What are the duty of an Estate Planning Attorney?
The job of an estate planning attorney is broad as they help in several aspects of the estate planning process. An estate planning attorney can also be quite beneficial when the estate owner dies.
It is the duty of an estate planning attorney to advice estate owners, including estate beneficiaries on the best steps to take regarding issues of the estate plan. An estate planning attorney also helps in creating a living trust, including a strategy to avoid paying expensive estate taxes. An estate planning attorney can also help in securing your assets for designated beneficiaries.
There are a lot of things an estate planning attorney can do, and as an estate owner, you can count on them to ensure that your wishes are met.
Planning an Estate during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, people planned their estate by conducting one-on-one meetings with estate planning attorneys. Everyone went about their business without any restriction. However, with the breakout of the virus, movement became restricted and workers had to conduct meetings via platforms such as Zoom, Skype, and the likes.
So, you couldn’t plan your estate by scheduling one-on-one meetings with an estate planning attorney to reduce the spread of the virus which has claimed several lives and is still poised to calm more.
Thanks to technology, adapting to the outbreak of the virus as far as estate planning is concerned, wasn’t really that difficult. In fact, it made the estate planning process more relaxing for both parties. No one had to leave the comfort of his or her home to assist in the planning of a client’s estate. The clients on the other hand, had the opportunity to conduct meetings regarding their estate at their convenience. Estate planning became more fun, however, there were some hitch like in situations where witnesses are required.
Making a will-virtually
Based on the law, a will must be drafting In the presence of two witnesses to be legally valid. This is done to protect individuals against undue influence or fraud.
Because of the coronavirus outbreak, some governments went ahead to create a new legislation which makes it possible for witnesses to be present either physically or virtually. As a result, will which are witnessed through platforms like Zoom and the likes will be considered as valid. This legislation was introduced in England and wales.
When witnessing a will through a video platform like Zoom, Skype, etc., the witnesses must see the will being signed in the actual time, so there won’t be an opportunity to do anything dubious. For future purposes, it is advised that the witnessing process is recorded and the recording should be safely stored in a file.
It is also important that the video quality and the sound is optimum so as that viewers can see and hear what is happening clearly. When the estate owner decides to sign the will, the witness must see them signing the will, not just a part of their body. When the witness decides to sign the will, the estate owner must also see the entire body of the witness and not just a part of his or her body.
Be Calm and Draft a Plan
The pandemic is making most people feel like the end of the world id near. People are panicking. Death tolls are increasing day by day. No one knows who’s next.
Of course, I understand that this is a trying time, but if you want to make it past this dark hour, you must ensure that you know what is happening. You are encouraged to get facts regarding the outbreak from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for recent updates and the best strategies to reduce exposure.
As soon as you have handled your risk of exposure, you can then look at the future by evaluating your estate plan. If you are yet to draft an estate plan, now is the best time to do so. Remember, if you die without an estate plan, the state government will dictate how your estate will be shared and this might affect those you care about.