The COVID-19 pandemic has been something out of the ordinary. Everything happening right now is unprecedented and we’re living through history as we speak. It’s rare that people understand the gravity of a historical situation as they pass through it, but we get that opportunity. We get to know that what happens now will be in the history books for years to come, and while that offers a unique experience, it’s only something that occurs when the time you’re living in is remarkably stressful.
At this point in time, it’s not at all unusual for you to take a trip to the grocery store wrapped in a mask and gloves. It’s not unusual to drive by huge parking lots that have been left entirely empty. This is a historical event because it feels like some dystopian future that might come out of a science fiction novel by Vonnegut. This is our new reality and it’s more than a little frightening.
When you’re frightened you’re very likely to start looking for things you can do to take the edge off. Some will turn to drink, others will drown out the doomsday predictions with quiet nights with books and other happy entertainments. Others will feel better about all of this as they prepare for the future, including a future that they might not be a part of. Here at Goldberg & Associates, we know exactly how daunting the future seems right now, which is why we’re here to lend a hand and make all of this seem a little bit more under control than otherwise. After all, with so little known about this disease, your best option is to prepare for anything and everything to the best of your ability. So, if you’re staring at a blank document labeled “Will and Testament” while you’re locked inside during the quarantine, we’re here to help you sort through a few things.
Start on the Right Foot
Before you start on your estate plan, you should first know that while this is an excellent time to get your final requests in order, it’s important to keep everything in perspective. Getting your last will and testament together is something you’d have to accomplish at some point, regardless of a pandemic taking place in your time. There’s nothing wrong with being prepared, but don’t let it get to your head and make you panic more than necessary. Everyone feels a little raw at the moment, and while it’s a powerful feeling to be so connected to everyone around the world and united by a common cause, it’s important to remember that this is only temporary and that we’ll be on the other side of it in no time. When you’re ready to approach your estate plan with a calm, level head, you’re ready to begin.
Get Your Ducks In Order
You may not know it, but most estate planning will need to be done at home, which is lucky, considering you’ll be at home for the foreseeable future. While you can’t physically meet with your attorney here at Goldberg & Associates in Atlanta, you can still get the majority of the work for your estate plan finished now. You’ll be able to create, update or finalize your estate plan remotely with very few obstacles. We could even set up a remote meeting to guide your hand in some of the trickier details surrounding your estate plan. For example, we can discuss the differences between trust types and how you should help secure the remaining IRA funds you have in your account to ensure an easy distribution of your investments when you’ve gone. We can discuss all the particulars of your will and help you find peace of mind in your decisions. We can email documents back and forth and even mail final copies for hard print signatures, too.
There’s nothing wrong with using your extra time at home to start preparing your estate plan. You can think through the different issues of succession that you’ve placed on the back burner and simply didn’t want to think about it for some time. Layout your estate plan in a simple outline, first. This can help you see where all of your assets will be distributed and assist you with seeing who stands to inherit what. It’ll also help you keep track of all of your assets. After many years on this earth, it’s easy to accumulate wealth in weird places and start to lose track of some of them if they’re not all top-of-mind income sources. Taking this time to organize all of your estate information and all of your wealth will make it simple to ensure that you haven’t missed anything. At this time, it might be best to go through the various digital assets you may have, ranging from Facebook photos to bitcoin trading profits, and categorize those and write down login information. Keeping track of this now means your beneficiaries won’t accidentally get locked out of their estate at this time.
A Meeting Might Not Be Necessary
Depending on what stage of the estate plan organization process you’re on, you may not have to meet with your attorney here at Goldberg & Associates. While remote meetings are no obstacle to us, a quick phone call and notification that your final draft is being sent over and needs to be approved could be the only step you have left to complete. We can send you detailed out of office signing instructions, and while you may need the help of a witness, you should be able to get everything signed and made official with relative ease.
While you can totally sign most HR documents your employer might need online, signing a will and testament could be a bit more tricky with a virtual signature. At this point in time, only a few states allow online notarization, especially for electronic wills. But, in the light of recent events, we may see a new piece of legislation pushed forward, or individual states making exceptions and allowing for online notarization of wills due to the pandemic. Reach out to us if you’re interested in proceeding with your will for the online notarization route. We should have the latest news on that front readily available to you.
Do You Need A Notarization?
Depending on several factors, you may not need your will notarized. While this is usually best practice, there’s likely going to have to be exceptions made in this scenario. This won’t be an option if your trust includes real estate transfers, though.
Contact Goldberg & Associates Now To Prepare For This Pandemic
In times of uncertainty like this, it’s not unusual for you to reflect on the things that really matter. Indeed, everyone is likely taking a good long look in the mirror with their time in quarantine and doing a bit of soul searching. So, the question is, what’s most important to you in this time of crisis? For most people, it’s their family’s future. Through Goldberg & Associates in Atlanta, you can ensure that their future is secure, so the only thing they’ll need to worry about in the worst scenario is grieving and getting back to their normal lives. Reach out to us today to equip you and your family with the contingency plan that, unfortunately, we all need at this moment in history.
Schedule an initial consultation or remote meeting with us today.