Updated: Apr 20, 2020
The severity of the Covid-19 pandemic should serve as a wake-up call for those who have been putting off creating an estate plan. Not just for the older adult or the wealthy, every person 18 and older should have some level of planning, even if only just a Power of Attorney and a Health Care Directive to make sure that there are designated persons to make financial and/or medical decisions for you, and a Will to identify who should receive your property.
If you don't have a plan, start creating your plan now. If you have a plan already, review your documents to make sure they still reflect your wishes. Have there been life changes? New property? New family members? Changes in your health? Are your beneficiary designations on your retirement and/or life insurance up-to-date? Did you get a divorce or remarry and forgot to make the necessary changes? Are you separated but not yet divorced and worried your spouse might inherit your property?
Your estate plan doesn't need to be perfect. An imperfect plan is better than no plan, and most plans can be easily modified and changed as life goes on. Without a plan, you lose all control over what happens to your estate, your family, your children, your finances, and even your medical care. For most people, that's simply a dreadful outcome.