There has been an explosion in the numbers of Americans rushing to make their will or revocable living trust online. Understandably, the coronavirus pandemic has created the scramble to set up wills, trusts and end-of-life directives. However, online do it yourself (DIY) wills or trusts often do not comply with all of the legal requirements of your state. According to Caring.com, the prevalence of will and estate planning has been on the decline since 2017 but this trend is quickly reversing itself with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic.
Who needs a will or a trust?
In California, if you own real estate, you definitely should have a trust rather than a will. And you should have a California attorney prepare the trust to minimize the risk of the property taxes going up after you die.
If you have minor children, a will or a trust gives you control over 1) who becomes the guardian and 2) how your assets are left to your children.
If you are a blended family or nontraditional family you should have a trust. A trust helps families with stepchildren avoid disputes after you are gone and assures that your wishes will be followed. Likewise, for childless individuals or couples, a trust spells out your desires about where your assets will go. And for same sex or unmarried couples, trusts become crucial in guaranteeing that your partner is taken care of.
How to create a will or trust online with social distancing
Many law offices, including DeCarli Law, are effectively utilizing online videoconferencing with their clients to address social distancing protocols while still providing quality legal services such as creating a trust or writing a will. Platforms like Zoom enable detailed reviews of your documents online, frequently more effectively than in-person meetings. Secure file sharing like DropBox allows safe transmission of your asset information.
Even some or all of the trust or will signing, notarizing and witnessing may be completed online. But, in order to do so in a way that will hold up after you have passed away, you will need an attorney from your state to guide you through the signing process.
Power of attorney and healthcare directives can be done remotely
Other end-of-life documents are just as important as a will or a trust. A power of attorney and healthcare directive, sometimes called a living will, give direction about how to take care of things if you are alive, but incapacitated.
Because these end-of-life documents become effective if you are too ill to make your own decisions or take care of your own finances, the risk of coronavirus makes having a back-up plan especially urgent.
Essential workers, essential documents
According to research in a recent New York Times report, health care workers are more likely to contract COVID 19 than the average person. During this pandemic, many doctors and other medical professionals are rushing to have their wills or trusts drawn up. In addition to doctors, anyone on the front lines in the fight against COVID 19, from post office employees to grocery employees, should either make a will or trust or review and update their existing one.
No matter what your profession or likelihood of contracting this virus, and regardless of how well you observe social distancing, you should have a properly executed will during this time of considerable uncertainty.
Creating your will or trust puts you in control
None of us have a lot of control over so many things during this COVID 19 pandemic. One way that you can take control is by creating your estate planning documents. Getting your will or trust done is just one less thing to worry about.
We can help. We will work with you to create your will or trust online in a way that is convenient and effective. Peace of mind for you, and security for your family – that is what we aim to accomplish together.
Give me a call at 707-937-2701, and let’s get started on a plan to provide peace of mind to you, and security for your family.
email me at email@example.com or use our online calendar to schedule an appointment