The health and safety of our clients, staff, and friends of the law firm are top of mind amid concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
As estate planning and elder law attorneys, our practice is dedicated to serving our most vulnerable citizens, including seniors, those who are ill, disabled, experiencing mental health challenges and children with special needs.
The uncertainty around the pandemic has many people with immune system challenges concerned about exposure to the virus. We are committed to looking out for everyone’s safety and making it easy and accessible for our community to get their estate planning questions answered and documents in place.
Here are the precautionary steps we’ve put in place to continue to operate safely and effectively during this time:
AT OUR OFFICE
- Team training on current recommendations for preventative health and safety has been completed with all team members to ensure they are well-versed and adherent to best practices.
- We installed hand sanitizer stations in our lobby and conference room.
- We are sanitizing high volume areas such as door knobs, conference room tables, and communal spaces after every client meeting.
- Team members who are not well, are required to stay home.
- We are keeping our distance to show you we care. We will greet you with a wave or “air” handshake, but will not be offering handshakes or hugs during this time.
- We are monitoring and are will follow any guidance or requests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our local health departments.
During the pandemic, we have heard from many new clients who want to talk to us about creating a will, trust, power of attorney, healthcare directive, etc.—just in case– but they need more flexible options for doing so.
- Consultations. Thanks to technology, we have flexible options to meet with you or your family virtually. If you’re concerned about your exposure to the virus and prefer to meet virtually, you may opt to have your consultation or review meeting via Zoom video call or telephone conference call. If you have never used Zoom, don’t fret. As long as you have a computer, tablet device (such as an iPad, Amazon Fire, Microsoft Surface, etc.) or a smart phone (iPhone, Android, etc.), you can easily download and use Zoom’s simple app.
- Education. We are doing our best to keep our clients up to date with developments in the law via our websites, blogs and this e-newsletter. We currently are looking into ways we can present our popular client workshops but in a safe and virtual manner. This will likely be in the form of virtual webinars until it is safe for us to do them again in person. We will announce the workshops both on our website and in this e-newsletter. Stay tuned.
We also ask for your assistance to ensure the safety of others. If you are sick or symptomatic, please stay home. Per the CDC, if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspect you may have it or been exposed to someone who has within the past two weeks, you should avoid public spaces and ensure you are seen by a doctor. Again, we can meet with you virtually, if needed.
ENSURE YOUR BASIC ESTATE PLANNING IS DONE AND UP-TO-DATE
Everyone should have these three basic documents, regardless of their wealth or health:
- Healthcare Power of Attorney. Allows your agent to make medical decisions for you (in consultation with your physicians) if you were unable to make those decisions for yourself.
- Power of Attorney for Property. Allows your agent to pay your bills and make other time-sensitive decisions during a period of your incapacity.
- HIPAA Power. Authorizes those you designate to access your protected health information.
These are essential documents should you become disabled or incapacitated either briefly or permanently due to Covid or any other medical problem (stroke, dementia, etc.)
They should be paired with either a Will (for very modest estates) or Living Trust (for almost all estates over $150,000). We can certainly assist, virtually if needed, to determine which of these legal “tools” are best for any situation.
Thank you for believing in our mission and continuing to be a client and friend of the firm. Our thoughts remain with those being hit hardest during this time.
We remain committed to your Health, Happiness and Legacy.