Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Coronavirus should make you consider estate planning

The impact that the coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the world cannot be denied. People all over the world are in quarantine, travel has been restricted and many major events -- such as all NFL and NHL games or the March Madness tournament -- have been canceled or suspended.

At a time like this, it is important to think about estate planning. Yes, the recovery rates are very good compared to some other diseases, but this still shows just how quickly a pandemic can sweep the globe. Life is not predictable, and events like this make that fact very clear.

There are many parts to estate planning. Maybe you just want to get a will in place so that your heirs will know how you'd like them to divide your estate. Maybe you want to pick a guardian for your children. Maybe you're concerned about the plummeting stock market, and you want to protect your retirement savings.

You may also find yourself thinking about your health a bit more often, and that can lead you to advance medical directives, a medical power of attorney and other such documents that relate to your care in the future. If you do not have the ability to make these decisions on your own, you want to feel sure that the doctors and your heirs know what you want and what choices you would have made.

This isn't meant to be alarming or to add to the concern already facing the nation. But it should raise some very real estate planning questions, and everyone needs to know what steps to take.

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