According to a recent Florida news report, the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in “lawyers . . . being bombarded with requests to write wills, update estate plans and prepare health surrogate . . . documents as people are confronted by the realization that they could be diagnosed with COVID-19 and dead within days.”
There is good news on at least two fronts, however: 1. Experts expect the vast majority of us to survive the pandemic. 2. Our Cocoa offices are open and our attorneys are available to meet by phone or video to talk about your estate planning needs.
A Miami-area estate planning attorney said, “Because of coronavirus, people have come to the abrupt conclusion that they cannot procrastinate. You could be infected and very quickly find yourself in a life or death situation.”
Estate plans are not just for the elderly or wealthy. They are really for your loved ones. Estate plans help your beneficiaries avoid extended, expensive will contests and disputes and the complexities that accompany estates without wills in probate court.
Of course, if you die without a will or other legal documents that tell the state of Florida how to distribute your assets upon your passing, the state is forced to make those decisions for you. Let’s face it: it’s unlikely that probate court will come to the same decisions that you and an estate planning attorney would have come to.
According to the Miami Herald article, the top priorities in the virus-inspired rush are will creation, designation of a health surrogate, granting power of attorney to someone to make financial decisions if you’re incapacitated and preparation of advanced directives on matters such as resuscitation orders.
Contact a Brevard County attorney experienced in creating these documents and more to fit your exact estate planning needs.