Leading estate planning attorney Michele Ungvarsky, founder of E-Law in Las Cruces, NM, discusses how COVID-19 is the most significant estate planning wake-up call of our time. For more information please visit https://www.estradalawpc.com
Las Cruces, NM, United States - October 26, 2020 /MM-REB/ —
In a recent interview, leading estate planning attorney Michele Ungvarsky, founder of E-Law in Las Cruces, NM, discussed how COVID-19 is the most significant estate planning wake-up call of our time.
For more information please visit https://www.estradalawpc.com
When asked for a comment, she said, "The corona health crisis has reminded us how unpredictable life can be - and how not everything is in our control. But we can control how financial and medical decisions will be made once we cannot make them through estate planning. Here are some of the most important documents needed in an estate plan."
Setting up a last will and testament as part of an estate plan can allow one to specify how their assets and property will be distributed once they've passed on.
"Establishing a will allows you to designate who will be the recipients of your property and money. A will also enable you to assign a guardian to look after your children or any other dependents if you cannot do so yourself and to assign someone to be responsible for their finances," she said.
Ungvarsky was quick to add that a will might be insufficient for many as it only comes into effect after someone passes away.
One step that many fail to consider important, according to Ungvarsky, is naming agents to act under powers of attorney. These agents are vital in making medical and financial decisions.
"An advance directive - or also referred to as a living will or medical power of attorney - is important in specifying the type of care you want at the end of your life. For instance, if you have a terminal illness or are in a coma, this type of will can specify whether or not you want to be placed on life support," she said.
"A Durable Power of Attorney is mandatory if you cannot speak for yourself. This document allows the person you choose to make sure your property and financial aspects of your life will be taken care of when you are unable."
Establishing a revocable living trust is another vital aspect of estate planning.
"When you set up a revocable living trust, you can transfer all your property and money into the trust and designate yourself as the trustee. A trust allows you to continue managing your assets. But if you are unable to do so due to an illness, a co-trustee or successor trustee that you have previously assigned can manage the trust on your behalf," she said.
Ungvarsky further indicated that taking steps to place property into a trust will bypass the probate process, which is often expensive, stressful, and time-consuming for family members after a loved one has passed away.
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