04 May Estate Planning Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
In this time of the COVID-19 crisis, many people are asking what will happen to their families if they become sick. Phelps LaClair has been in the estate planning business for forty years. In our time of serving Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix and Scottsdale, we can say that this is the time to update your estate plan, or to create one if you don’t have one. Time is of the essence.
Are you vulnerable?
This pandemic is an important reminder to assess your estate plans. This is especially true for those who are over 65 years old and/or have underlying medical conditions. Making sure that you have a strong estate plan in place will bring the peace of mind that you need in these fearful times.
What do you need?
Suppose, for example, you become ill to the point of being unable to express your wishes. Having a living will as part of your estate plan is essential for doctors to make decisions regarding your health care. An advance directive will inform medical staff of your desires. A living will should also include end-of-life instructions and what to do with your body after you pass. A living will is part of every estate plan that Phelps LaClair writes.
A bulletproof estate plan is more than just a living will, however. You also need a way to ensure that the assets of your estate are distributed to the beneficiaries you desire. You could use a simple will for this. But, if you only have a last will and testament, your estate will go to probate. Probate is costly and time-consuming; it reduces the value of your estate. In the end, your assets may not be distributed according to your desires, but according to what the probate judge thinks is right.
A far better solution is a revocable trust. You place the titles to your assets in the trust and name the beneficiaries of your estate. You also name a person to be the trustee. This allows the trustee to settle your estate without the interference of a court. It can be done quickly and efficiently. A properly designed estate plan will save you and your beneficiaries money. Not only will you avoid probate costs, but we will give your heirs the best tax savings possible.
The laws governing wills and trusts are rather complicated. You may find online forms, but there is no way to ensure they are thorough or even legal. It takes an experienced estate planning lawyer to create the best plan for your unique situation. At Phelps LaClair, we have that experience.
An essential business
Phelps LaClair is recognized as an essential business. With four offices to serve you, we are here to help you in this time of COVID-19 crisis. Whether you need to review and update your estate plan, or have us custom design one for you, we welcome your call. Delay is not advantageous. Let us help you with your estate planning today so you can have peace and confidence knowing that your family is in good hands.