The extra time being spent at home and an increased awareness of our vulnerability has led some people to think about estate planning as they are either sheltering in place or needing to keep their distance from people when going out. Others may be working in places where they have an increased risk to illness and realize that they have put their finances in order.
In “How to Get Your Estate Plane Done While Under Coronavirus Quarantine,” Kiplinger.com observes:
“We have never had to deal with these unique estate planning, legal and health care planning issues before. At the same time, we have an unprecedented emergency creating the need for many to act in a quick manner.”
Even if your Fee-Only financial planner is available via phone and internet to advise you on estate planning documents, there are legal stipulations that you need to follow so your estate planning documents are considered valid.
For example, a revocable (or living) trust needs to be notarized but if you cannot find or meet with a notary (some notaries are mobile), you may be able to have your lawyer draw up specific affidavits that include language about the situation at the time of signing. Legislation to allow for documents to be notarized online is in the works but has not been completed or signed into law yet.
Depending on the laws in your state, you may be able to use a similar process of signing affidavits that mention the pandemic to get your will in order.
Overall, we don’t want you to get discouraged by new steps in the estate planning process. If you feel the nudge to do estate planning during this time, please look into how you can get it done. This is as good a time as any to figure out how to distribute your resources and put directives in place regarding your health care.