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Friday, April 24, 2020

As the Coronavirus Pandemic Worsens, Now is the Time to Make an Estate Plan

What are the benefits of making an estate plan right now?

The novel coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, bringing about illness, death, and economic turmoil in its wake. Currently, the death toll in the United States has exceeded 40,000, while more than 2.4 million people globally have been infected by COVID-19. Along with the magnitude of the illness, many Americans are now suffering financially. Necessary social distancing and stay-at-home orders have caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs. While we are starting to see some positive indications that social distancing has slowed down the spread of the virus, all would agree we are living in challenging and uncertain times. That very uncertainty, coupled with some federal tax advantages, makes now the ideal time to make your Florida estate plan.

Protect Yourself and Your Family with an Estate Plan

The coronavirus pandemic has made it abundantly apparent to all of us that illness can strike when we least expect it. Deaths from the coronavirus include even young and healthy adults. One of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your family in this time of much illness and death is creating an estate plan.

Your estate plan should, at the least, include a will, power of attorney, and advance medical directive. Most people will additionally benefit from a revocable living trust. With a will, you can name whom you want to receive which of your hard earned assets. A revocable living trust achieves this and more, allowing you to transfer your assets to your heirs without the need for probate. A trust thus saves your loved ones money and time.

A power of attorney for healthcare and finances gives your chosen loved one the power to make important healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Further, an advance medical directive lets you decide in advance what life saving measures you want taken if you are critically ill. Preparing these vital estate planning documents now will give you peace of mind in case you find yourself sick due to the coronavirus or another injury or ailment.

Tax Advantages to Building Your Estate Plan Now

From a financial perspective, now is the ideal time to create an estate plan. The federal estate tax system currently allows individuals to leave up to $11.58 million to their loved ones without having to pay estate taxes. This generous exemption could be halved by 2025, so now is the time to act. Contact your estate planning lawyer to get started creating your estate plan today.


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