All of us face difficulties and tragedies in our lives. Some of these difficulties are expected and some are unexpected. 2020 has been a year of many unexpected difficulties. While all of us get sick from time to time, nobody anticipated the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 10 million Americans have caught the disease, resulting in the deaths of over 240,000 Americans.
Apart from coronavirus, there are many unexpected tragedies, such as 795,000 Americans suffering a stroke each year, according to the CDC. Another 805,000 Americans experience a heart attack each year, according to the CDC. Additionally, automobile accidents claim about 39,000 lives in the United States annually and injure many more. The fact of the matter is that unexpected events may happen at any time. Few of us know exactly when or how we will face tragedy or death, but we all know that we are mortal and that things can change suddenly.
We may not be able to protect ourselves from everything, but we can prepare now for whatever may happen in the future. If you are prepared, it can ease the burden on your loved ones when the time comes.
Things to consider when preparing for your estate:
A Property Power of Attorney in which you appoint someone, your "Agent," to handle your property if you are unable to do so yourself.
A Healthcare Power of Attorney in which you appoint an Agent to make medical decisions for you, if you are unable to make those decisions for yourself.
A HIPAA power which gives people whom you designate, such as your Agent, access to your protected health information.
A Revocable Trust to allow management of assets both during your lifetime and after your eventual death. Such a trust allows the avoidance of the delays and expense of probate, which vary from state to state. Through this trust and the Pour-Over Will discussed below, you can spell out how you want your assets distributed to your beneficiaries to help them the most.
A Pour-Over Will sends any remaining assets into the Revocable Trust at your death and nominates guardians for any minor children.
Once a well drafted estate plan is in place, you will be in a better position to handle whatever life may bring, even a year like 2020. At Schneider Rasche LLC our attorneys and staff are here to assist you. We can discuss your current situation and help you create an estate plan that can give both you and your loved ones peace of mind. We are currently offering free estate planning appointments by telephone or Zoom video chat. If you would like to take advantage of this free appointment, please call us at (503) 241-1215 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.