Estate Planning in the Time of COVID-19


Wondering how to go about planning your estate during this time of social distancing? The attorneys are Fitzwater Law are here to help.

Do I have to come into the office to get my estate plan started?

You may be surprised to learn that much of the estate planning process can be completed from a distance. In lieu of in-person meetings, we are offering clients the choice of phone appointments or videoconferences using Zoom.

What happens next?

After your first virtual meeting, your attorney will complete drafts of the estate planning documents which will be either emailed or mailed to you. After you have reviewed your documents you will schedule a second virtual appointment (again, either by phone or by Zoom) with your attorney to go over the documents and get answers to any questions you may have.

How can I sign my new Will or Trust?

You have two options for getting your documents executed. First, you can sign them at home using two family members or neighbors as witnesses. Rest assured, it is possible for neighbors to serve as witnesses from a safe distance, usually through an open front door or a window. At a later time when you feel comfortable, you will follow up with the final notarization step at our office.

Your second option to sign your new estate planning documents involves coming to our office for a brief in-person meeting. Fitzwater Law is taking extra precautions to ensure our clients’ safety, including opening our office to only one client (or couple) at a time, disinfecting our reception area and conference rooms between appointments, and providing hand sanitizer, tissues and masks to both staff and clients. We will lay out all the documents to their signature pages ahead of time and ask you to bring your own pens to minimize exposure.

Finally, many clients benefit from one last phone or Zoom conference with your attorney to go over your to-do list. Often this will involve updating IRA and life insurance beneficiary designations.

What is My Next Step?

Contact one of our experienced estate planning attorneys to get the conversation started or call 503.786.8191 and our receptionist would be happy to help you.

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