The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a great many issues to the forefront, including emergency preparedness, availability of scarce resources, social distancing and, to a great many, an urgency to create some sort of estate plan in the face of the unthinkable.
This is especially true now that the United States has surpassed both Italy and China in the number of reported cases of coronavirus, and that number is expected to continue to rise.
Doctors and health care professionals, particularly, are rushing to put together estate plans that designate who will handle their affairs, be guardians for their children and how their assets will be divided should they become a victim of COVID-19. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/opinion/doctors-coronavirus-safety.html/?2020-03-26T09%3A00%3A12%2000%3A00
While it may seem like a good idea to hop on a website that offers quick and easy “do-it-yourself” wills, trusts and powers of attorney (and a lot of people are doing just that with traffic to online DIY estate planning sites increasing by up to 150% and more), there are disadvantages to creating an estate plan online.
The legal requirements for a valid will, for example, differ from state to state and your heirs could find themselves facing litigation expenses if your document does not meet your state’s statutory requirements. Online software may not always take into account all the specific circumstances that are unique to your situation.
That is why it is important to consult with a qualified estate planning attorney licensed to practice in your home state.
The good news is that legal services are considered an essential service and many law firms remain open, even in states with shelter-in-place orders.
To be able to safely provide legal services to their clients, attorneys and staff have scrambled to set up procedures to work remotely, via phone, text, email and videoconferencing platforms like Skype, FaceTime and Zoom.
And to facilitate the execution of many legal documents during the current pandemic, including wills, trusts, real estate documents, corporate papers, etc., on March 26, 2020, Governor Pritzker signed into effect COVID-19 Executive Order No. 14, which allows for “remote notarization via two-way audio-video technology”. Click here to read the text of the Order: https://www2.illinois.gov/Pages/Executive-Orders/ExecutiveOrder2020-14.aspx.
This is welcome relief for those who want to continue to shelter-in-place and practice social distancing, but still want to use a qualified estate planning attorney to draft and help them execute the documents that will give them the peace of mind knowing that they have put a plan in place to provide for their loved ones and have their wishes respected when the time comes.
At Adam Diamond Law, we help you create an estate plan that works for you now and will grow with you as your family and estate grow.
Are you ready to put a plan into place for your loved ones? Give us a call today at 773-217-9623 to schedule your first consultation with our team.