There are a variety of reasons why valuing an estate is so important. People need an estate valuation for financing purposes, an investment analysis, and taxation, among other reasons. When to get an estate valuation depends on what you need it for, although it is beneficial to get one more regularly than you might think, just to have it on hand if a situation were to arise. 

Oftentimes, an estate valuation is necessary under more dire circumstances, like when someone in your family passes away. Just like death is uncertain and rarely predictable, so are other moments that are beyond our control. Take the recent COVID-19 pandemic, for example. For many of us, this crisis is something we have never encountered before. As such, the grim reality of coronavirus has forced a number of individuals to face “what if” scenarios they have never addressed before. 

The COVID-19 crisis is pushing individuals to finally reach out and sign the documentation for their estate plans. Other individuals are beginning to put their estate planning into action, which is a measure that should have likely been taken years ago. For those of you who have yet to begin or finalize this process, now is a good opportunity to have your estate appraised. Due to the current market conditions, asset values are suppressed, which will also help you save on your taxes. 

Below are a few things you should know about estate planning during the pandemic:

Witnessing and notarization through video conferencing

With stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders being given throughout various states, certain governors are signing emergency orders that allow both witnessing and notarizing to be done over a video call. This applies to documentation such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. 

Interest rates hit a record low

Due to the market volatility, interest rates are continuing to decline. Annuities, short-term loans, mid-term loans, and long-term loans have all reached historic lows. Now is a good time to take advantage of these low interest rates. You can consider refinancing loans to your family members or other beneficiaries, lending funds to your children, or selling your assets. 

Estate planning can be done remotely

Visitation restrictions might mean you cannot currently meet with your attorney, but that does not mean you have to halt your estate planning. You can still create an estate plan, update or finalize documentation, and get an estate valuation. Email and other lines of communication are still open, and many attorneys and experts are offering remote meeting options to their clients as well. 

The staff at Appraisal Economics has years of trust and estate valuation experience, including determining minority and marketability discounts. We also work closely with attorneys, accountants, and financial planners. Learn more on our website.