Dear Friends & Colleagues:
We hope this letter finds you, your family and friends well in this unsettling and unprecedented time. If we are able to identify a positive impact from COVID-19, we submit to you that it is and will continue to be innovation.
COVID-19 may be interrupting our lives, businesses and daily tasks; however, our firm is using it as an opportunity to leverage technology to continue to serve our clients while social and physical distancing guidelines
are in effect. This means we are here to help with your estate planning, trust administration and probate needs.
We are conducting initial consultations and file reviews via phone conference and video conference using Zoom, Facetime and Skype. The same technology is allowing us to conduct signings in compliance with Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order dated March 26, 2020 addressing notary public and remote witnessing of document signings. Illinois probate courts are using technology to allow parties to attend court virtually. Probate case documents can be electronically filed as well. The courts are prioritizing emergency and contested matters which means routine and uncontested matters, like opening and closing estates, could be delayed a few weeks. The courts are striving to best serve all parties in the probate court and our firm is monitoring these developments.
Here are some quick items for you to check while we practice physical distancing:
Are my non-qualified banking and investment accounts into the name of my trust?
Are my beneficiaries correct for my retirement plans?
Do the guardians named for my children still make sense today?
Have my assets grown? Do I need a trust to protect my assets from probate or estate taxes?
Are my children now legal adults and in need of their own health care and property powers of attorney?
Simply put, if it has been awhile, please read your plan and call us if you want to make changes or if you are concerned about changes in the laws since you first signed.
Finally, please encourage friends, family, colleagues, partners or neighbors to contact our office to learn how an estate plan can protect them, both in times of crisis and for the long-term.
Please look for details on our late summer health care and power of attorney workshop and signing. We cannot wait for you to see our remodeled office when social distancing is in the rearview mirror. Keep a good thought!
The Wochner Law Firm LLC
Corinne Heggie, John Heggie, Mimi Turney, Dylan San Roman