Businesses are slowly beginning to reopen and different areas are relaxing some of the requirements to shelter in place as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis. As we move into this next phase, it is important to remember that seniors and individuals with underlying health conditions remain vulnerable to coronavirus, but also to remember to take care of your physical and mental health. Below are some ideas for you and your family members to take some measure of control in this time of uncertainty.
We strongly recommend taking the following steps so that your heirs, your partners and your employees can manage operations and makes sure your business is not jeopardized during a health crisis.
- Make sure your will and estate plan are up to date. Review whether you need to add or remove any beneficiaries. Verify that the people you have named as your personal representative, trustee or legal guardian are still willing and able to fill those roles – or if those are who you still would like to fulfill those duties.
- Update your records of account information, essential documents, and any personal property.
- If you own a business with several owners, consider drafting a buy-sell agreement that outlines how the sale process for the business and owners’ interests are determined and paid; whether the remaining owners have the option or obligation to buy the deceased or incapacitated partner’s interest; and whether certain individuals will be allowed – or not allowed – to participate in the business.
- Consider creating a trust. A revocable living trust is one that allows your successor trustees to manage your assets while you are undergoing treatment. A traditional trust allows any assets owned by the trust to bypass the probate process upon your death. In any event, we encourage you to appoint an agent under a financial power of attorney to assist with managing your finances should you become incapacitated.
- Complete or update a power of attorney. We recommend having one in place for both your finances and your medical care.
- Utilize online banking when possible and make sure your personal representatives have access to account numbers, passwords, etc.
- Link your bills to your online checking account. You will be able to make payments without having to leave home. Again, be sure that your trustee or personal representative has access to these accounts so they can make payments on your behalf if needed.
Connecting with others
- Becoming digitally connected and comfortable with technology has never been more important. Skype, FaceTime and other video conferencing platforms are great ways to visit with friends and family during times of quarantine. If you are not sure how to set these up, younger family members will probably gladly help.
- Find online workout programs to follow at home.
- Try to get outside as much as possible for fresh air and exercise.
Please call us if you have any questions.
Carolyn Allen is a Manager with the Business and Tax Advisory Group with Antares Group, Inc. She can be reached at email@example.com.