Our lawyers at Gates Shields Ferguson Swall Hammond P.A. realize that we are currently living in strange times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While practicing social distancing will help to stop the spread of the virus, it has already had a major impact on the U.S healthcare system and economy. With the CDC issuing crucial safety guidelines for elders who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus, many of our estate law clients are wondering what they need to add to their estate plans in case they are directly impacted by either the virus itself or the national response to address this health crisis. Below, our estate planning lawyers give you a checklist of what needs to be included in your estate plan to ensure your best interests are protected during this time.
Establish Your Power of Attorney
Health experts warn that the virus poses the greatest threat to those over the age of 60, especially those with underlying health issues. If you belong to this segment of the population, then you need to seriously consider what you will do if you end up catching the coronavirus.
Are you the primary decision maker / income earner for your household? Do you know who will fill this important role and manage your affairs should you become seriously ill or incapacitated? Our lawyers can help you appoint the right person to manage your family or business-related financial obligations if you cannot express your wishes due to any incapacitation. From paying bills, filing taxes, or even running your business, a durable power of attorney will ensure your affairs are managed while you fight your illness and focus on recovering.
Advance Health Care Directive
An advance health care directive is one of the most important legal documents that you can include in your estate plan. This document specifies all of the medical decisions you want to be made regarding end-of-life and other types of health care treatments when you cannot make these decisions yourself. Coronavirus affects the respiratory system, which means you can end up on a ventilator if your health takes a turn for the worst after contracting the virus. Having this document in your estate plan will help ease some of the burdens that are placed on your loved ones regarding coronavirus treatment options.
Schedule Your Consultation with Our Legal Team Today
If you are playing it smart by self-quarantining to avoid the possibility of spreading the coronavirus to others and aid healthcare professionals throughout the country, then now is the time to speak to your family about your estate plan. If you currently don’t have an estate plan in place, please do not hesitate to give us a call so we can start drafting the legal documents you need to ensure your wishes are respected if you are ever incapacitated due to an unexpected health event.
The current events in our society will likely lead you and your family to reflect on health, money, and mortality. But we are still available to serve your legal needs during this time. We are committed to the health and safety of our staff and clients, so if you don’t feel comfortable stopping by our firm in-person, then please call us today at (800) 574-4428 to request your estate plan over the phone.