As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, far too many people have had to deal with heartbreaking losses of family members and friends. Seeing first-hand how loved ones’ estate plans work in practice (or on the flip side, seeing the issues caused by someone’s failure to plan) may have you considering whether your own estate plan is adequate. If you do not have a Will or Trust, or if your estate planning documents do not reflect your current situation and wishes, consider working with an attorney to document your wishes.
Similarly, the risk of becoming incapacitated suddenly seems more “real” to many people now, with stories of so-called “long-haulers” dealing with frightening after-effects of COVID including confusion and even delirium months after recovering from their initial symptoms. Every adult with the capacity to make decisions should consider creating a health care directive and power of attorney. These documents can make it significantly simpler for a trusted loved one to handle your financial affairs and be your voice for medical decisions if you are alive, but are unable to make decisions yourself.
If you are concerned about meeting with an attorney to create or update your estate planning documents, know that most firms and estate planning lawyers have implemented safety precautions designed to protect clients and firm personnel alike. At The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center, for example, we have amended our procedures and processes with safety in mind.
Rather than meeting in person with your attorney for three meetings, the first two meetings will be held virtually using video meeting technology. Although document signings must still occur face-to-face, we limit the number of signings held per week, reducing exposure risk for all involved. In addition, we require everyone involved in the signing meeting to wear a mask and we do not hold meetings indoors. Instead, we will meet either in your front or back yard, but will not pass through your home to get to the outdoor meeting space.
To learn more about creating or updating your estate plan, or about our commitment to safely helping clients with estate planning during the pandemic, please reach out!