The pandemic shook up a lot in our world, including many of our clients' finances. Long-term unemployment, loss of income, and general economic uncertainty have left many Americans on unstable financial footing. To remain as helpful as possible to our clients, we have had to adapt our advice to keep up with rapidly changing economic realities. We have a lot of advice on this topic, but let's start with just five of our post-COVID legal and financial tips.
1. Dust Off Your Estate Plan
Although it looked a lot different, life didn't stop during the lockdown. For many people, estate planning didn't keep pace with life events due to being isolated in their homes. If you have been putting off estate planning, or haven't looked at your estate plan in years, now is a great time to revisit that planning. Determine your estate planning needs and take the time to establish a will, beneficiary designations, medical proxies, and more. Make sure all your documents reflect your wishes and establish a plan for your assets.
2. Make Paying Off Debts a Priority
Many out-of-work consumers racked up significant credit card and personal debt to keep their households afloat without an income. Getting into this amount of debt so fast can leave you feeling like you're at the bottom of a debt mountain. How will you ever be able to scale the mountain and see the other side of your overwhelming debt? Paying down this debt should be a top priority in avoiding the longer-lasting impacts of heavy debt. Consolidate your debt under a lower-interest loan or work with a debt management team like Veitengruber Law to devise a debt management plan.
3. Get Ahead of Mortgage Issues Early
If you are experiencing mortgage issues, do something about it before your house faces foreclosure. Being proactive about housing costs can help you stay in your home and avoid legal action. We can help you work out a mortgage modification with your lender to get ahead of your mortgage concerns. If you are facing foreclosure, we'll work with you to secure your home ownership and get caught up on delinquent payments. With foreclosures increasing in NJ, the sooner you seek help, the better.
4. Don't Wait to File for Bankruptcy
Similarly, do not wait until your debt reaches a crisis point to finally file for bankruptcy. If you seek help early enough, we may be able to help you avoid bankruptcy entirely. The sooner you come to us with your debt problems, the more favorable options you will have available to get yourself back on stable financial ground. If you think you may need to file for bankruptcy, getting the advice of an attorney early in the process can make a major difference in your legal and financial outcome.
5. Get Your Credit Score Up
If the COVID pandemic taught us anything, it is that we all need to prepare for the unexpected. One of the most critical ways to prepare for financial security is to improve your credit score. A healthy credit score will allow you to get approved for a loan when needed and ensure you are getting the best interest rate when you do. An excellent credit score is a ticket to financial security in even the most trying times.
If you are reassessing your financial and personal situation in the aftermath of the pandemic, Veitengruber Law can help. Our proven legal solutions can help you recover from fumblings in the past and/or plan for a brighter future.