Dear Friends & Colleagues:
With summer underway and restrictions lifting, we hope you, your families, and your businesses are healthy and entering the world remade by the pandemic. The estate planning industry felt the pandemic’s impact and we re-imagined technology as a key tool to deliver for our clients, old and new. Our team mentality prevailed during the tests of shelter-in-place.
We continue to conduct initial consultations and file reviews via phone and video conference using Zoom and Facetime. Illinois probate courts are now hearing non-contested matters and we are following the court-imposed protocols to open and close probate cases.
While the firm served clients remotely, first responders and hospital workers could not. Their vital work in the community continues to put them face to face with the virus on a daily basis. The pandemic highlights the importance of having an estate plan, and the firm was called to act for those on the front lines. We are proud to share that the firm is providing basic estate planning documents for first responders free of charge.
We submit to you some of the top practical questions we have asked in the last three months for consideration:
- Is your home in a land trust? Has it been reviewed recently?
- How do you own your home, your income property, your vacation property?
- Who can access your safe deposit box if you are unable?
- Does your agent under your health or property property power of attorney live or work close to you?
- Are your parents or in-laws your children’s guardians?
- Does your 18 year-old name you as a health care agent so you get the call if he/she/they gets injured or sick?
- Did you name primary and contingency beneficiary on qualified plans with former employer(s)?
Our refrain bears repeating; review your plan and if you, a family member, adult child or neighbor needs a plan or an updated plan, contact us. Friends, the estate planning discussion may not be easy but if the discussion is not had at all, the consequences can be emotional, costly and time consuming.
We are excited to share that our newsletter is going digital to allow us to provide you more relevant and interactive content. Please email any of us or call (847) 272-7360 to leave a message with your name and email address.
Go to the firm’s website to complete a 1-page form so an attorney can prepare, explain and witness a health care power of attorney for your adult child from the comfort of your home. We are in the office, on Zoom and in the cloud, observing safe practices and committed to keeping healthy. Happy Summer!
The Wochner Law Firm LLC
John E. Heggie, Corinne Cantwell Heggie, Mimi Turney & Dylan San Roman