Those who have put off creating or updating their estate plans are now rushing to do so in the face of dire health concerns. Not sure what documents you need to protect yourself and your family? Start with the basics. When you’re in the hospital on the non-existent ventilator your state was able to procure without government assistance, here’s what you’ll want to have in place.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney (POA) is a document that appoints someone you trust to make decisions for you if you become mentally incapacitated. There are two different types of POAs; we strongly recommend that you have both:
Healthcare: This is a document that legally authorizes loved ones to make medical and health-related decisions on your behalf.
Financial: These are POAs that authorize someone to take care of family and business-related financial matters for you, allowing them to access bank accounts, pay bills and file taxes on your behalf. No POA means no access without a court order. And since courts are currently scheduled to remain closed through April for all but the most extreme emergencies, you could wind up in a real bind.
Wills and Trusts
Where should your money, property and other assets go when you die? Who gets what? Now is the time to figure that out and get those documents taken care of. Talk to an estate planner rather than risking the perils of DIY documents to make sure your wishes will be carried out.
Talk with Loved Ones
If you end up on a ventilator, what steps do you want taken on your behalf? If you die (from coronavirus or anything else), what do you want your final sendoff to be like? These topics may be uncomfortable, but they’re important to think about. Make sure you have these conversations with your family (just maybe stick to a phone call versus in-person for now).
No matter how the zombie apocalypse unfolds, we’re here, our hands are washed, and we’re ready to help. Give us a call.