Estate Planning in the Time of Coronavirus

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As we are all quarantined or stuck at home right now due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s a good time to cross things off of our “someday” to do list. As Americans, we live such busy lives that we often get so caught up in the day-to-day, we tend to put off doing what is most important. Here at Gentreo, we believe protecting our loved ones is the most important thing and we are on a mission to help you protect them with estate planning, something that most Americans tend to procrastinate on completing.

If you or your parents and other loved ones do not have an estate plan, you should take critical action immediately and either review and/or create your essential estate planning documents: Last Will and Testament, Health Care Proxy or Power of Attorney for Health Care; Living Will; Power of Attorney and maybe a Trust.

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These documents protect you because you empower people you trust to make either health care or financial decisions for you, if you are unable to, and they allow you to care and provide for others by relieving them of additional emotional, monetary and legal stress and providing for them in the worst case scenario. The coronavirus pandemic has shown that our lives can change in an instant and that we need to be prepared.

Many think that estate planning is not for them because they are not wealthy. Estate planning is about more than asset protection and distribution. It is also about protecting your health care and financial decisions when you are alive. Gentreo makes estate planning services affordable so that all Americans can protect their health, finances, and loved ones.  

Everyone over the age of 18 needs to have estate planning documents, especially during the coronavirus.  Do you really want to leave it up to a judge to decide who makes your health care decisions? Who manages your money? Who gets your money? Who raises your children?

If you have not yet created your documents, don’t worry! With Gentreo, you are able to easily and affordably create them from the comfort of your own home. Our software walks you through the creation of these documents by asking you simple questions. You can go at your own pace and invite other loved ones to complete their documents as well.  

During this coronavirus pandemic, inviting your loved ones to create their legal documents is a way you can show that you care and make sure that your loved ones are protected. At the end of the day, once these documents are created and executed, you will have given yourself a priceless gift: peace of mind.  In an emergency, you and your loved ones will be prepared.

In addition to providing the software to create your own estate planning documents, Gentreo offers significant features to further assist and protect you. The Gentreo Digital Family Vault provides safe and secure digital storage for your estate planning and other important documents. Furthermore, you are able to seamlessly share your selected documents and information with those you want to have access to the information. Sadly, sometimes people take the time to create their estate planning documents but they store them in a safe deposit box, a file cabinet, or in some cases, a shoebox under the bed! For these people, these critical documents would not be conveniently available when a crisis hits.

We still are in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, but we can still protect our loved ones by joining Gentreo to create, store, and share our estate planning documents.

What Happens If I Don’t Have an Estate Plan Right Now?

Many Americans are learning a painful lesson during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some find themselves or their loved ones stuck in limbo at the hospital because they didn’t create a Health Care Proxy. Others are being confronted by their ignorance; they didn’t even know that they needed to create these documents. Worse, there are those that know – absolutely know – that the documents were created, but they have no idea where they are stored.  

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Sadly, whichever of these circumstances caused it, the result is the same. Since these people do not have essential estate planning documents, their loved ones will be forced to contact attorneys to get emergency authorization from the court to become their loved one’s guardian (a court-appointed person that is able to make health care/personal decisions) and/or conservator (a court-appointed person that is able to make financial decisions). These people are incurring significant legal expenses and delays that are negatively impacting their loved ones and themselves. Putting aside the added financial costs, these people’s loved ones are incurring extra emotional stress during an already unbelievably stressful time that is only made worse by the coronavirus.  

By not having a Health Care Proxy – also known as a Power of Attorney for Health Care – loved ones may have to go to court to obtain guardianship. There may also be conflict about who should make healthcare decisions and what those decisions should be. If you had prepared the Health Care Proxy/Power of Attorney for Health Care, this stressful situation could have been avoided. Access to the courts, like other aspects of American life, has been limited during the COVID-19 crisis. There is limited emergency access. So again, without documents, a difficult time is made even more challenging because of the restrictions due to the pandemic.

Gentreo is trying to help American families by providing an easy and affordable platform to create essential estate planning documents. Everyone over the age of 18 should have at least a Health Care Proxy and Power of Attorney. If you have children, or if you want to control who gets your assets after you die, you should also have a Will. These are the essential estate planning documents that you can create, store and share by joining Gentreo.

Estate Planning for Caregivers During COVID-19

Oftentimes caregivers, especially those of us in the sandwich generation, are barely keeping our heads above water with everything we need to do to care for our parents and our little ones. We run a gauntlet each day and claim victory for surviving it as we put our heads down on our pillow to sleep. Sometimes sleep doesn’t come easy, though, because we are burdened by our worries and anxieties as caregivers.  More often than not it is the woman of the family that carries this heavy load. We here at Gentreo want to ease your burden and help you to care for your loved ones by enabling you to create the legal documents you need to protect yourself and them.

If we are responsible for assisting our parents or other elderly relatives, it’s important that we help to make sure that their legal documents are in order.  Do they have a current Power of Attorney for Health Care, otherwise known as a Health Care Proxy? Have they completed a Living Will? Do we know the care they want at the end of life? Have we had those necessary conversations? What about money and assets? Do they have a current Power of Attorney? Do you know what their assets are and where they do their banking? Finally, do you know where they have kept their estate planning documents? Gentreo makes it easy to create, store and share these critical estate planning documents.

Besides caring for our elderly relatives, we need to protect our children and other loved ones. A current Will allows you to nominate who you would want to care for your children if you should die before them.  You also need a Health Care Proxy and Power of Attorney so that someone could smoothly make decisions for you if you were not able to do it yourself. Have you made provisions for your pet? At Gentreo, you can create a Power of Attorney for Pet Care, which grants authority to whomever you choose to take care of your pets. This document protects you, your pet, your pet caregiver and your veterinarian.

As caregivers, it’s hard to make ourselves and our needs the priority. Hopefully, you now understand that by taking the time to create your estate planning documents, you really are caring for those you love. You are providing legal protection and giving them (and yourself) peace of mind. Join Gentreo today and show your loved ones that you care.

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