Spiller Law’s Guide to Estate Planning during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Updated: May 13, 2021
A number of clients have asked questions about how they may prepare and execute an estate plan during the shelter-in-place rules now in effect in California and elsewhere.
An Estate Plan. To review, an Estate Plan typically involves four (4) types of documents:
A Revocable Living Trust
A Power of Attorney for Health Care (includes a Health Care Directive, also known as a "Living Will")
A Power of Attorney for Finances
Steps. In order for us to prepare an estate plan during this time, we advise our clients to take the following steps:
Call or email Spiller Law and request an Estate Plan Questionnaire. The questionnaire includes questions about the nature and scope of your estate, your intended beneficiaries, your choice of a trustee for your trust and executor for your will, and your selection of agents to act under your powers of attorney.
Complete the questionnaire and return it to Spiller Law via email or first-class mail. Once we receive the questionnaire, we will prepare drafts of your estate plan documents based on your answers and send the finished drafts to you for your review.
Schedule a conference call with Spiller Law to review Estate Plan document drafts together. Once you’ve had time to review the drafts on your own, we will arrange a Zoom video conference call to review your plan with you. It generally takes an hour. The purpose of this video conference call is to explain the provisions of the documents and to correct or revise the documents, if needed.
Prepare the final signature drafts of the Estate Plan documents. After our conference call, we will prepare final signature-ready versions of the Estate Plan and forward them to you for signature.
Sign the Estate Plan Documents. Normally, the signing would take place in our office. However, during the crisis, we have opted instead to conduct the signing remotely via a Zoom video conference call.. This allows us to keep enhance safety and maintain proper distancing during the signing process. If a notary is necessary or desired, we will arrange a mobile notary to visit you and to witness and notarize your documents while exercising care in maintaining safe physical distancing. Should you desire to not use a notary, we will draft the documents to allow witnesses to witness the signing of the documents. [Note: California Law does not provide the authority for California notaries public to perform a remote online notarization. The personal appearance of the document signer is required before the notary public.]
Turnaround time: Depending on the complexity of the estate, and whether tax considerations are involved, the estate plan process may take as little as a couple of days to a couple weeks.
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