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Estate Planning Options to Consider During Coronavirus

 Posted on July 20, 2020 in Estate Planning Blog

Lombard estate planning lawyerWith coronavirus hitting the United States hard, many people are realizing the importance of estate planning. Not only are people worried about their financial future, but they are also concerned about what would happen if they became gravely ill from COVID-19. Luckily, Governor Pritzker determined at the beginning of the pandemic that legal services were still an essential business in Illinois. There is no better time to consider what will happen to your assets after death. Moreover, it is extremely important to get your affairs in order so that your children and grandchildren are properly taken care of.

What Happens to the Home?

Having a will and testament is not enough to keep your property out of probate, which is a long and costly process. Furthermore, if you do not designate beneficiaries and complete the proper legal paperwork to transfer your property after your death, it is possible that any family members who live with you could lose their home. One way to ensure your family stays in your home after your death is by setting up a transfer on death instrument which allows you to designate a beneficiary who will receive interest on the property and avoid probate. Other options include creating a living trust, joint tenancy, or life estate. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can guide you through which option is best for you and your family.

Thinking About Your Medical Care

At the beginning of the pandemic many patients who were seriously ill were being sedated and put on ventilators to help their breathing. At this point, patients are no longer coherent to make their own medical decisions. According to NextGen Wealth, 80 percent of terminally ill patients do not want to receive intensive care at the end of their lives, yet fewer than 50 percent of terminally ill patients have an advanced care directive that would prevent them from receiving such unwanted care. Other documents that help determine what medical care you will receive include a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) form and a HIPAA authorization form. Designating a medical power of attorney allows another person to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself.

What About Legal Documents That Need to Be Notarized?

Illinois Guidance on Remote Online Notarization became effective on March 26, 2020, and allows for remote notarization of documents as long as both the notary and signer are in Illinois. There must also be real-time, audio-video communication between the parties. It will be prudent in the future, after services safely re-open, to re-sign any documents that were signed remotely. However, this option allows you to plan for the possibility of a medical or health emergency that could happen to you during the pandemic.

Contact a DuPage County Estate Planning Attorney

The dedicated Wheaton estate planning lawyers at A. Traub & Associates are still working as an essential service during the pandemic. Most of our work for clients can be handled remotely via phone, videoconference, or email. Contact us today at 630-426-0196 to set up a trust, medical power of attorney, or other estate planning documents. 



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