As you already know, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic means nothing is business as usual.
Many cities in Florida have finally started implemented a “shelter-in-place” order to limit the spread of the virus. Whether or not you are sheltered in place, it is time to consider more long-term precautions.
In this time of stress and chaos, you may be resistant to talking about estate planning. You might be saying, “Oh, it’s too pessimistic to plan for the worst in the midst of a scary situation.” However, that is exactly why this is the most important time to talk about making a plan for the future. Since, hopefully, you are staying inside, you may actually have the time to dedicate to getting these tasks taken care of.
After all, Estate Planning is an important step in #adulting!
Here are actions you can, and should, take to ensure you and your family are protected both legally and financially.
Update Your Health Care Documents
Above all, you first need to ensure that you have advance health care directives. This will be an invaluable reference point for those who are assisting you, whether they be friends, family, or medical professionals. This directive should include instructions on your preferred methods of care and the contact information for each of your doctors.
You must also clearly state who will be in charge of handling your affairs in the event of your death or incapacity. Even if you have done this already, I urge you to take out any existing documents now and review them.
Have your circumstances changed? Do you have additions to make?
If so, now is the time to make the necessary changes. Encourage your parents to do the same thing, and to communicate with you about what their directives say.
Check out my webpage all about advance health care directives, including the 5 most important things to look for in these important documents.
If you are unsure whether your health care directives are in order, or if you are interested in getting this step in adulting completed, head over to my new website, Estate Planning at Home™ where you can create your basic own advance health care directives, or set up a virtual appointment with me to assist you.
Create a “Personal Resource Map”—an Inventory of Everything That Matters
You might think that only the very rich need to worry about making specific plans for their assets. Not so fast.
Do you have investments or a retirement account? Physical things like jewelry, musical instruments, or furniture? What about crypto? Social media accounts?
In the event of your incapacity or death, your family members may not know where to look for what you have, or how to access it, unless you have planned for that ahead of time.
Somewhere between upwards of more than $1 billion dollars in Florida are currently unclaimed, or unable to be claimed, by family members of people who have passed away. This is money that individuals may have forgotten they had, or that they made no provisions to pass on to their family after they died.
That is why it’s extra important that you create a “personal resource map” to tell your loved ones where everything is and how they should move forward according to your wishes.
To help you make your own personal resource map, and to help your parents make theirs, you can go to my website’s PERSONAL RESOURCE MAP or call me direct and I will walk you through it.
Wisely Maximize Your Access to and Use of Credit
Financial experts often recommend a rainy-day savings account, and it seems that the rainy day has come. Whether or not you have a sizable savings, you should also maximize your access to credit. Getting approved for a higher credit line is good to do sooner rather than later. If you find yourself in a position where you need money quickly (to afford a medical expense, for instance), you do not want to be scrambling to pay the bill.
Some people might balk at the idea of applying for more personal credit, particularly people who are afraid of debt.
Think of it, however, as a worst-case precaution. You can get approved for credit even if you have a decent amount of savings—just as a backup. If you need reassurance, or if you need some help encouraging your parents to get approved for a higher credit line, you can contact us to walk you through your options.
Remember that it’s never an inappropriate time to plan for the future. It’s also always a good time to ask for legal and financial help. I AM HERE TO HELP AND SUPPORT YOU. I can take care of you, and your family (now fully online).