The entire world has been stunned by the spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus. Declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, COVID-19 is spreading rapidly throughout the United States. And it is particularly harmful to older people and those with compromised immune systems.

Because of this, many Minnesotans in these groups are thinking seriously about creating or updating their estate plans and care wishes.

The importance of taking precautions

Just like we must take precautions such as washing our hands and practicing social distancing to avoid getting or passing on COVID-19, it can also be wise to take legal and financial precautions should those efforts fail.

Updating an estate plan can ensure that if you get sick, you get the care you want. If you pass away from an illness, you can dictate what happens to your assets, property and other critical matters.

To do this, be sure you have an updated will, power of attorney and health care directive. If you have specific wishes regarding the medical care you receive, be sure you discuss those with your loved ones.

Don’t panic

Any situation that threatens our health is frightening; a global pandemic only increases the stress and fear people experience.

However, as difficult as it may be, it is important not to panic. Whether you are protecting your health or creating an estate plan, preparation can provide critical peace of mind, making it easier to stay calm.

In the context of estate planning, preparation includes:

  • Assessing your wishes and assets from time to time
  • Discussing your goals with an attorney
  • Creating an estate plan
  • Regularly reviewing the plan, especially when new circumstances arise

Another reason why preparation is important is that it can show that the decisions you have made are sound and deliberate.

Taking care of yourself and your loved ones

This information can be helpful to anyone with concerns about their health. And while taking precautions cannot stop a pandemic or guarantee that you or your loved ones won’t get sick, it can provide critical reassurance during a very difficult time.