Estate Planning: Are Your Essentials Up to Date in the Case of a Natural Catastrophe?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2020 | estate planning


While it is always a good idea to plan ahead for your future and have your estate plans set in place, it is also important to update your estate plans from time to time. Now more than ever, as the nation deals with the consequences of the novel coronavirus–COVID-19–it is crucial to have your estate plans updated. If you have not had any estate planning done, now is the time to think about getting started.

For all of your estate planning needs, contact the California Estate Planning attorneys at Galanti and Copenhaver, Inc. Our attorneys have many years of experience handling estate planning in all of its forms. We can help you make sure that your estate plans are up to date and give you one less thing to worry about during these difficult times.

Updating Your Estate Plans

From time to time, it is a good idea to review your current estate plans to determine whether there are any changes you should make. For example, if you recently welcomed a new child or grandchild, you may want to update your estate plans to include that child. If there has been a recent divorce in your family, you may want to review your estate plans and make any changes necessary.

If you have power of attorney documents in place, it is important to review these documents occasionally so that you can decide if the individual to whom you are granting the power of attorney to is still the person you wish to have that responsibility. If the person you have named as trustee of your trust or executor of your estate passes away unexpectedly, it is also another reason to make an update to your estate plans as soon as you can.

To make changes to your current estate plans, you should make an appointment with an experienced estate planning attorney. Your attorney will help you make the necessary changes to your estate plans and make sure that the necessary legal steps have been taken to carry out the changes you need.

What to Consider Updating in Case of a Natural Catastrophe

During these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to update your estate plans. In the event of a natural catastrophe, you will want to make sure that your will includes your current assets. You will also want to review how your assets are to be distributed to your beneficiaries and to make any changes that you deem necessary at this time. 

Power of Attorney

In order to fully protect yourself during such an uncertain time, you should consider having power of attorney documents prepared, if you do not have them already. You can opt to designate a trusted individual to have either financial power of attorney, health care power of attorney, or both.

When you designate someone as your financial power of attorney, you can give them the authority to make certain financial and legal decisions on your behalf while you are incapacitated, or otherwise unable to make those decisions for yourself. A health care power of attorney gives a person of your choosing the authority to make certain health care decisions for you when you are incapacitated or unable to make those decisions for yourself. You have the option to give as much or as little power to those individuals in these roles as you see fit.

Advance Health Care Directive or Living Will

Another thing to consider updating at the time of a natural catastrophe is your advance health care directive, also commonly referred to as a living will. With these documents, you can designate someone to make certain health-related decisions for you in the event that you are unable to make them yourself. 

You can also use a living will to express your wishes regarding end of life care or whether or not you want extraordinary measures to be taken medically to prolong your life. One example of something you should consider including in these documents is whether or not you want to be kept alive on life support. 

In the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is now more important than ever to have your estate plans updated to make sure that they reflect your current wishes and include any newly acquired assets. Designating someone to make financial and health-related decisions on your behalf is also an important consideration at this time. Finally, you should consider how you want medical decisions to be made regarding end of life care and extraordinary life-saving measures. Contact us today at (707) 867-0787 or fill out our online contact form to see how we can help you.