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Idaho Estate Planning Coronavirus And Estate Planning

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

The Coronavirus is affecting every aspect of every person’s life. From social distancing to making sure that you have enough toilet paper stocked for your household, the Coronavirus has caused everyone to rethink their priorities. As it turns out, because of the pandemic many people have suddenly become aware of the need to have a well-thought-out estate plan in place. This is a good thing because there’s still time to get everything done that needs to be done.

With this perspective changing pandemic, I’ve been talking with many people about the types and kinds of estate planning they feel like they need to get in place immediately. Even though there is a pandemic, and this has caused some panic to occur, the estate planning needs that exist for each individual are the same now as they were before.

The simple truth is that estate planning is so much more than deciding how to give away your money, property, and other assets after you pass away. Rather, estate planning is designed to protect those things that matter most to you. These things include your own life; how to care for your finances and property if you are unable to do it yourself; and making sure that your family and loved ones are cared for as well.

When I say that nothing has changed, what I mean to say is that when it comes to estate planning the things that most people need to have in place are the same now as they were before the pandemic. This includes a basic estate plan that would consist of a written last will and testament, a durable power of attorney, a living will, and a power of attorney for health care. Many individuals may also need one or more trusts as part of their estate plan as well.

To help you get started we encourage you to download our simple Estate Planning Questionnaire. You can type your information directly into this document and save it to your computer. Or, alternatively, you can print it out and hand write your information. Our clients have found that this Questionnaire provides them with a good deal of information about estate planning. More importantly, it helps our clients focus on gathering the information they need to get started with their estate plan.

This is important because I found that most people don’t get their estate plan done for the simple reason that they don’t know how to start. With the Questionnaire, we also offer a free 30-minute consultation to answer questions and to help individuals make decisions about what matters most to them. Because of the pandemic, we are doing these consultations by phone.

When clients ask me what’s the most important thing they should be thinking about when it comes to estate planning, I tell them three specific things. First, get it done. Second, if you have it done then update what you already have. Third, as you are doing this focus on what matters most.

Get it Done Now

As I mentioned above, getting your estate planning done has never been easier. Download our simple Estate Planning Questionnaire and use it to help you get started. We will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with more information during our free 30-minute consultation.

Our goal is to help you customize an estate plan that fits your need and that provides for yourself while you are alive and for your family and loved ones after you have passed away. Starting is always the biggest step when it comes to doing anything. We encourage you to start today!

Update What You Have

If you already have an estate plan in place, congratulations! You have accomplished more than 67% of most adults in America. However, don’t pat yourself on the back yet. You still have some things to do.

When a person already has a written estate plan in place, I recommend that they review their plan regularly to make sure that it still does what it is they want to do. The reason for this is because life changes rapidly.

For example, you may have chosen someone to act as your power of attorney or as the guardian of your children. However, because of the current pandemic, if the person you’ve chosen lives in a different state or on the other side of the country, they may not physically be able to do what it is you want them to do.

Additionally, if the person you’ve chosen has been affected by the Coronavirus, they may no longer be the best choice to do what it is you need them to do if you yourself become affected. The key, when it comes to updating your estate plan, is to make sure that it actually works. If your plan won’t work because the people you have chosen simply are unable to do it, then it’s the same as having no estate plan at all.

Focus on What Matters Most

The final thing I recommend my clients is that they focus on what matters most. You need to focus on who can take care of your property and finances if you are unable to do it yourself. You also need to focus on who can help you make healthcare decisions, if you are an able to make these decisions for yourself.

Finally, you need to be thinking about your family and others. Do you have a spouse that needs care? Do you have minor age children? Do you have a child who is disabled? Do you have others who depend upon you and your income? These are the things that you should be thinking about when it comes to getting an estate plan done in the first place or updating the plan you currently have.

If you have questions or concerns, we are ready to help. We can help you get your estate planning done immediately, and help you make sure that it meets the needs you currently have. Additionally, we are able to update your estate plan to make sure that it meets your current needs.

Enlist An Idaho Estate Planning Attorney To Help You

Our team of Idaho lawyers can help you with any of your estate planning or probate needs. Whether you are seeking to create or review an estate plan for yourself or would like to help a loved one, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free 30-minute consultation. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation. You can also email us directly at lane@racineolson.com or stop by our office at 201 East Center Street, Pocatello, Idaho 83201. We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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