By: Maryam Hassani
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted many people to think about estate planning and establishing a plan to take care of their loved ones. A benefit of the additional time people have with their family is that it allows for everyone to discuss a long-term care plan. Many people are taking advantage of their free time now to come up with a comprehensive estate plan. Even if you already have estate planning documents, now would be a good time to review and make changes to them. It is recommended that an estate plan be reviewed every three years.
Of course, estate planning documents need to be signed, notarized, and witnessed. Due to the virus, some people may be hesitant to come into the office to do so. Fortunately, there are other options. Governor Pritzker's Executive Order 20-14 allows for remote notarization during the COVID-19 pandemic, if the notary and the person signing are both located in Illinois. Audio-video technology, such as Zoom, must be used and the remote act must be recorded. The signer must also initial and show the Notary all the pages of the document. CTM Legal Group offers flexible services to ensure that all required documents can be signed and notarized in compliance with the ever-changing requirements.
Please note, countless people are misinformed about estate planning documents. Most people think that by having a last will and testament, they can avoid probate court. This is simply not true. If your goal is to avoid probate and leave more money for your beneficiaries, then you need a Living Trust. A trust has many advantages including: putting conditions on how and when your assets are distributed, reducing estate and gift taxes, better protection from creditors and lawsuits, cost-savings at distribution, an easier process and more privacy.
At CTM Legal Group, we can draft for you not only a Trust and Last Will and Testament but also a Power of Attorney for Health Care and Property and a Living Will. If you have any questions about these estate planning documents, please do not hesitate to contact us today.