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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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    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

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    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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