The Covid pandemic has made us reevaluate nearly everything in our lives – from our jobs and where we want to live, to our relationships with others and the best way to educate our children. It is also changing the way we think about our money, both in the present and in anticipation of an uncertain future. If, like many, you’re thinking it has never been a better time to take a more hands-on approach to estate planning, here are some thing to consider.
Building Wealth: Covid has changed the daily needs of the public, which in turn has affected financial markets and created opportunities for investors to grow their private wealth. For example, gaming, already a popular activity, has increased dramatically during the pandemic, when people were largely confined to their homes. This has caused a huge uptick in users and investments in gaming companies such as Roblox, which has recently reported having 115 million monthly subscribers and is about to go public.
Sharing Wealth: Covid has also presented new opportunities to give back. In a previous post, we talked about how wealthy families are utilizing their private wealth investing in innovative new companies – particularly those founded upon a socially conscious mission – that are struggling due to the pandemic. If you’re looking to contribute directly to Covid relief efforts, you might also look into one of the many organizations assisting people who have lost their jobs, and/or children who are going hungry because they are no longer receiving free meals at schools.
Utilizing Tech: The need for social distancing has exponentially increased our reliance on technology, from video chats for business meetings and social events to apps that allow “contactless” ordering of foods and other goods. The pandemic has also led industries who have traditionally shied away from technology to embrace it in order to continue doing business. One example is real estate companies, which are now using more elegant digital platforms so potential buyers can “tour” a property. Similarly, there are mobile wealth management apps that allow principals to not only store information about their holdings at their fingertips, but communicate their instructions to their property managers and other staff from anywhere in the world.
Planning for the Unexpected: Perhaps the biggest effect Covid has had is to remind us that things can change on a dime. This is not just about that gloomy directive to “get our affairs in order” (i.e. update our will and have a power of attorney and health-related documents in place), though that is certainly prudent. It is about giving some real thought to what kind of legacy we want to leave behind for the people and charities we care about. If this sounds like a daunting task, know that it is a process, and one you do not have to go through alone. It begins with you creating a vision, then communicating that vision with trusted advisors, staff and heirs who can help bring it to fruition.