Planning in a Pandemic

October 20, 2020 by Attorney Jennifer Imediegwu

This Global Pandemic has many Americans anxiety-filled, anxious, and fearful of the future. Confidence in leadership is at an all-time low and the trending headlines highlight the ever-increasing number of Covid-19 infections and Covid-related deaths. So how does one plan in times of such uncertainty and chaos? For many, their mortality is brought into view and the reality of suddenly shifting circumstances leave them uneasy.

No one has a crystal ball to know the future. In a pre-Covid world, estate planning was no less important, but it is of even greater significance now. Estate planning is the process, during life, in which an individual or family arranges their affairs and determines who will make healthcare and financial decisions in the event of incapacity (a time in which a person can no longer make decisions independently) or in the event of death, how assets should be distributed. A basic estate plan typically consists of at least the following: A Durable Financial Power of Attorney, a Healthcare Power of Attorney with Living Will provisions and HIPAA Authorizations, a Will and for some people a Revocable Living Trust is appropriate. These documents not only help to provide control over one’s assets, they also are critical to preserving and protecting one’s assets.

If one does not put a plan in place, it does not mean the potential problem goes away.  Either, we can be proactive to create and develop the best plan for our lives or allow others to make those decisions subject to Court jurisdiction through guardianship and probate administration. Planning is necessary and must be a priority regardless of the size of your estate, the political climate, or pandemic environment. 

These issues are complex and nuanced and should not be navigated alone.  As we all age and build our lives, it is important to foster healthy relationships with family and friends and have a sense of connectedness in the community and world around us.  It is equally beneficial to build relationships with a close team of professionals that will help you stay informed and enable you to age as gracefully as possible. Wealth building and estate planning is not just about financing our lives; it is about leaving a legacy for our children, and their children, to build upon.

So, I leave you with a question, how will you protect your legacy?