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).
- 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.