Tim Alles

Jordan Bush

Chris Shourds

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Previous Newsletters

April 2021 Does My Estate Plan Have An Elephant In The Room? (Part I)

March 2021 How Can I "Trust" My Trustees?

February 2021 What Do Tiger Woods' Tweets, and Your Social Media Content Have to Do with Estate Planning? (Part II)

January 2021 What Do Tiger Woods' Tweets, and Your Social Media Content Have to Do with Estate Planning? (Part I)

December 2020 What Are Estate Taxes And Why Do They Matter?

November 2020 What Life Events Should Trigger an Estate Plan Review?

October 2020 My Child Is A Spendthrift. What Can I Do To Protect Their Inheritance?

September 2020 What Is the Difference Between Estate Planning and Elder Law?

August 2020 Estate Planning After a Divorce - What Does It Mean for Your Estate Plan?

July 2020 What Should You Expect From Your Trustee?

June 2020 Should You Pass Your Assets Through A Trust Or A Will?

May 2020 Important Issues To Consider For Your Estate Plan

April 2020 Important Estate Planning Considerations During a Pandemic Crisis

Important Estate Planning Considerations
During A Pandemic Crisis

While millions of us, in dozens of states, are coping with stay at home orders to prevent the community spread of Coronavirus, concern for our elderly loved ones is top of mind. It’s natural to wonder what will happen if they end up getting sick and are unable to complete their estate plans.  This is especially true for our first responders (police, fire, paramedics, doctors, nurses, and employees of hospitals and long-term care facilities) who are at a higher risk of getting Coronavirus.  Fortunately, many states and estate planning attorneys are providing much needed relief.

Can I use technology to connect with my estate planning attorney?

A couple of months ago, the idea of connecting with attorneys and healthcare providers online was unthinkable for millions of us. Telehealth technology was in its infancy. Americans were visiting attorneys, therapists, and other healthcare providers in their offices. Even phone calls with many of these providers were discouraged.

What a difference a pandemic makes!  In a matter of less than 2 months, hospitals, doctors, nurses, therapists, and attorneys have all moved to Internet technologies to administer legal and healthcare services.  The use of audio and video applications, such as Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, Zoom, and Skype are now being used daily.

During this time, attorneys and healthcare providers still have ethical duties to maintain your confidentiality and privacy.  Rest assured that these professionals are receiving guidance from their state bar associations, governors and local, state and federal healthcare organizations on measures that they can take to protect confidentiality during these times. If you have any concerns, please contact your local estate planning attorney and ask them what measures they have taken during this time to protect your privacy as you work remotely together.

What are states doing to make it easier to execute estate planning documents during this crisis?

Many state governors have issued estate planning directives during this crisis that will help ease the burden of being able to act now.  These executive orders are necessary to comply with social distancing guidelines, as well as protect our seniors, and the public in general. 

While each state governor has taken different actions there are some general measures that may be in effect in your state that apply to powers of attorney of healthcare & property, wills and trusts:

·         The ability to complete remote notarization via video/audio calls.

·         Electronic signatures may be used to accommodate executing and witnessing of estate planning documents.

·         Be mindful that there are certain time frames and very specific rules are required to take advantage of these provisions. It may be that traditional rules will be reinstated after the crisis has passed.

During this time, each state has acted differently, and these rules are in a state of flux.  It is very important to consult with an estate planning attorney in your state, to learn which rules apply to your state, so that you can quickly and confidently move forward to create and complete your estate planning documents.

Important Information: The information contained in this newsletter, and any related web page(s), is for general information purposed, by its nature, and does not contain any legal or tax advice. It is written to be accurate and educational. This newsletter may not be construed as legal or tax advice, or solicitation for legal or tax services of any kind. For this reason, no attorney-client relationship is created, and no one should take any legal, tax or other action, based on the information contained in this newsletter or any related web page(s), until having consulted competent professional advisor(s) and attorney(s). Some links in the newsletter may lead to other places on the worldwide web, that are for informational references only. We do not necessarily sponsor, endorse or otherwise approve of the materials appearing in such sites. Nothing contained in this newsletter and any related web page(s) is intended or written to be used, can be used by any taxpayer, or may be relied upon or used by any taxpayer for the purposes of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code. No information contained this newsletter and any related web page(s)relating to any federal tax matter may be used by any person to support the promotion or marketing or to recommend any federal tax matter. Taxpayer(s) should seek advice based on the taxpayer's particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor with respect to any federal tax transaction or matter described in this newsletter and any related web page(s).

Alles Law | 5360 Cascade Road SE | Grand Rapids, MI 49546 | 616-365-5055
info@alleslaw.com | www.alleslaw.com