Even during a pandemic, many people do not want to acknowledge the tragic and critical risk behind illnesses—death. While catching a serious illness without your power of attorney and estate planning documents completed is always a dangerous situation, the risk is even higher due to social distancing regulations in place at many hospitals. What documents do you need to have in place in case of emergency?
The Growing Importance of Critical Estate Planning and POA Documents
Because of COVID-19, there are extreme issues in visiting people in the ICU and finalizing legal paperwork. Documents, like power of attorneys, wills and other estate planning forms, can typically be signed at any point where the signer is mentally and physically able to do so. However, COVID-19 eliminates this possibility in many cases, which means that having your documents in place now is more important than ever.
What Documents Should You Have?
At a minimum, everyone should have the estate planning documents listed below created and signed in case of emergency:
- Will or Trust
- Healthcare Power of Attorney
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Living Will (or Additional Health Care Directives)
- HIPAA Authorization
- Guardianship Designation (if you have children under the age of 18)
We can walk you through the best way to complete all of the documents above, as some must be notarized or have witnesses to be considered legally valid. If you do not take the time now to finalize these documents, you are leaving the door open for the inability to do so in the future. Now is the time to make sure that you have trusted members of your family or friends designated to make tough health care decisions on your behalf, plans in place for what should occur if you do not survive a serious illness and information on what you would like to happen to your assets after you are no longer here. Elder Attorney Services Long Island is here to help.
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We offer a complete range of long-term care, elder law, estate planning, Medicaid planning and asset protection services. It’s our goal to prevent problems before they occur, and we work with hundreds of families to develop care options that work for their goals and their budgets. For a free 15 minute consultation, contact us by calling (516) 274-9103 or visiting our website here.