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Estate Planning During COVID-19

 

ESTATE PLANNING DURING COVID-19

Financial Design Studio Presentation – HEATHER WALSER, PARTNER AT LAVELLE LAW

NO ESTATE PLAN IN PLACE

  • If you become incapacitated or die with no estate plan documents in place, COURT intervention is required.
  • Guardianship court appoints someone to make your medical and financial decisions.
  • Probate court distributes your assets to your heirs according to IL law.
  • Illinois courts are basically closed until at least 5/18/20.
  • “Emergency” motions only.  What counts as an emergency??
  • In our office, we are getting notices that non-emergency matters are being rescheduled for JULY.
  • PROBLEM   Family members and dependents will not be able to get immediate access to assets/funds they rely on.

COMPLETING ESTATE PLAN DOCUMENTS NOW

In Illinois, certain essential estate plan documents must be signed in front of witnesses and a Notary Public.

  • Will 2 uninterested/unrelated witnesses + Notary
  • POAH 2 uninterested witnesses; cannot be family or healthcare worker
  • POAP 2 uninterested witnesses + Notary
  • Trusts Do NOT need to be witnessed/notarized

What can we do to fix it?

3/26/20 Executive Order allows video witnessing.

  • HUGE change in the law.
  • Requires two-way, contemporaneous visual communication.
  • All parties must be physically present in Illinois.
  • Electronic transfer of all signed documents w/in 1 day, then 24 hrs.

Drive Up Signings at our office allows for physical distancing during signing.

Preparation of documents can all be remote (via phone, video conference, email).

ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS

  • Trusts do not require witness/notary.
  • Beneficiary designations on all accounts, pointing to trust.
  • Work with financial advisor to name POA on each account, if possible.

Wondering how this affects your future finances? Schedule a call with Financial Design Studio, financial advisors in Deer Park, to discuss your portfolio today.

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