During the past four months, more than 141,000 Americans have died of COVID-19. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the pandemic has prompted some people to get serious about creating or updating their estate plans, according to Christine Benz, Morningstar’s director of personal finance.
Talking about death makes most of us uncomfortable, so we don’t plan for it. That’s a big mistake, because if you don’t have an end-of-life plan, your state’s laws decide who gets everything you own.
Develop a successful transition plan that will provide for you, your heirs and your business.
It is also important to realize that it isn’t merely “why” you are updating your will, but “when” you are updating that can make all the difference. Acting too late (or too early) may mean your changes are no longer appropriate or even immediately invalidated.
One of the biggest challenges for anyone administering an estate is how to distribute what are called its tangible items. Unlike other property which can be easily sold, turned into cash and divided equally, tangible property is unique and often can’t be equally split. Its value also often can’t be measured by what it could be sold for. A family photo album may have no monetary value, for instance, but great sentimental significance.