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Making Critical Estate Planning Changes During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

One of the many indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that many people have begun to review their estate plan and assess whether things are in place for the unfortunate day when they become incapacitated or pass away. If you are one of the many people who has not taken the time recently to review your estate plan, this article reviews some helpful strategies to make updating your estate plan easier.  Keep Estate Planning Documents Organized and in One Place Many people know that they need to make various changes to their estate planning documents, but when it comes time to revise the documents struggle to find where important information is located. While details about a new birth in the family might be located in one location, other details about an appreciated asset might be located elsewhere. By doing your best to keep your documents organized and centralized, you can greatly cut down on the amount of time it takes to revise your estate plan. This holds even if you are relying on the assistance of an estate planning lawyer to make these changes.  Consider Triggering Moments A power of attorney refers to a legal document and legal relationship [...]

2021-05-05T02:58:01+00:00Tags: , |

Making an Estate Planning “Football” During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We often discuss the various types of estate planning documents and their value, but it is just as important to realize that an estate plan does little good if the key people either do not know about the estate plan or are unable to access key documents after a person’s death or incapacity. The need to make sure that your loved ones can quickly access your estate planning documents has become even more important as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates in Oklahoma and the risk grows of people suddenly falling ill or ending up incapacitated. It is a common occurrence after a person unexpectedly passes away or becomes incapacitated that their loved ones must go on a hunt to locate that individual’s estate planning documents. This problem can be avoided by having your estate planning documents current and contained in a specific location.  Some have suggested creating a “nuclear football” during the COVID-19 pandemic, which refers to the briefcase that the President of the United States supposedly uses to authorize a nuclear attack. To avoid leaving your loved ones unable to locate your critical estate planning documents, it is a good idea to create your own version of a nuclear football [...]

2020-07-07T15:56:30+00:00Tags: , , , |

Estate Planning Advice During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As Oklahoma begins to loosen its coronavirus restrictions, many people, including those with children, are wondering what they can do to make sure they are adequately prepared if they contract COVID-19 and are left incapacitated. Two substantial issues that parents worry about is who will make financial and medical decisions for them if they are not able to make them for themselves as well as who will take care of their children in case they are left unable to do so.  If you are left incapacitated as a result of the coronavirus or any other condition, your loved ones will need to go court to have a guardian appointed. This was a costly and time-consuming process before the pandemic, and now it is even more challenging. Consequently, it is best to prepare in advance and make sure that you have created several critical estate planning documents that address incapacity. Durable Power of Attorney These documents appoint an agent to help address your financial affairs if you are incapacitated. Rather than wait for the court to appoint a conservatory, an agent appointed through a durable power of attorney has instant access to your financial accounts and can sign your name on [...]

2020-09-10T13:36:07+00:00Tags: , , , |

Estate Planning During a Pandemic

While many of us will follow adequate safety protocols and avoid coronavirus, some people will contract COVID-19 and will ultimately not survive. To prepare for any path that lies ahead, it is a good idea to plan for the chance of incapacity or death through various estate planning documents including wills, powers of attorney, and other vital documents.  While it is easy to delay estate planning because it requires confronting uncomfortable realities, now is the time to engage in planning for whatever may lie ahead. Remember that even if you feel your assets are not substantial enough, having an estate plan is still critical.  The following will review some critical details to remember about the estate planning process.  Signings are Still Possible During Self-Isolation With most people throughout the country currently practicing self-isolation measures, one of the most critical steps in completing any type of advance directive is locating witnesses for estate plans.  Some people have begun utilizing creative efforts to satisfy this witness requirement including having neighbors watching the signing of estate plans from a distance. People have also participated in “drive-by signings,” during which a person waits inside a vehicle with the windows rolled down as law firm [...]

2020-04-24T01:46:03+00:00Tags: , , |

Tips on Estate Planning During Uncertain Times

The COVID-19 outbreak, as well as economic challenges, have caused many people in Oklahoma to consider how they can create effective estate plans. While uncertain times can make estate planning difficult, some powerful strategies can be utilized to make the most out of estate planning anytime.  To hopefully reduce any anxiety you have about the state of the economy and to help achieve your estate planning goals, the following will review some quick but powerful estate planning tips you should consider utilizing. # 1 - Review Your Investment Portfolio It can be uncomfortable to confront your investment portfolio during this difficult time, but these times offer an excellent opportunity to review your assets and determine whether there are creative strategies to take advantage of the current economic situation. For example, some people are utilizing current low-interest rates to pass assets to beneficiaries. # 2 - Review Your Estate Planning Documents It is not enough to have estate planning documents, you should also periodically review them to make sure that the wishes expressed in these tools are still appropriate. Uncertain economic times have the potential to change various asset management strategies and goals, which is why now is a critical time [...]

2020-04-24T01:40:54+00:00Tags: , , |