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Estate Plan Review: COVID-19 Could Change Everything

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Moulton Law Offices is an estate planning practice based out of Spokane, WA – with a secondary office in Kennewick, WA.

We want to let our valued clients know that we are accepting appointments, mainly through virtual means so we can continue to serve you during these challenging times. We would prefer that you continue to utilize a virtual meeting format if possible, for most of your legal needs, though we should be able to accommodate in-person meetings for some situations.

We are eager to welcome back the clients we have been working with, many for more than 30 years – as well as assist new clients seeking our help, yet safety must remain our highest priority. We will continue to maintain a policy of carefully following Washington State guidelines which are meant to protect individuals who do come in for meetings, and we must also consider our dedicated employees. As always, we strive to go the extra mile and see that your financial goals can still be achieved, even during these trying times.

The economic and personal ramifications that have been triggered by the current Coronavirus epidemic are likely to justify a thorough review of your own estate plan, regardless of how comprehensive you think it may be. As all Americans are now trying to deal with health concerns and a great deal of financial instability, it’s advisable to decide whether a will, trust, advance medical directive or other legal instrument should be revised – which should be based on your current circumstances or future intentions.

Estate Plan Considerations Regarding COVID-19

You might be surprised at how a careful evaluation with assistance from our experienced estate planning attorneys can help your family:

Reevaluate the Value of Investments — Continuous increases in the stock market over the past few years may have created certain expectations that the inherent worth for certain assets and equities would not fall below a specific level. Yet in just 22 days, the S&P 500 fell 30 percent from its record high earlier this year. Now, although there have been signs of a rebound as of late, you may consider reassessing your investments to account for the instability that may lie ahead.

Examine Your Business Succession Strategy — It may be hard to comprehend the quantity of companies that will be forced to cease operations – as they have been hit hard by the coronavirus, while others are being hurt by measures that are intended to control the spread of this virus. Beyond that, millions of companies that will survive the pandemic just won’t operate in the same way as they did before. A business succession plan that was enacted just a few months prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, may not be the correct one for you today.

Consider a tax-friendly gift — Large stock market losses could adversely affect your current and future financial situation; so this may be the best time to take advantage of a situation where you may be able to benefit from some lower investment values. If you seek to reduce the overall size of your estate for tax reasons, consider that you can also use the present valuation on your stocks and other financial assets as part of a gift-giving plan. Using today’s pricing, you may be able to bestow a gift to someone with additional value.

If your will, revocable trust, or other type of estate planning document has been done the right way, it will be clear-cut, authoritative and most importantly legally enforceable. That does not mean that these terms are set in stone forever. Up to the time you pass away, any kind of revision can be made at your discretion. In the midst of a major economic crisis such as COVID-19, any changes within your family life or a substantial change in your personal finances, you would likely benefit from working with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys. Contact our office today at 509-328-2150 and we’ll set up an appointment to take care of your family’s unique needs and help secure your financial future.

Get the latest COVID-19 information pertaining to Washington State.

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