Completing an Estate Plan Quickly During a Crisis
More than half of Americans do not have an estate plan in place, but the coronavirus pandemic may change that. Given the risks posed by COVID-19, many estate planning lawyers are looking to help clients complete the process as quickly as possible. Consider the following steps if you need to draft an estate plan in a hurry.
Make an Inventory of Your Assets and Beneficiaries
If you want to start moving immediately, it helps to know exactly what assets you have. Of course, you’ll also need to decide who you want to receive these assets. Hopefully, you already have a general idea that you can set in stone. This way, you can proceed to figure out the best way to pass everything on.
Make a list of all of your assets and try to be as extensive as possible. Go through your statements and records to figure out everything that you possibly have. Then, make a similarly exhaustive list of all of your beneficiaries, including any charities that you want to donate to from your estate. This can help cut your tax obligations. Many times, families only realize that they owe taxes after it is too late.
Compiling an inventory also means gathering your own documents together and having them readily accessible in one place. This will keep you from having to request and find paperwork.
Think of Your Goals
Once you know your goals, it will be much easier to get started and move quickly. You may decide that certain beneficiaries need special attention in the estate plan. There may be a dependent who needs long-term care. You may even have a favorite charitable organization that you want to help as part of your legacy.
For every goal that you have, there are likely several different solutions. If you have done your homework on the front end, it will be easier to act quickly. Normally, people will have these discussions with an estate planning professional at the outset of the process. Unfortunately, this could slow you down considerably. Doing your own homework before you seek professional help will save you time. That way, you’ll be able to get right down to business.
Work With a Professional
For your estate planning, trying to shortcut a few steps with DIY solutions may be counterintuitive. You’ll spend more time trying to figure everything out, and your estate plan probably won’t match your particular situation. Working with a professional estate planning lawyer is the best way to get targeted help that can get a plan in place as fast as possible.
A professional can quickly filter out ideas and solutions that do not fit your current situation. Furthermore, legal counsel can give you a quick assessment of your situation and be ready with prompt recommendations that can form the basis of the estate plan.
The risk of trying to do even part of your estate plan on your own is that you could make a mistake. Most people know very little about setting up a trust, even if they are financially well-versed. If you make an error, it can have far-reaching consequences because the document can end up invalid. There’s no use in filing an estate plan if it won’t hold up down the road.
Know What You Want to Do Ahead of Time
When you come to the attorney, be ready to explain your intentions. Normally, with a higher-end estate, it takes some discussion to figure out options, but you’ll want to cut out some of this process. Discussion adds time and will delay your estate plan from going in effect. Knowing what you want to do will allow your attorney to get straight to drafting the relevant documents.
When you need an estate planning lawyer to quickly step in and help you get your plan in place, reach out to the attorneys at The Knee Law Firm. Call us today at (201) 996-1200 at our office in Hackensack, NJ, so that you can immediately begin the estate planning process.