While it is still hard to tell how the coronavirus will impact us in the long term, it has become a subject that is impossible to ignore. While some are advocating that we prepare to be quarantined, potentially for months, others are saying the virus is nothing more than a common cold. The World Health Organization takes a more middle-of-the-road approach, advising that we take precautions without becoming alarmed.
As the coronavirus has progressed, there has been an increase in people contacting our office to ensure that their affairs are in order. While now is a good time to ensure your estate planning documents such as your will, living trust, power of attorney, and advance health care directive are in place and up-to-date but remember it is always a good time to make sure this important task is completed.
We are always at risk of becoming incapacitated or deceased — even when there is not the coronavirus seemingly taking over the world by infecting and killing thousands of people. Did you know that the World Health Organization estimates that 290,000 to 650,000 people die annually from the flu? Or that 1.25 million people die in car accidents every year with an average of 3,287 deaths per day? An estimated 37,000 people die from car accidents in the United States alone each year. The numbers make it clear that we are always at risk of incapacity or death.
Estate planning is often misunderstood. Some people think that estate planning is only for those with money and if you don’t have much money, then it isn’t worth the time, cost, and effort. However, estate planning is about way more than just money.
Estate planning is not just about protecting your money from unnecessary taxes. Estate planning is more than keeping your money in your family and keeping it from predators, lawsuits, creditors, or divorcing spouses.
Estate planning is about ensuring your wishes are honored in the event of your incapacitation so that you can determine the quality of life that you want and you can have the final say regarding your health care even when you can no longer speak for yourself. It is about taking the burden off of your loved ones during this trying time and telling them exactly what you want so they don’t have to guess.
To learn more, attend one of our complimentary Estate Planning Workshops where you will learn about:
– Power of Attorney documents – Wills & Probate – The difference between trusts – How to protect your assets – How to qualify for VA Benefits – How to qualify for Medicaid