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Understanding How COVID-19 May Have Affected the Value of Your Estate

The economic and personal upheaval triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to warrant a review of your estate plan, no matter how thorough you think it is. As Americans cope with health fears and financial volatility, it’s worthwhile to determine whether a will, trust, advance medical directive or other legal instrument needs to be revised based on your current circumstances and intentions.

A careful evaluation with assistance from a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help you:

  • Reassess the worth of investments Steady rises in the stock market and other investment sectors over the past several years could have created an expectation that the value of certain assets would not drop below a certain level. Yet in only 22 days, the S&P 500 fell 30 percent from its record high. Though there has been a partial rebound, you might choose to reassess your bequests to account for the uncertain times that lie ahead.
  • Examine business succession plans It’s hard to fathom the number of businesses that will cease operations due to the coronavirus and the measures that were taken to control its spread. Beyond that, millions of companies that will survive the pandemic won’t be the same. Even a business succession plan put into place a few months ago might not be appropriate anymore.
  • Consider a tax-friendly gift Though heavy stock market losses might negatively affect your present and future finances, it could be a good time to take advantage of situations where you could benefit from lower investment values. If you are looking to reduce the size of your estate for tax purposes, remember that you can use the present valuation of stocks or other assets as part of a gift-giving plan. You are permitted to make a tax-free transfer of up to $15,000 annually to each recipient. By using today’s pricing, you might be able to confer a gift that ends up being more valuable.

When a will, revocable trust or other type of estate planning document is created correctly, it should be clear, authoritative and legally enforceable. That doesn’t mean the terms are forever set in stone. Until the time you pass away, revisions can be made. After a major economic event like the COVID-19 crisis, a change in your family life or a significant shift in your personal financial fortunes, you may benefit by working with an experienced estate planning lawyer.

Contact an estate planning attorney to learn about your options 

Teresa K. Bowman, P.A. advises clients on wills, trusts and other estate planning matters. Please call 941-735-5200 or contact the firm online to set up a consultation.

 

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  • martindale
    5.0/5.0

    It was a true pleasure to work with Teresa Bowman and her staff. Ms. Bowman was incredibly sensitive to the challenges we were facing as a family as we made difficult decisions. I am very thankful for her assistance and guidance.

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  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    It was a true pleasure to work with Teresa Bowman and her staff. Ms. Bowman was incredibly sensitive to the challenges we were facing as a family as we made difficult decisions. I am very thankful for her assistance and guidance.

    Read more

    Client

  • martindale
    5.0/5.0

    I had another lawyer help me with estate planning, and only be semi-knowledgeable about these things I trusted his advice. Then he had some troubles which made me question his advice. I asked Teresa if she could review my documents and advise if ever...

    Read more

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    I had another lawyer help me with estate planning, and only be semi-knowledgeable about these things I trusted his advice. Then he had some troubles which made me question his advice. I asked Teresa if she could review my documents and advise if ever...

    Read more

    Client

  • martindale
    5.0/5.0

    Working with Teresa and her staff has been a very positive experience. At every turn she assisted us in making a very difficult situation more manageable. Her firm practices good communications, professional services, and is always willing to help as...

    Read more

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