We are all living through uncertain times, and dare I say it – unprecedented times. Nobody knows exactly how the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to impact our lives or when it will end. While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has indeed upended virtually every aspect of our modern lives, there are lessons to take away from the last year. The pandemic was certainly unprecedented, but feelings of uncertainty are nothing new. As you make plans for the future, it is crucial to factor uncertainty into the equation.
Planning During Times of Crisis
Even in the wake of a disaster, it is important to make plans for the days, weeks, and months to come. In fact, events like a pandemic highlight the need for advanced estate planning. Nobody could have predicted the sheer number of Americans who would become hospitalized by COVID-19. Odds are good that only a small fraction of those people had a Medical Power of Attorney in place before they got sick. Since this document allows somebody else to make medical decisions on your behalf upon your incapacity, it is crucially important to make arrangements before it is needed.
Given COVID-19’s potentially fatal outcomes, the pandemic has forced many of us to come to terms with the possibility of death. It is never fun to think about our own mortality, but in times of uncertainty, it is a necessary evil. By forcing the fragility of all our lives into the spotlight, COVID-19 has given millions of Americans good reason to consider estate planning for the first time, especially for those that are considered to be high-risk or have an existing medical condition.
Controlling the Controllable
It is impossible to predict what the future has in store. Up against such impossibilities, it is important to use tools and strategies to help ride out the storms that may lie ahead. This is the essence of estate planning, after all: when you cannot stop the worst-case scenario from occurring, you will at least rest easy knowing you have a plan in place that will take care of your loved ones.
Estate planning is different for everyone, but it is an excellent time to review beneficiary designations and any existing documents you may have established years ago. Should you or your loved ones pass away, you will want to minimize red tape and ensure your savings and assets are handled in accordance with your wishes while also avoiding probate. In addition to beneficiary designations and a Medical Power of Attorney, it is also a good idea to discuss establishing a will or trust – or updating an existing one.
Regardless of your background, age, or lifestyle, these estate planning tools can help you prepare for the next “once in a generation” event while simultaneously protecting yourself and those you love. To find out how advanced estate planning will help protect you and your family, call us at (281) 885-8826 or click here to schedule your strategy session today.