4 Things You Should Do in the Midst of the Coronavirus
By Solid Serenity Legal Solutions
The world is currently reeling from Coronavirus, the latest viral outbreak. Viral pandemics sweep the world on average every 25 to 30 years. That’s just long enough for us to forget how bad these outbreaks can be, and lower our guard for preparation.
With every new virus, there is an element of the unknown. We can’t be sure how far the virus will spread, or how our populations will be affected this early.
But, we can always be prepared for the worst case scenario. Here are 4 things you should do in the midst of the Coronavirus.
(1) Consider Your Investment Strategy
The recent outbreak has caused severe stock market problems. Due to the concentrated production of needed goods in our world, and the fear of a new, unknown virus, the stock market has quickly plunged.
Though now is not the best time to take your money and run, when the market begins to even out, consider your investment portfolio. If you are in or nearing retirement, bonds may be a better investment for you. Bonds allow you to keep a consistent source of funding that is not subject to the whims of the stock market.
If you are young and retirement isn’t approaching quickly, now would be a good time to put more money into the market. You can buy more stocks for less money, and when they rebound, you have created more return on your investment.
(2) Make a Will or Trust
Wills and Trusts are documents that allow you to say where you want your assets to go after you die. If you don’t have a Will or Trust, the government has laws that will say who gets what. With the real threat of a deadly virus on the horizon, there’s no better time than now to consider our own mortality.
There are pros and cons to each type of planning document. But, the biggest issue with Wills is they still have to go through probate court while trusts, generally, do not.
Considering a world where you or your family might be in quarantine, would you want to possibly leave your family without the ability to access the assets they need when you’re gone? If not, you will want to speak to a trusted advisor about a trust.
And please, don’t do it online. Nearly all of the litigation I have been involved in in the last few years has been over a Will or Trust made online. Wills and Trusts are complex documents with complicated language and state-specific drafting requirements. Not using a professional can lead to serious, unintended consequences.
(3) Verify Beneficiary Designations
Certain assets allow you to name beneficiaries to inherit the assets when you die. Some of these items include 401Ks, stocks, bonds, and life insurance policies.
Make sure that your assets have the right beneficiaries named. For instance, if you have gone through a divorce in the state of Oklahoma, and you want your ex-spouse to inherit as a beneficiary, you need to designate that ex-spouse after the divorce. If you do not re-designate the ex-spouse, or designate your new beneficiary, the asset will have to go through probate to determine who your heirs are under Oklahoma law.
Speak to your agent or the companies directly to get the forms you need to change your beneficiaries. For more tips on beneficiary designations, click here.
(4) Name Your Proxies
If you do not have a Durable Power of Attorney in place, now is a great time to get one! The DPOA allows you to name healthcare and financial proxies who will act on your behalf if you are unable to act.
The proxies can be the same person, or different people. This is a document you make and have complete control over who can do what and when. If you are quarantined for any reason, but need to pay a bill or sign important documents, you may need a proxy who can act for you.
Though planning is important every day, it is especially important on the brink of a worldwide pandemic. If you need help getting your plans in order, reach out today. We’ll even meet you virtually so you can do all the things you should do in the midst of the Coronavirus.