Do you have a beloved family member with terminal cancer or some other life-threatening disease? Are they coming to the end of their natural life? Or, do you have an elderly loved one who is at high risk of dying should they contract the COVID-19 virus?
The world is in a unique place. Never before has the global economy ground to an instant halt as national, federal, and state governments enforced stay-at-home or lockdown orders to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Succinctly stated, this virus has swept and is continuing to sweep through the global communities. Current figures show that there are nearly 9 million infected cases and over 467 000 fatalities. This virus is highly contagious and is particularly dangerous to people with co-morbidities like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and any other autoimmune condition.
2019 statistics quoted by Caring.com show that nearly 60% of adult Americans do not have a will. In other words, if there are circa 331 million people living in America, about 198 million US residents do not have a will. And they have not conducted an essential estate planning exercise. These are staggering figures, especially in the light of the high mortality rate caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Importance of Estate Planning
The laws around dying without a legal will can and will probably have negative complications on surviving family members. Thus, it is critical to consult with Ely Rosenzveig, an elder care lawyer, to ensure that the critical family member’s estate and last will and testament are drawn up according to their instructions and the estate-planning laws of the applicable US state.
If anyone dies without a will, they are deemed to have died intestate. And the probate court of the state they live in will divide up their estate based on a predetermined state formula. Not only will this have a negative impact on close family members inheriting property and assets, but the death taxes will more than likely be higher than they would be if an attorney drew up the estate and last will and testament.
Secondly without a legal will, friends, extended family, and charitable organizations that would normally inherit a part of the individual’s estate will more than likely miss out. This is because the probate court divides the deceased’s assets up amongst close family members like a surviving spouse and children.
It is not easy for individuals to face their mortality. However, this is an imperative, if for no other reason than to ensure that close family members are provided for in the event of an expected, or unexpected death.