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How to Pass the Time Until the COVID-19 Curve Flattens: Set Up a Living Trust

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Whether your approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has been that of a worry wart, a skeptic, or somewhere in the middle, one thing is certain: your daily routine has changed.  Maybe you are constantly checking the news to see the latest number of cases, and the most recent quarantine orders, in Florida and other places where you have family.  If your children or siblings live somewhere that has even more COVID-19 cases than Florida, such as New York, you are probably worried about your family there.  A nice thing about being retired is that your financial situation does not depend much on the job market, but if your children have been laid off from work because of the coronavirus pandemic, you naturally share in their anxiety.  Maybe you aren’t worried at all, just frustrated that all your social activities have been canceled and that your children are constantly fretting about whether you washed your hands after you came home from the supermarket.  In either case, one way to use your free time constructively, instead of worries or resentment, is to think about your estate plan; if you do not have a living trust, now is the time to set one up.

How a Living Trust Works

A living trust functions rather like a company in the business of dispersing money to your family members while you are alive and passing your assets on to them after your death.  You can designate yourself or someone else as the trustee of the trust, the person who has the authority to disburse money out of the trust.  If you make yourself the trustee, you should also designate a successor trustee who will be in charge of disbursing funds and distributing assets from the trust after your death.  Once you transfer assets to the trust, they belong to the trust, not to you.  Therefore, they will not be part of your estate when it goes to probate, thereby saving your heirs money on inheritance taxes.

Why Now Is the Right Time to Set Up a Living Trust

  • Making plans for your living trust is an engaging intellectual activity that makes you think about your connections to the closest people in your life.
  • Talking to your children about your estate plan will give you both something to talk about besides COVID-19 gloom and doom.
  • A trust is a cost-effective way to transfer money to your family members, and given the economic insecurity that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, they will probably really appreciate the help.

If you have not already set up a trust, you will need a notary to help you.  Florida is still deciding on its rules for notarizing documents when the notary and the client are not physically in the same room.

Contact an Attorney Today for Help

Talking to an estate planning lawyer about your plans for a living trust will give everyone peace of mind during the quarantine days.  Contact Clearwater estate planning attorney William Rambaum to discuss your questions.

Resource:

fool.com/millionacres/real-estate-basics/articles/will-remote-notarization-rules-change-because-of-covid-19/

https://www.rambaumlaw.com/the-sibling-rivalry-proof-estate-plan/

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