Most attorneys are reporting an increase in estate planning activity amid the Coronavirus pandemic. With so many people sick and dying, it’s only natural that we all start to think about our mortality. What many are also starting to realize is that estate planning is important for everyone, not just the wealthy. In fact, it is more important for those that do not consider themselves wealthy since the financial need of dependents is greater. Here are a few reasons why.
1 – Massachusetts Laws May Designated Unwanted Heirs
If you die without a will, Massachusetts has what’s called intestate succession. Your heirs are determined by whether you are married, have children from the current or previous marriages, and/or have living parents. For example, if you are married but have no kids or living parents, your spouse gets everything. If you have a spouse and children, then your assets are shared among them all. If you have no children but are married and have living parents, then your spouse and parents receive your assets in certain proportions. As you can see, there are multiple possibilities, depending on your circumstances. Intestate succession may not match your personal preferences on who should inherit your estate. The only way around this is to establish a will.
2 – Probate Can Be Lengthy and Leave Dependents Without Financial Support
One of the biggest reasons for an increase in estate planning amid Coronavirus is the fact that without certain estate planning measures (such as a trust), your assets could be held up for several months in a lengthy court process. During this time, your heirs will not have access to critical funds to support their everyday living. If you have young children and/or a spouse who is unemployed, you can imagine how detrimental this could be. To ensure your family receives immediate and essential support, you must plan ahead with a well-formulated estate plan.
More on the Increase in Estate Planning Amid Coronavirus
If, like many others, you do not have an estate plan, you should use this time to get your estate in order. Although many offices, like ours, is physically closed, our team of Massachusetts estate planning attorneys are still working remotely. Through Zoom meetings, we can discuss your needs and preferences. We can then prepare necessary documents for signing. The increase in estate planning amid Coronavirus is a sign that we are all thinking about what is important in our lives and taking steps to protect and provide for our loved ones. Please feel free to contact us at any time.