Estate Planning More Important Now With COVID-19
Our Gwinnett County estate planning attorneys outline important legal documents you need to have in place today.
Schools and many businesses in Gwinnett County are closed now in an effort to reduce community spread of COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus. As the number of infected throughout the state steadily rises, it is important to take the steps now to protect yourself and your loved ones. In addition to staying home and practicing social distancing, this includes putting the proper estate planning documents in place.
Why Estate Planning is Important
Regardless of your age or income, it is important to have an estate plan. Estate planning documents, the most basic of which is a will, help to convey your final wishes and designate whom you want to inherit any money or property you possess.
Without a will or other types of estate planning tools, your loved ones will be put in the difficult position of having to guess what you might have wanted. They will also be forced to go through potentially time-consuming and costly Gwinnett County Probate Court proceedings to ensure state laws are followed and that any creditors or taxes are paid. These laws dictate who is entitled to inherit from your estate and could leave out close family friends, companions, and others who play a vital role in your life. Considering the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic, now is the time to ensure you have a legal, valid will and other important estate planning documents in place.
Estate Planning Checklist
In creating an estate plan, a will is often the first place to start. According to the American Association of Retired People (AARP), more than half of all adults do not have a will. Of those who do, many fail to update it regularly.
Your will needs to accurately reflect the current amount of property and assets you possess. It also needs to reflect any changes in your family that may have occurred since you created it. This includes births, deaths, marriages, and divorces. Other important estate planning documents to put in place in light of the coronavirus include:
- Financial Power of Attorney: This authorizes someone you trust to manage your business and financial affairs in the event you become incapacitated.
- Health Care Directive: This authorizes someone to make important medical decisions on your behalf. This includes the followng;
- Which hospitals can treat you, the types of care provided, and any long-term care needs.
- The types of end-of-life care you want, such as ventilators and feeding tubes.
- Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Instructions: This informs doctors of your desire for a natural death. It instructs them not to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event your heart stops beating.
Our Gwinnett County, GA Estate Planning Attorneys are Here to Help
During these difficult times, you can trust Zimmerman & Associates to help you put the proper legal documents in place. To request a consultation, call or contact our Gwinnett County estate planning attorneys online today.