The Most Important Legal and Financial Actions to Take Right Now

Estate Planning in New Braunfels, San Marcos, and Seguin

By Beverly Davidek

Mar 23

As you already know, the COVID-19 pandemic means that nothing is business as usual. Many states have implemented a “shelter-in-place” order to limit the spread of the disease; however, if you are not in a place with such an order, or if your parents are not following it, you may want to refer to my previous blog on how to talk to your parents and get them to stay home.

Once you have attended to your (and your parents’) immediate needs, it will be time to consider more long-term precautions.

In this time of stress and chaos, your parents may be resistant to talking about estate planning. It may feel too pessimistic to plan for the worst in the midst of a scary situation. However, that’s exactly why it’s the most important time to do so. Plus, since hopefully you are staying inside, you may actually have the time to dedicate to getting these tasks taken care of.

Here are actions you can, and should, take to ensure you and your family are protected both legally and financially.

Update Your Health Care Documents

Above all, you first need to ensure that both you and your parents have advance health care directives. This will be an invaluable reference point for those who are assisting you, whether they be friends, family, or medical professionals. This directive should include instructions on your preferred methods of care and the contact information for each of your doctors.

You must also clearly state who will be in charge of handling your affairs in the event of your death or incapacity. Even if you have done this already, I urge you to take out any existing documents now and review them. Have your circumstances changed? Do you have additions to make? Encourage your parents to do the same thing, and to communicate with you about what their directives say.

Here’s an article to read, and share with your parents (and adult kids, if you have them) on the 3 parts of a Health Care Directive, and the 5 things you want to look for in your Health Care Directive right now, to ensure it’s up to date for Covid-19.

If you are unsure whether your Health Care Directive is in ship-shape, contact me to find out how you can get it reviewed by me at no charge.

Create a "Personal Resource Map"—an Inventory of Everything That Matters

You might think that only the very rich need to worry about making specific plans for their assets. But not so fast. Do you have investments or a retirement account? Physical things like jewelry, musical instruments, or furniture? What about crypto? Or even social media accounts? In the event of your incapacity or death, your family members won’t know where to look for what you have, or how to access it, unless you’ve planned for that ahead of time.

Somewhere between 49 and 80 billion dollars are currently unclaimed, or unable to be claimed, by family members of people who have passed away. This is money that individuals may have forgotten they had, or that they made no provisions to pass on to their family after they died. That’s why it’s extra important that you create a “personal resource map” to tell your loved ones where everything is and how they should move forward according to your wishes.

To help you make your own personal resource map, and to help your parents make theirs, you can go to http://www.personalresourcemap.com/ or call my office, and we’ll walk you through it.

Wisely Maximize Your Access to and Use Of Credit

Financial experts often recommend having a rainy day savings account, and it seems that the rainy day has come. Whether or not you have a sizable savings, you may want to also maximize your access to credit. Getting approved for a higher credit line, if you think you may need it, is good to do sooner rather than later. If you find yourself in a position where you need money quickly (to afford a medical expense, for instance), you don’t want to be scrambling to pay the bill.

Some people might balk at the idea of applying for more personal credit, and—believe me—I’m usually one of them. Think of it, however, as a worst-case precaution. Special times call for special measures, and we all need to be as prepared as possible.

Remember that it’s never an inappropriate time to plan for the future. It’s also always a good time to ask for legal and financial help. #WereAllInThisTogether, and my office is here to support you, virtually now, as well. We can take care of you, and your family, fully online.

This article is a service of Beverly R. Davidek. I don’t just draft documents; I ensure that families and business owners make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for themselves and the people they love.

Thank you!