While many of us will follow adequate safety protocols and avoid coronavirus, some people will contract COVID-19 and will ultimately not survive. To prepare for any path that lies ahead, it is a good idea to plan for the chance of incapacity or death through various estate planning documents including wills, powers of attorney, and other vital documents.
While it is easy to delay estate planning because it requires confronting uncomfortable realities, now is the time to engage in planning for whatever may lie ahead. Remember that even if you feel your assets are not substantial enough, having an estate plan is still critical.
The following will review some critical details to remember about the estate planning process.
Signings are Still Possible During Self-Isolation
With most people throughout the country currently practicing self-isolation measures, one of the most critical steps in completing any type of advance directive is locating witnesses for estate plans.
Some people have begun utilizing creative efforts to satisfy this witness requirement including having neighbors watching the signing of estate plans from a distance. People have also participated in “drive-by signings,” during which a person waits inside a vehicle with the windows rolled down as law firm staff witnesses the signing.
While it can be challenging to satisfy these requirements, some powerful advantages can be realized by having an estate plan in place during this difficult time.
Remember the Value of Health Care Directives
Now is an excellent time to make sure that you have completed advance directives, which provide instructions for medical professionals about the type of care you would like to receive in case you become incapacitated and are no longer able to communicate your wishes.
While many medical professionals are taught to ask if a person has these forms, by writing these documents in advance you can be prepared in case you suddenly become sick. Like wills and many other estate planning documents, advance directives can later be revised or revoked.
If you fail to write an advance directive, your family members or other loved ones will be placed in the difficult position of guessing what type of treatment you would like.
Pick Someone Trustworthy to Make Healthcare Decisions
While you are still healthy and not pressed for time, you should take the opportunity to appoint someone you trust to follow your estate planning directions and grant this person the power of attorney for your health care. This individual will not be forced to make decisions on behalf of you or decide what is in your best interest, but instead, will be tasked with carrying out your wishes.
The person who you name to this role should be someone that you trust and an individual to whom you have communicated your wishes.
Contact a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorney
If you have questions or concerns about the estate planning process, you should not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer. Contact attorney Jim A Lyon today to schedule a free case evaluation.