If we have learned anything from the COVID19 Pandemic, it is that anyone can fall ill on short notice.
To avoid finding yourself in a situation where you are ill or otherwise incapacitated with no Estate Plan, reach out to an Estate Planning Attorney to help you draft an Estate Plan.
Everyone over 18 years old requires an Estate Plan that includes a Power of Attorney for Finances and an Advanced Healthcare Directive (aka Medical Power of Attorney). If you are single and have very limited wealth, then these documents will likely meet your needs for now.
A Power of Attorney designates another person to help you manage your financial affairs and access your resources. An Advanced Healthcare Directive designates someone to make medical decisions for you when you are unable to make those decisions for yourself. It is standard practice to designate more than one person to hold this authority in the event one of your designees becomes unavailable.
Prior to reaching out to an Estate Planning Attorney to assist you with drafting these documents, consider who you trust to take charge of your finances and your health in the event of an emergency. Keep in mind, you may not want the same person to serve in both roles. For example, you may want a very thoughtful and calm person who shares your spiritual values to assist your with your healthcare decisions whereas you may want your friend with an accounting degree to help you with managing your material assets. After you have decided who you would like to assist you with each role, approach your first and second choices and ask them if they would be willing to serve in those roles. You may be surprised to learn that some of your choices might not feel comfortable assuming that responsibility. In that case, move on to your runners up and repeat the process. Your choices should all be over 18 years of age and deemed competent.
In order to expedite you obtaining the assistance you need in the event of an emergency, you should ask your regular healthcare provider if they have a standard HIPPA Release/Waiver they prefer to use at their facility. Complete that form now and give it to the social work department at your healthcare provider's office so that it is on file.
Although a Power of Attorney and an Advanced Healthcare Directive do not constitute a full Estate Plan, having these documents on hand may offer you immeasurable peace of mind and help you address most of your immediate needs in the event of an emergency..
If you are wondering how you might go about executing these documents during the lockdown, feel free to reach out to our office for assistance. Thanks to technological advances, we can meet with you via phone and or videoconferencing such as Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Webex and Zoom. These innovations make it possible for us to offer you the same face to face private level of care. Contact us for a consultation whenever you are ready. We are available to offer our boutique estate planning services virtually at this time
We can be reached t 213-272-1000.