There has never been a more vital time than now to begin safeguarding your assets and making sure that your estate planning is up to date. The current threat of the coronavirus pandemic has posed a risk to people’s health, particularly in the mature age group.
Therefore, it is important to have your affairs in order and to plan for the worst if you should be struck down with COVID-19. While nobody likes to think of their own mortality, planning for the future ensures that if the worst were to happen, your loved ones will be protected.
The effect of COVID-19 on estate planning
The global coronavirus pandemic can carry serious health risks, with symptoms ranging from non-existent to life-threatening. While symptoms affect people of all age groups, those aged in their 60s and above appear to be most at risk.
The elderly are at the greatest risk of dying if infected with the coronavirus and make up the highest mortality rates globally. While these figures are confronting, it’s imperative that those within the older age group become more serious about their future estate planning in the event they do contract the virus.
Using this pandemic as an incentive to begin planning your will or re-visiting your will can help protect your family and loved ones from conflict or confusion later on. It will also ensure that your estate will be passed in the way that you want.
Without a will in place, there is no clear order of operations for inheritance. This can make your passing even harder on your loved ones if left without any security or assets to assist them in moving forward.
Safeguarding your assets
Without a proper will and estate planning, your family won’t have any control over your assets if you were to pass away as a victim of the pandemic. Leaving your assets to beneficiaries in your will ensures that those who matter to you are protected when you’re gone.
Safeguarding your assets during the coronavirus pandemic should begin with basic estate planning. You need to consider things like who your beneficiaries are and your power of attorney, along with what assets you’ll leave behind. Types of assets or bequests include:
- Houses, property, cars, money, shares.
- Specific gifts including jewelry, books, art, photos and personal heirlooms
- Life interest.
- Residual bequests allowing you to nominate a given amount left over from your estate to be distributed to non-profits of your choice.
It’s important to take time when planning your will and to think hard of the family members, friends, charities, and non-profit organizations you may wish to leave your assets to.
Drawing up your will
Once you have made a list of your assets and considered who your beneficiaries are, you should talk to an expert or your solicitor before proceeding on formalizing your will or estate plan.
In your will, you can address the finer details of how you would like your assets to be distributed as well as detail how you wish your funeral to be planned. Once your will is finalized, keep it safe in the hands of your solicitor, estate planner, a trustee, bank, or your executor.
COVID-19 has understandably brought heightened levels of anxiety among the general population. With threats of mortality and long-term health complications presenting a risk to most, now is the time to take a systematic approach in making sure your affairs are in order.
While you have the capacity to do so, finalizing your will and estate planning now can save your loved ones from financial and emotional hardship later. Meeting with an estate planner or solicitor to discuss your will can provide you peace of mind should the worst-case scenario happen during these times of uncertainty.