COVID 19: Your Family Needs a Plan, Part 3

By Chris Tymchuck
Founding Attorney

In the prior posts I’ve discussed steps you can take to help gain some control in this chaotic time of the global pandemic caused by coronavirus / COVID 19 stress. As a brief recap, make sure you, and your loved ones, have the following:

  • A properly executed Minnesota Health Care Directive
  • A signed financial Power of Attorney
  • Talk to family members about their needs

This post is to provide information on a few free things you can do for some peace of mind.

If you already have a plan in place, review it. Do your current documents, Trust, Will, Powers of Attorney still accurately convey your wishes if something happens to you? The following is a brief list of things to consider when determining whether your current plan still serves your needs, and/or the needs of your family:

  • Will your executor or trustee be able to serve?
  • Is the named executor or successor trustee still the best person to help?
  • Check your beneficiaries named in your plans. Are they still living? Are they capable (responsible) enough to receive the asset?
  • Should they receive their bequest outright or have it held in trust for them?
  • Do you know where your signed original documents are located?

If you already have a revocable living trust, have your property transferred your asset to your trust? Most of your assets should be titled to your trust in order to avoid probate upon your death.

As noted above, check the beneficiary designations of your IRA/401k/annuities and life insurance to make sure you have the correct beneficiaries named upon your death. Many people list someone and then forget about it for years and then it may be too late to fix the name.

With these important matters, here are a few miscellaneous matters we would consider:

Under Minnesota law, a will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses, who all sign the document in each other’s presence. This means that if you are sick, signing your will could get other people (the two witnesses) sick! Or they could get you sick. Reach out to see if we can arrange a safe way to execute your documents. If not, perhaps it’s not worth it to sign a Will right now but let this be a reminder of why one is important and contact us to get one as soon as it works within the parameters of COVID 19.

Realistically speaking, time will be extremely important in preparing before you get sick. While we have taken protective measures to allow us to still work with clients, we can’t put anyone in harm’s way by intentionally exposing themselves to someone sick with coronavirus. So, if you get coronavirus / COVID 19 without proper preparation, please don’t try and get legal work done as you may spread the virus to the attorney and their staff.

Take action as soon as you can or see about working remotely with someone to get things in order.

About the Author
As a Minneapolis Estate Planning and Probate attorney I help build and protect families through the adoption, estate planning, and probate processes. I also have experience working with families on issues related to their small businesses. I know how difficult it is to find time to plan for the future and I am here to help walk you through it.