It is human nature to procrastinate. Often, we have clients that review the estate planning documents only when there has been a health care crisis in the family. However, with the global health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, many families are now making it paramount to focus on the essential estate planning documents, including the last will and testament.
Locate all Last Wills and Testaments
As with all estate planning documents, you should locate all last wills and testaments for your parent or loved one. It is normal to have older versions, but it is critical that you review the documents to make sure that the most up-to-date version is used.
It is also critical to locate the original last will and testament. Conformed copies are not original documents and will not be accepted by the Register of Wills unless all of the interested parties consent.
How to Execute a Last Will and Testament During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic makes it difficult to find witnesses for a last will and testament.
Governor Hogan issued new emergency rules in the beginning of 2020 to implement remote witnessing for last wills and testaments. However, those rules have now expired. Witnesses will have to be present for a last will and testament execution. This presents a unique challenge for those clients that are in assisted living and/or nursing homes. We will work with an assisted living and/or nursing home on a case by case basis regarding document execution.
At the Law Offices of Adam J. Roa, it is our practice to review the estate planning documents with the potential signer via Zoom first and then separately arrange for a document execution. For many of our clients, this involves a drive-by document execution.
We’re Here to Help During COVID-19
We understand that these are uncertain times. Now, more than ever, is when your loved ones need you to be their advocate in planning for the future.
As an experienced elder law firm in Maryland, we’re happy to guide you through the process of preparing a last will and testament. Please call us at 410-296-8166 x292.