Did you know that Estate Planning Awareness Week is coming up in October? Estate planning can be a critical component of financial wellness, but it is also overlooked far too often. No matter your age or the size of your bank account, having an estate plan in place is particularly important during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you become incapacitated due to Covid-19, you will want your loved ones to know your wishes. Having a few basic elements of an estate plan, including a health care proxy, power of attorney, and a basic will can make all the difference.
If you are young and healthy it may be too easy to brush off the necessity of estate planning. During the Covid-19 pandemic, however, even many young people who have survived the illness and recovered well, spent some time in the hospital or laid up at home. You may not realize it, but estate planning can be important in a situation like this, not just for when you pass away. If you are in the hospital and you are not able to make certain medical decisions because you are incapacitated, even if you will make a full recovery, you should have a health care proxy or health care power of attorney nominating a loved one who you trust to make these decisions for you. If you do not have one, the hospital will have to choose whoever is available among your next of kin, and this person may not be your first choice.
Similarly, if you are laid up in the hospital, you may need someone to handle your finances for you until you make a full recovery. This could be as simple as paying your mortgage or helping to file your taxes. Nominating someone to be your power of attorney helps ensure someone is authorized to help you with these tasks, if need be.
There is also the stark reality all of us should face that life can take many twists and turns. Having a basic will, with instructions on what to do with your possessions after you pass away, ensures that no matter what happens, your wishes are known. In a year of uncertainty like 2020, having a will can give you peace of mind.
If you have more questions on the importance of estate planning, especially during these uncertain times, give our office a call to schedule an appointment.