Uncertainty, COVID-19 and Estate Planning: A Unique Opportunity to Plan

By Norman J. BenfordLinda B. Hirschson and Diana S.C. Zeydel

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created personal uncertainty for many due to living in quarantine and apart from extended family members, and financial stress due to market volatility and the unclear future for some businesses. Yet, it may be a sensible time to engage in estate planning, not only because the pandemic has shown the importance of personal planning, but also because reduced asset values and historically low-interest rates enhance the ability to engage in cost-effective wealth transfers. 

This GT Alert provides a brief overview of estate planning measures that may be considered in the current environment.

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Reopening Offices and Restoring Profitability

Gardens of Babylon

About 2,500 years ago, Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem, destroyed its Temple, and exiled its citizens to Babylonia. Around 60 years later, Persia’s King Cyrus conquered Babylon and allowed the expatriates to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple. Restoration of the Temple was a spiritual renewal after a devastating exile. A modern-day renewal of spirits will occur as Covid-19 exiles return to their offices and rebuild their practices. 

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Successfully Working at Home

Over 140 years ago, Louis Pasteur revolutionized the treatment of infectious diseases by developing vaccines for anthrax and rabies.  After his death in 1897, virologists continued using Pasteur's discoveries to create vaccines against chickenpox, measles, mumps, yellow fever, rubella, and tuberculosis.

Modern-day microbiologists are likely to use Pasteur’s principles when they develop a vaccine for the Coronavirus.  Meantime, Coronavirus exiles can read this article for tips and resources to successfully work from home.

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COVID-19 May Shape NY Business Interruption Insurance Law

COVID-19 May Shape NY Business Interruption Insurance Law
COVID_19

On the scale of pandemics, the novel coronavirus, commonly referred to as COVID-19,[1] is unprecedented and ranks among one of the worst in human history, not only in terms of its virulence but in economic destruction as well.

While scientists hastily work toward developing a vaccine and antiviral drugs to combat COVID-19, world leaders in the countries afflicted by the virus have imposed strict governmental lockdowns, barred travel, closed courts,[2] blocked tourism and employed social distancing measures in an effort to stop the rapid spread of the pathogen.

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A Guide to Understanding Your Closing Disclosure

What You’ll Learn
How to understand your Closing Disclosure form
Why your Closing Disclosure may vary from your Loan Estimate
The significance of different dates on your Closing Disclosure

A Closing Disclosure is a five to six-page form that provides final details about the mortgage loan you have selected, including the loan terms, your projected monthly payments, and how much you will pay in fees and other costs to get your mortgage (closing costs).

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Attracting Clients to Your Firm

Attracting Clients to Your Firm

During the 1800’s, it was common for lawyers to attract clients by hanging a shingle and advertising in newspapers.  In the early 1900’s, lawyer advertising was restrained by ABA rules, but the situation changed in 1977 when the Supreme Court extended First Amendment protection to lawyer advertising.  By the late 1900’s, advertising became more common and some firms began using commercials on radio and television. The situation changed in the 2000’s as firms migrated their marketing to websites and social media. 

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