How Has COVID-19 Affected Estate Planning?

people with masks sitting across the table from a lawyer

COVID-19 has not only changed a lot about our daily lives but has also changed how people are thinking about, and planning for, the future.

The Creation of Wills

Over the course of the last year and a half, there has been a notable increase in the number of Americans who drew up wills.
One survey discovered that:

  • Of all Americans who currently have a will, 26% got one because they were worried about illness or death related to COVID-19.
  • 32% of young adults ages 18-34 got a will because of COVID-19.
  • Of the young adults mentioned above, about 20% of them got a will because they or someone they knew had COVID-19.

While this increase has occurred, still less than half of Americans have a valid will.
Some of the reasons why people don’t have wills include:

  • They don’t believe they have enough assets to have a will
  • They are young and don’t think they need one
  • It makes them uneasy to think about life after they have passed away
  • They’re unsure of where to start in the estate planning process

COVID-19 brought a number of Americans to go forward with estate planning despite any hesitations.

Online Estate Planning

With the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly everything went virtual. This included estate planning. “Online Will Makers” became more popular; allowing people to stay home and draft a last will and testament. The COVID-19 pandemic also allowed more flexibility for online notarization, so that individuals could get their wills notarized from the safety of their homes. Some states allowed this prior to the pandemic, Texas being one of them.

While the convenience of using an online will-writing software sounds great in theory, it may not be best in practice. Online will writing programs are kept vague, generalized, and likely won’t allow for the personalization options that you get when working with an attorney.

An additional benefit of working with an attorney is getting advice and guidance from a legal expert who knows what you need to be fully covered. An attorney can help ensure that your will is valid and will be followed through according to your final wishes.

Dallas Estate Planning Services

If you feel intimidated by the estate planning process, contact our team at DebnamRust, P.C. today. We are happy to help answer any questions you have about the estate planning process. Estate plans are incredibly important not only for yourself but also for your family. Give us a call today at (214) 758-8681 to begin with a stress-free consultation.