Thursday, March 19, 2020
Coronavirus Trusts? Suddenly Estate Planning More Popular Than Stockpiling Food as Advisors Arrange Wills and Trusts for Elderly Clients
The global pandemic of COVID-19 has numerous people thinking a question they have refused to face - what if? But now that they are, they are now also facing their own mortality, and realizing that they do not have the basic estate planning documents.
To protect yourself and your loved ones, now's a good time to make sure that you have the following four documents prepared and updated.
- A will or revocable trust.
- Many people choose a trust for the passage of assets to loved ones at death without the need for probate, but others can choose a will, especially those that have modest estates.
- Beneficiary designations on financial accounts.
- Many assets do not pass through a will or trust, such as an IRA, 401(k) account, or life insurance policy, and instead the proceeds go to the person you name as beneficiary of that account.
- Healthcare durable power of attorney.
- A durable power of attorney for healthcare will give the person you designate as your agent the ability to make the medical decisions you specify on your behalf. Check with your healthcare provider to see what they prefer to see in a healthcare power of attorney to ensure a smooth transition if you become incompetent.
- Financial durable power of attorney.
- In the chance that you become incompetent, financial responsibilities continue. You can tailor your financial power of attorney as narrowly or broadly as you want, ranging from simply being able to pay bills on your behalf to making major changes to your investment portfolio.
See Roland McMillian, Coronavirus Trusts? Suddenly Estate Planning More Popular Than Stockpiling Food as Advisors Arrange Wills and Trusts for Elderly Clients, Wealth Advisor, March 17, 2020.
Special thanks to Jerry Cooper (Wealth Advisor) for bringing this article to my attention.