5 Estate Planning Factors to Consider During COVID-19—and 4 Steps to Get Started | Burns Attorneys

5 Estate Planning Factors to Consider During COVID-19—and 4 Steps to Get Started

Plan for the Division of Your Assets With a Lawyer for Family Issues

Since the coronavirus pandemic started, a lot of Americans have been confronted with the concept of their own mortality. As a result of the rapidly spreading virus, many have decided that they need an attorney for estate planning, and have begun planning for the division of their assets with an estate planning lawyer in Los Angeles

Even if you are healthy and fit, it’s a good idea to have an estate plan or a will in place. A lawyer for family issues can tell you that estate planning ensures that your belongings and responsibilities are handled properly after your death or incapacitation. While you may feel like estate planning is only for the extremely wealthy, it puts you in a position to minimize the taxes your loved ones will pay on whatever they inherit from you. 

The basic estate plan includes: 

  • Non-tax goals and wishes 
  • Determination of who will receive assets 
  • Gifts to charity 
  • Concerns related to succession planning 
  • Federal and state estate tax planning

If the pandemic has made you feel like you need to protect your estate’s future security and safety, now has actually never been better to hire an estate planning and coronavirus attorney in Los Angeles. In response to the pandemic, the U.S. government passed temporary legislation allowing for married couples to transfer $23.16 million to their heirs free of estate and gift tax until 2026, where the cap will revert to approximately $6.8 million.

Learning to Live With COVID

It appears that COVID isn’t going anywhere soon, and you’ll have to take precautions to avoid contracting the virus. Since it can even affect extremely athletic individuals, it’s unwise to assume you’ll be okay if you test positive. 

An estate planning lawyer in Los Angeles will tell you that it’s never too early to start planning for your passing. While it’s a morbid thought, you want to make sure that your assets go to the right places when you’re no longer there to control them. 

What Happens If You’re too Sick to Make Your Own Decisions?

A common result of contracting COVID is having to be intubated or put on a ventilator, meaning that you won’t be able to communicate with your family. This makes it impossible to alter your estate plans, if they even exist.

That’s why you should consult an attorney for estate planning. It’s crucial to appoint a power of attorney that can act as your agent. A power of attorney has complete control over your assets, which is why it’s important to appoint someone trustworthy and responsible. This power can be temporary or permanent, and you can limit it to certain assets, such as regulating the application of your will or securing the sale of your home. 

A loved one with the power of attorney is enormously helpful in managing your estate in the event you become decapacitated due to COVID. Someone with the power of attorney for your finances should be able to: 

  • Pay bills and taxes 
  • Buy, sell, maintain, or collect rents on real estate 
  • Operate your business represent you in court 
  • Manage your retirement accounts

Making a Will

You’ll want to know where exactly your money and belongings are going after you pass away, which is why you should create a will. A Last Will and Testament can be done at home without the help of a Los Angeles lawyer for estate planning and COVID-19, but having an attorney involved does prevent further controversy in court because they serve as an eyewitness to the document’s validity. 

A will should cover who you want to handle your affairs, which beneficiaries you want to inherit which assets, and a complete list of those assets. Your assets can be purely monetary, but the legal term “assets” can also encompass any property or physical belongings you have accumulated over the course of your life.

The simplest will includes:

  1. Introduction 
  2. Executor 
  3. Beneficiaries 
  4. Property
  5. Guardian 
  6. Storage

Seeking Out an Attorney’s Help

Since you won’t be around to support your family forever, you’ll want to make sure your estate plan is solid. While a will can be written at home, hiring an estate attorney can give you additional peace of mind knowing that a professional third party was involved. 

It will be harder to contest your will if your attorney works with you to take certain steps you can take to keep this from happening. Since having a will contested can be a very challenging aspect of civil litigation, rely only on experienced family law attorneys to guide you each step of the way.

The Law Offices of Nigel Burns have dealt with various family law cases, and we have the experience and skill to make sure that your estate plan is iron-clad. Setting up a consultation with one of our attorneys is the best thing you can do to secure your assets for the future.

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