COVID-19 essential estate plan 'go package'
Many people put together an estate plan, figure they are all set, and promptly check it off their to-do list. What they fail to recognize is that creating a plan is only part of the process.
The plan, no matter how comprehensive it is and how hard you work on it, does little good if the people who will be overseeing your estate cannot get their hands on the all-important legal documents. This point has been underscored by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, where the survivors of victims are scrambling for the rightful control of estates.
If you become sick or incapacitated, time is vital when it comes to making medical and financial decisions on your behalf. Your care can be delayed if family members are spending time trying to track down a medical directive, power of attorney, will, or other records. Even worse, without access to your estate planning documents, people may make decisions that go against your wishes.
Another important note: Keep your estate plan current. Your life changes. Children are born. Marriages happen or come to an end. Be sure your plan is up-to-date with your latest wishes. You probably don't want a former spouse cashing in when you pass away because you forgot to update your will.
How to Make Your Estate Plan Accessible
What you need, especially during a pandemic, is a “go package” of estate planning documents that is readily available to the right people. Some information that should be part of the package includes:
- Medical power of attorney/advance medical directive
- Financial power of attorney
- Your will
- A living trust agreement
- Copies of your insurance card, including a Medicare card and prescription plan information
- Your medical history
- A list of your prescriptions and known allergies
- Essential personal information (full legal name, Social Security number, etc.)
- Contact information for your attorney
- Personal emergency contacts
- Medical emergency contacts
In addition to having a copy handy at home, you may want to provide copies to the people who will be in charge of your estate. The less time they waste looking for information, the more time they can spend making informed medical and financial decisions on your behalf.
A Solid Estate Plan Provides Peace of Mind
An estate plan is proof of your good intentions to leave your affairs in order when you pass away or if you become incapacitated. It clearly spells out your desires for the care and disbursement of your assets. Any holes in your plan leave it open to legal haggling that can drag on for months or even years.
The Arizona estate planning lawyers at The Law Firm of Brown & Jensen will work hand-in-hand with you to prepare a comprehensive plan. We have extensive experience with clients just like you in Mesa, Tucson, Scottsdale, Chandler, Peoria, Goodyear and Show Low. Contact us today for a free consultation.