Stuck in the middle of a pandemic, Wills, Trusts and other planning documents have raced to the forefront of our conversations. Estate planning is one of those things that most people know they should do, but never quite get around to doing it, or push it off until they get older. But the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever to have a plan in place to protect your children and your property in the event of your death no matter what age you are.
People under the age of 65 account for more than 20% of COVID-related deaths in the US. However, younger people are less likely to have estate planning documents (like a will or advanced directive) in place than older adults. This means that many people who are dying from coronavirus likely do not have documents in place to dictate who cares for their children or what happens to their homes or money. This is not acceptable when estate planning is so easy to do.
Pandemic Planning: Wills & Trusts
The most popular of the pandemic planning documents are Wills and Trusts. Depending on your assets and needs, you may want a trust instead. There is no “right answer.” We need to analyze your life, assets and family to see what is best for you. While Florida homestead makes matters substantially more complicated, we can work together to plan your estate. Estate Planning is not just writing a Will. We creatively plan together.
Pandemic Planning: Advanced Directives (Medical Power of Attorney)
No one likes to think about these things, but it is also a part of estate planning. The issues related to COVID, have brought these topics to everyday conversations. What happens if you are placed on a ventilator or end up in a coma? Who will make medical decisions for you? Will they carry out your wishes properly? Your family does not want to make these decisions for you. Ease their burden by stating your wishes now, while you still can.
In helping your family to make things easier, you should consider getting an Advanced Directive, also called a Healthcare Surrogate. The document outlines what kind of medical treatment you want if you can no longer make the decisions for yourself. We also recommend obtaining a Living Will. Would you want to be on life support? Would you sign a DNR? These are all things you can decide ahead of time so that your loved ones do not have to.
Pandemic Planning: Guardians for your Kids
If you have children under 20 years of age, nominating guardians for them provides your friends and family with guidance. It also greatly assists the court in determining the caretaker for your kids. If your children have just turned 18, read this blog.
Stay tuned for our new course called “Pandemic Planning” which will be available on Florida Lawyer Online.
The Law Office of Lori Vella is happy to offer multiple packages of estate planning documents for a variety of budgets and situations. If we’ve learned anything during this pandemic, it’s that life can be unpredictable. Protect yourself and your loved ones with help from an experienced Florida estate planning attorney.
Lori Vella is an Estate Planning and Business Attorney. She works virtually throughout Florida and New York, but has her home office in Tampa, Florida. She is mom to a little boy which ignited the passion for helping other families. She and her son enjoy car rides, playgrounds and taking mini-adventures. They also have an organic garden that surprisingly yields vegetables. Lori considers herself well-versed in Seinfeld and welcomes any trivia!
Disclaimer: The Law Office of Lori Vella’s website contains general information directed to Florida residents. This firm does not intend to give legal advice through its pages and/or blog. If you need legal advice, we encourage you to find an attorney licensed in your state. This language on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and this firm.