The spread of COVID-19, a highly infectious and deadly disease, has compelled many people to consider plans for their family’s future should they contract the disease and pass away. Because of this public health crisis, it may be wise to learn estate planning steps you can do remotely.
While it may be difficult to establish an entire estate plan from home, there are many preliminary steps that you can do without leaving the house. Scheduling a remote consultation with a knowledgeable attorney can help you better understand how to begin this process.
Start by Identifying Assets and Heirs
When considering your estate plan, it is important to remember its primary purpose: to provide instructions to other parties concerning what you want to occur after your death. These considerations mainly concern your assets but could also cover business interests, guardianship for children, and charitable donations.
Accordingly, the formation of any estate plan must begin with an accounting of one’s assets. One preliminary step that you can begin remotely to plan for asset distribution is to obtain the following:
- Financial records
- Investment portfolios
- Business interests
- Rights to real estate
It is also possible to identify beneficiaries remotely. For the most part, any adult is able to inherit under an estate plan. Children can also inherit, but property for minors usually must flow through a Trust. In short, it is possible to perform much of the preparatory work in planning for asset distribution from the comfort of your home.
Attorneys Offer Remote Consultations and Sessions
To help people identify their goals from home, many estate planning attorneys are offering remote consultations. An initial meeting with a lawyer over video call can help you gain a greater sense of security and understanding of the estate planning process. After discussing your specific goals, an experienced lawyer could explain various forms of estate planning to meet your needs.
Once retained, a skilled attorney could also work on drafting the necessary documentation while you remain safely at home. An estate planning lawyer could work on your behalf to collect versions of Wills and other paperwork that may require revision.
An in-person visit may only be necessary when the time comes to add signatures to paper. This is because all forms of testamentary documents require witnesses to be present, as well as a notary to memorialize the event. However, an attorney could also advise on an appropriate time for any in-person meetings to occur and discuss safety precautions such as masks and social distancing.
Much of the Estate Planning Process Can Take Place Remotely
The wonders of modern technology make it possible for you to make an estate plan almost entirely from home. By gathering the necessary documents and discussing various strategies with an attorney, you can get a head start on estate planning even amidst a global pandemic.
Additionally, many lawyers are offering consultations and meetings entirely online. Once an attorney is able to identify your goals, the only in-person meeting that is necessary is when the time comes to sign the paperwork. In short, while COVID-19 has made many things impossible in our daily lives, creating an effective estate plan is not one of them. Reach out to our firm today to learn more about remote estate planning.