Lessons Learned from COVID-19 – an Estate Planner’s Perspective
One of the best things about working with someone or a couple on their estate plan is that a primary goal is usually to take care of their children, grandchildren, and other loved ones. I enjoy getting to know the families, hearing their stories, and helping them make sure future generations will be protected and cared for.
Because their focus is on others, many clients do not think about making sure they are cared for during their lifetimes and during any periods of incapacity. This is equally important, if not more important, than taking care of others. Too many times since COVID-19 pandemic started, I have received heart-wrenching phone calls from children whose parents have become ill. They want to know how they can help take care of their parents’ finances, who is the proper person to make medical decisions, or how do they make end of life care decisions.
Nobody wants to contemplate these types of issues. I don’t like to think about them for myself or my family either. What we learned during COVID-19 pandemic is that things can change in an instant. It is so important to put documents in place to give authority to those who will be decision-makers if someone becomes incapacitated. Once those documents are together, it is time for another uncomfortable yet critical step. It is vitally important to talk to the decision-makers about your wishes so, if they are needed, they can be as prepared as possible.
Providing for your family means more than figuring out how to distribute your assets. It also means giving them the tools to make sure you are cared for during your lifetime.
About the Author: Lisa Paine is an estate planning and business law attorney at the Phoenix law firm of Jaburg Wilk. She assists clients with estate planning, probate, trust administration and corporate business needs.