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Perceived need for estate planning haste during an uncertain time

A recent national media piece on estate planning notes the general angst that many individuals across the country feel these days owing to the current health pandemic.

Admittedly, coronavirus is a scary thing. Its arrival was unexpected and its anticipated tenure unknown. It has proved resistant to initial would-be fixes and stands as an adversary yet to be tamed.

People are understandably unnerved by all the uncertainty. The above-cited Forbes article states that some of them “are worried about the possibility of a sudden death due to COVID-19, and they want to get their legal affairs in order.”

What does that imply?

In the minds of many people, it means a sudden and urgent focus on either crafting or updating an estate plan.

Having tailored and well-drafted estate documents in hand (more precisely, in a safe and accessible location) is a good idea at any time and guaranteed to promote peace of mind.

Don’t unduly rush things, though.

That is, the end result for a planner might not be what he or she really wants in the event that planning is done quickly out of fear. There are legal requirements and formalities linked with things like will creation, guardianship designation, power of attorney appointments, charitable giving and so forth. Sloppy execution can lead to unintended results or a defeated purpose altogether.

The Forbes piece applauds the desire to be proactive about planning in an important legal sphere, but it also counsels this: Consult at the outset with a proven and empathetic estate planning attorney. Experienced counsel can ensure that planning documents “make sense for your situation and are legally executed.”

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