you have named as your beneficiaries?
Another project is to make a list of your bank accounts, life insurance
policies, IRA accounts and brokerage accounts etc. This list will be important
if your durable power of attorney or your personal representative or trustee
has to step in for you. Your life insurance policy isn’t going to
help your beneficiaries if no one knows it exists or no one can find it
in your filing system that only you understand.
Although you are at home, your attorney can still help you with your estate
plan project. Many attorneys are still available to “meet”
with you via telephone or even virtually through programs like Skype and
Zoom to discuss your current estate plan and documents and the changes
you may decide you wish to make to them. Just call their offices and set
up these telephone or virtual appointments.
Having these telephone or virtual meetings with your attorney now will
allow your attorney to begin updating your plan and your documents now
so that when you are able to meet with your attorney in person again everything
will be ready for you to sign.
In addition to helping you to pass the time, this “estate planning
project at home” is an opportunity to use the time to take positive
steps towards keeping your family safe.