McClellan Legal LLC Estate Planning & Tax Assessment Blog

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Estate Planning During the Coronavirus

The Coronavirus pandemic greatly impacts our lives in ways that many of us could have never imagined. Our daily activities have changed. Families are spending more time playing board games, watching movies, and talking to each other at the dinner table. Of course, we are adversely impacted by new stresses added to our lives due to the limitations on our ability to interact with friends, go to school, earn income, and move freely. During this difficult time, it is important to remember that we are all in this together, and the team at McClellan Legal is always here to assist you. Although our firm is physically closed due to Governor Tom Wolf's order, our entire team is seamlessly working remotely by utilizing communication technology and the secure file sharing that we have implemented years ago.

Video Conferences

We are actively assisting new and existing clients through the estate planning process. We utilize video conferences to conduct client meetings. While not the same as an in-person meeting, the video conference allows us to interact in a meaningful way to effectively listen and discuss estate planning strategies. After receiving a videoconference email invite, clients access the conference by clicking a link on their computers, tablets, or smartphones.

Client Portal

Once the estate planning documents are drafted and ready for client review, we post the documents onto a secure online client portal, which allows our clients to safely access the documents at home. Each client is provided with a unique user identification and password to access the documents stored in their client portal online. Clients may also upload documents for our review in their client portal, including existing estate planning documents (e.g., wills, trust, power of attorney, etc.) or other vulnerable financial records (e.g., bank statements, beneficiary designations, deeds, etc.). These documents will then be saved into your file.

Formality Challenges

Social distancing has made the execution of estate planning documents a challenge because the law requires the participation of notaries and witnesses during the signing process. As of now, Pennsylvania does not allow e-signing for estate planning documents. We have reached out to our state legislators to express our concerns about these strict formalities. Of course, we understand that estate law is unlikely to be at the top of law makers’ minds. Therefore, we do not anticipate a change soon to allow for digital signatures on estate planning documents. Additionally, we have consulted with other estate planning attorneys around the country to develop the best practices to ensure that your estate planning documents can be executed during the time of social distancing.

We are available to assist with estate planning without in-person interaction because we prepared our office to handle virtual estate planning years ago.  Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns. 

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McClellan Legal LLC is located in Kennett Square and serves clients throughout the areas of Avondale, Chadds Ford, Coatesville, Downingtown, Landenberg, Oxford, Phoenixville, Pottstown, West Chester, & West Grove.

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113 South Broad Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348
| Phone: 610-444-5552

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