How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Texans Reevaluating Their Estate Plans

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of life. From health concerns to mental well-being, people approach everyday life—and their future—differently than they did prior to March of 2020. Because of these changes, people are considering their goals and how to secure the financial security of loved ones in case they were to get sick. This can all be accomplished through estate planning. By creating health care and financial-related documents as part of an estate plan, Texans can ensure their affairs are in order before the need arises. Below are a few types of documents that all individuals should include in their estate plan, along with descriptions for why these directives are necessary.

Advance Health Care Directive and Medical Power of Attorney

An advance health care directive is a legal document that details the type of medical care an individual wants to receive if they are incapacitated and cannot make the choice for themselves. When crafting this document and deciding on the level of care a person would want, it is important to take into account one’s family medical history and potential treatments they would not want. The more detail an individual provides in their advance health care directive, the better.

Additionally, the individual must also name a health care proxy by creating a medical power of attorney document—this is the individual who will actually make the decisions on behalf of the other person. The named individual should be someone that the person implicitly trusts to make decisions that the incapacitated person would if they were able to.

Financial Power of Attorney

Similar to a health care power of attorney, people should create a financial power of attorney as part of their estate plan. This document requires an individual to pick someone who will help with finances and make monetary decisions on the other person’s behalf if they cannot do so themselves. As part of the document, the person can decide how much authority a power of attorney will grant. While the options are limitless, a common question to consider is whether the person will only be able to access accounts and use funds in financial emergencies or take further steps like selling stocks. Like a health care power of attorney, the financial power of attorney should be someone they trust, like a spouse or loved one.

Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, life has become even more stressful. Contacting an experienced estate planning attorney can help reduce one aspect of anxiety about the future.

Contact a Houston Estate Planning Attorney

If you or a loved one is in need of estate planning advice—or needs help beginning the process—the Houston estate planning attorneys at McCulloch & Miller, PLLC are here to help. We have decades of experience creating estate plans for our clients, along with amending estate plans to include new, necessary documents. Our attorneys will work with you to ensure your future is secured by drafting an estate plan that works for you and your family. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation, give us a call today at 713-333-8900.

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