The COVID-19 has unsettled all of our lives. We are dealing with monumental change and uncertainty daily.
Many of our clients are calling to ask how they can update their estate plan during this public health crisis or how they can implement new estate planning that they have put off.
It can provide some relief to take positive action to review what you already have in place, or to put in place a plan to develop what you need so that you are prepared.
Here are some of our suggested actions that you can take:
- Review your Health Care Directive to ensure it still accurately reflects your wishes in case you are not able to communicate them.
- Review your Durable Power of Attorney to ensure that both your financial assets will be managed and controlled, and your health care decisions will be made, by person(s) you trust.
- Review your Last Will and Testament and/or Trust to ensure that:
- Your minor children will be cared for by individual(s) you trust, should you pass away;
- Your estate will be managed by individual(s) you have confidence in; and
- Your assets will be transferred in the manner that you intend, and consistent with the appropriate tax strategies.
- Review your estate plan with your spouse to ensure that your estate plans are aligned.
- Review your estate planning documents with your family and loved ones to ensure all understand your wishes
- Make sure that your original estate planning documents are in a safe location, and copies are also kept separately in your personal files.
- Prepare a list of critical medical information,key medical and personal contacts, and references to the location of all of your estate planning documents.
The COVID-19 crisis has entered our lives swiftly and disrupted all of our lives. Planning through adversity can provide calm and allow us to carry on, and to spend our time wisely.
To keep you and your family safe while addressing estate planning needs during this time, Chmelik Sitkin & Davis established safe and sanitary measures that comply with Washington State Department of Health social distancing guidelines. This past week, Governor Inslee issued an order allowing for electronic notarization of estate planning documents. All of our notary publics have updated their endorsements for electronic notarization. If an in-person signing is necessary, we have a designated our large conference room for signings so that social distancing is maintained, and that conference room is cleaned before and after each signing. We have also implemented a “drive by” process in which clients can remain in their vehicles, if preferred, while we witness outside.
The Estate Planning Practice Group at Chmelik Sitkin & Davis is available to assist individuals and families to find the best solutions to estate and succession planning needs, in a safe and sanitary manner.