The Coronavirus is now the world’s biggest threat—in a matter of a few days, our world has turned completely upside-down. You may have lost your job, the markets are plummeting, local businesses are closed (some permanently), schools are closed and you’re home with the kids, there’s no toilet paper anywhere…and you probably feel like you have been ill-prepared for this moment.
And—not to make you feel even less prepared—but have you thought about what happens if the virus hits and something happens to you or your family? Do you have an estate plan in place to protect your assets? If nothing, this pandemic has made it clear that anything can happen, and we need to be prepared and protected.
Now is the time to act. Here are 5 tips to protect yourself, your family and your hard-earned assets from the uncertainties of today’s world:
1. Take advantage of the increased exemption from estate & gift taxes. In 2018, the tax law changed to allow double the amount transferred for gifts, tax free! This is a temporary law that ends in 2025.
2. Make annual gifts of depressed stock of $15,000 per person. It’s a good time to give gifts of current low-value stock with a high appreciating value. Give them to your kids, as their values are sure to grow under your children’s names for future benefit. Of course, we always encourage you to speak with a financial or investment professional before taking such action.
3. Establish a power of attorney. The power of attorney gives a friend or a member of your family the ability to make financial or business decisions for you in the event you are incapacitated.
4. Talk to your family. Meet with your family to have an in-depth conversation about how the future will be handled. This includes assets, wills & trusts, and power of attorney. With the Coronavirus spreading, many people are now self-reflecting about their lives and health. You may have an estate plan in place, but may not have reviewed it in a few years. Well, now is a good time to review it, and to discuss all these details with your family.
5. Get a remote contingent beneficiary. Make sure your estate plan outlines who your assets would be passed on to if all else fails. Make sure you have a plan B. And a plan C…
Estate planning is always important, but during times of crisis it’s even more important to check on the plans you have in place for yourself and your loved ones. The estate planning attorneys at Deliberato Law Center are highly qualified to support you through estate planning services. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help protect you and your family from the uncertainties of the future.