The outbreak of COVID-19 represents a threat to both our physical and our emotional well-being. It reminds us that we live in an uncertain world. Proper planning allows us to take control of our personal and financial affairs now and in the future. In a time like this, planning is more important than ever… and having the following legal documents in place is essential. Following is a list of planning documents every family needs.
A Power of Attorney allows an individual to name someone (the Agent) to act on his or her behalf in the event of incapacity. The Agent can make decisions regarding property as well as legal, financial, and personal matters.
An Advance Health-Care Directive details a person’s wishes concerning his or her medical care, including artificial life support, surgery, or other medical treatments related to an end of life situation or permanent unconsciousness. Additionally, it names a trusted person to make medical decisions on behalf of an individual who has become incapacitated.
A HIPAA Medical Release allows people to specify who has access to their medical information. Without a HIPAA Release, family members may be denied access to information about a loved one’s medical condition in an emergency.
A Will directs how a person’s estate is to be administered and how his or her assets will be distributed after death. A Will also allows guardians to be named for minor children in the event something terrible happens to both parents.
Effective estate planning can include many other strategies and tools to accomplish a wide range of goals, but the above documents are absolutely essential in carrying out your wishes and providing a degree of certainty in an uncertain world.
If you don’t have all of these documents, or your existing documents need to be updated, please contact us at your earliest convenience. In addition to meeting with us in-person at our office, you can “meet” with us virtually using video conferencing or over the phone.