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Coronavirus – Get Your Affairs in Order Now

By Marty Bodnar

 

The Stay-at-Home, Be Safe Executive Order issued by Governor Whitmer on March 23, 2020 in response to the Coronavirus pandemic requires people to stay at home. Due to this virus and the effects of government measures, the world economy is in a free fall – the stock market has fallen over 30% and America has not seen this level of fear since the polio epidemic in the 1940s and 1950s.

Most of us are working at home and doing other meaningful activities, such as online learning, watching movies, playing board games and connecting with others through social media. Students are finishing their classes online. We have an overwhelming and unexpected amount of time to spend at home. People are organizing their closets, basements and crawl spaces. This year, spring cleaning is taking on a whole new meaning!

As an estate planning attorney, I often get phone calls around the New Year when people make resolutions to get their affairs in order. Phone calls also increase when a tragedy strikes. For example, when Kobe Bryant died people started to realize the fragility of life. As each day passes and we settle more and more into our nest aka our homes, the need to get our affairs in order feels very real.

I often say that parents do a lot for their child during their lifetimes. The last gift that we give to them is to make sure everything we leave behind is in order.

Getting your affairs in order involves preparing for your death by signing a Last Will and Testament or a Revocable Trust and making sure your assets and beneficiaries are titled correctly. It also involves preparing for your incapacity by signing Financial and Health Powers of Attorney.

Due to the Governor’s Order, I’m working from home and cannot meet with people at the office. However, Estate planning starts with a conversation. This can take place using Facetime, Zoom, Skype or even the telephone. 

We can discuss, plan, prepare and review drafts without an in-person meeting. However, under Michigan law, these documents must be signed in the presence of two witnesses and a notary.  

If you’re interested in moving estate planning up on your to do list, contact us today. Please know that you can get started now. 

If you want to do something more important than organizing your closets – organize your affairs to give a lasting gift to your family. Please contact me to set up a phone call or Zoom meeting to start the process. Call 734-665-4441 or email me at mbodnar@psedlaw.com to schedule your conversation.

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