How COVID Changed Estate Planning


COVID-19 has affected almost every aspect of our daily lives for more than two years. Above everything else the pandemic has taught us, it has highlighted the importance of being better prepared for the unknown. This fact is no different when it comes to estate planning in Reno.

Probate attorneys in Reno had their work cut out for them during the pandemic when many wills and testaments had to be executed unexpectedly. Unfortunately, many heirs were not granted the favor of a revocable trust when so many wills and testaments had to be executed half-finished. Even with plenty of time to prepare for the worst-case scenario, estate planning in Reno can be challenging – even more so when a fatal virus is spreading quickly and has caused panic in households, businesses, and economies across the globe.

As a result, the pandemic has brought with it a collective mindset shift around the world, seeing a change in priorities when it comes to estate and succession planning in preparation for the uncertainty the future holds. On an international scale, individuals are starting to realize the importance of securing the future of their loved ones by reaching out to estate lawyers and getting their trusts and estates in order.

What are the changes COVID has brought about with regards to estate planning in Reno and around the world? Read on to find out.

More People Are Planning Ahead Amid The Pandemic

COVID and its effects were unprecedented. The unpredictable nature of the pandemic has revealed the vulnerability that comes from a lack of preparation and, as a result, has most people reevaluating their priorities and eager to make sure their trusts and estates are accounted for when the worst-case scenario becomes a reality.

The pandemic has increased people’s concern for their own protection and safety, and company owners are more aware of the importance of organizing their affairs. As a result, and probate attorneys in Reno can testify, wills and testaments are being instituted at an increasingly younger age and setting up revocable trusts are also on the incline.

According to various Financial Planners and Estate Lawyers in Reno and across the globe, the Coronavirus outbreak is prompting a surge in queries from people looking to amend or create wills and conduct other estate-planning steps, such as implementing a revocable trust, in order to prepare for whatever the future may hold.

Young Individuals are Realizing It’s Never Too Early To Start

Many people mistakenly believe estate planning is a thing you should only focus on later in life and there is no urgency to write up a will and testament, but the COVID pandemic has demonstrated how detrimental that mindset can be. As a result, there has been an upward trend in younger individuals getting their trusts and estates in order at an earlier stage in their lives.

According to research by, individuals between 18 and 34 years old are the most motivated to engage in estate planning as a result of COVID-19, with nearly 1 in 3 (29%) taking further steps to obtain will and testament documents over the past two years. Such statistics show the true extent of the role the global pandemic played in changing how young adults view succession planning.

In saying this, young adults are also becoming more aware their trusts and estates are something they will need to update over the course of their lives – when getting married, having children, and as a result of ever-changing circumstances.

COVID Survivors Are Highly Motivated To Plan For The Future

A recent study on estate planning revealed people who have personally experienced a significant or life-threatening COVID-19 case (either themselves or through a loved one) are far more likely to have started the estate planning process and have a will in place than people who haven’t directly or indirectly encountered the risks and effects of the virus. In fact, 48% of respondents who suffered from COVID-19 themselves reported having a will in place, and a further 42% of respondents with second-hand serious COVID-19 experience indicated that their estate planning was up-to-date as well.

The unfortunate reality of experiencing a severe illness or death within a family, group of friends, or workplace often forces individuals to recognize the importance of having a plan in place before it is needed, to ensure that those left behind are well looked after, no matter what.

Furthermore, more than three times as many people who have either personally experienced COVID or know someone who has are likely to discuss estate planning with a loved one than people who haven’t. Only 8% of those without any personal experience with COVID mentioned the pandemic had prompted them to discuss getting a will with a loved one, compared to 30% of those with first-hand experience who said COVID-19 pushed them to start the conversation.

The Search for Separate Personal and Business Affairs

Although one of the most basic business rules is to keep personal and professional affairs separate at all times, the unfortunate reality is many people were left in a difficult situation because this wasn’t done – or wasn’t done correctly – putting their families and businesses in jeopardy.

The numerous lockdowns and ongoing challenges as a result of COVID have caused countless enterprises to fail, having frequently exposed improperly protected personal assets of business owners over the past two years. If any of the parties of a business partnership have not properly organized his or her estate, the unwanted complications and stress relating to resolving the issues at hand will only reveal themselves when it is already too late.

Estate planning as a business owner will secure your company’s legacy while protecting those connected to the business – from the key stakeholders to their family members, whose financial well-being is tied to the success of the company. Separating your business and personal affairs correctly should therefore be treated as a top priority if you wish to leave a lasting legacy.

An Increase In Electronic Wills And Online Will Signing

A will and testament that is written, signed, and kept in a digital format is known as an electronic will (or e-will). Everything that a traditional will or revocable trust contains is also covered by an electronic will.

In 2020, individuals started to worry about possible health repercussions if they contracted COVID-19, which intensified the urgency for virtual will execution.

Even once the pandemic restrictions loosened, virtual will execution is still a well-liked and practical choice for people preparing their estate arrangements and is most likely a practice that is here to stay.

Artificial Intelligence Being Used In The Process 

Although estate planning professionals have been using document-preparation software to create estate planning documents for their clients for more than a decade, the practice of automation and using artificial intelligence throughout the drafting process has become ever more prevalent as a result of the COVID pandemic.

In the near future, an advancement in document preparation software using artificial intelligence will be implemented to speed up drafting. Such technology could strengthen interactions between attorneys and their clients and streamline the probate process.

With many innovations currently being developed in the private sector, it’s likely these new systems and processes will be implemented in the next few years. Artificial intelligence and technology that will improve the administration of trusts and estates is also not too far off – an indication that improvement is to be expected in the near future, and great news for Probate Attorneys and Estate Lawyers in Reno alike.

Although most people find it difficult to discuss their own death or that of their loved ones, one of the most considerate gifts you can give the ones you care for the most is a well-thought-out estate plan, ensuring their financial stability in a time when it matters the most.

A suitable estate plan must include contingency plans for unexpected events like illness, hospitalization, or disability that could render you incapable of making informed decisions.

COVID may have forced us to learn some unpleasant lessons the hard way; however, it has highlighted the importance of making plans for the future – even when the present seems promising and trouble-free.

When is it time to start planning? Speak to one of our kind, estate lawyers in Reno at Kalicki Collier right now to begin your estate planning in Reno and learn how to safeguard your assets and your interests for the future – no matter what it may hold.

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