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How Can I Create Estate Planning Documents During the Pandemic?

Even in its first few weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic caused many people to examine or reassess what is most important to them. The need to prepare in case of an emergency or untimely death has been highlighted by the tragic losses occurring around the country. What can you do if you can’t meet with your attorney to make an estate plan or change an existing one? Fortunately, today’s technology has made this process possible to accomplish remotely.

Below are some important things you should know if you need an attorney to help you with your estate plan during this pandemic:

  • Most estate planning can be done remotely — Long gone are the days when you needed to meet an attorney in person in order for them to perform legal services for you. During the lockdown, most lawyers are able to work from home and are available to you via email, phone and live video conferencing. Your documents can be sent to you through the mail when necessary.
  • You might be able to sign your documents from home — Estate planning documents can likely be signed without your attorney physically present. If applicable, your attorney can send you specific instructions on how to make sure your signature is legally binding. This might require other people to witness you signing your documents. Of course, you should practice proper social distancing while doing so.
  • Online notarization is gaining popularity — While most states currently don’t allow for online notarization, some states have allowed for temporary electronic notarization during this COVID-19 pandemic. Indiana and Nevada already allow for electronic wills, and Florida has legalized the practice, effective July 1, 2020. Though notarization makes a will “self-executing,” the lack of a stamp does not invalidate a testamentary document in many jurisdictions. Rather, a little more effort might be required to demonstrate its authenticity.

It’s always a wise time to establish a sound estate plan, and current events certainly highlight the need for security. Working with a qualified attorney on a will, trust or advance medical directive can make a tremendous difference in the lives of your loved ones and provide you with peace of mind no matter what lies ahead.

Contact a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer to learn about your options   

Teresa K. Bowman, P.A. assists individuals and families with various estate planning matters, such as the creation of wills and trusts. To schedule a consultation, please call 941-735-5200 or contact the firm online.

 

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  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Making end of life plans is never easy, but Teresa Bowman and her staff were efficient and compassionate. I highly recommend them for eldercare planning.

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    Sondra Nagar

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    I have been a client of Teresa Bowman for several years and feel so secure knowing I can rely on her and her associate, Rachel Schadt, to guide me through the many legal issues involved with estate planning and my care as I get older. I feel confide...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Her office was very competent in handling our problem with finding treatment for a 100 year old woman who needed financial and health care with living arrangements.

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    Client

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I can't say enough good things about Teresa and her office. Mom had a tragic fall in Ohio and we had to air ambulance her to Florida. All of the Ohio documents had to be redone. From the initial meeting, she and her office were very thorough, orga...

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    jan reimer

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    5.0/5.0

    Our family experience with the Teresa Bowman practice has been exemplary! Professionalism and empathy beyond words. A personal and professional gift at this time in our world and our immediate family lives. Gratitude and confidence shall be ongoing!

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    Debra Ruppert

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  • "The National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) – the only organization approved by the American Bar Association to offer certification in the area of elder law, has announced that Teresa K. Bowman, Esq., of Sarasota has successfully completed its examination leading to such certification."

  • "I am pleased to announce that I have joined the firm of McLin Burnsed, based in Leesburg and in The Villages Community, as an attorney of counsel. McLin Burnsed has maintained a presence in the Leesburg and Villages area for over 45 years and are expanding their practice to include Elder Law."

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