By: Whitney Patience O'Reilly
I never thought I would be writing about life during a pandemic, but here we are. I don’t know about you, but I am a little stir crazy. We are all navigating a different work environment, and many have been furloughed or laid off. Our children are home from school and college. Our businesses have been shut down, and we are all confined to our homes. Each day, thousands of more cases are reported, and deaths are increasing.
For me, as an estate attorney, my work has shifted from many in-person meetings and court appearances each day to telephone calls and webcam appearances.
In the last week or so, I have had so many emails and calls from concerned family members, neighbors, friends, former clients, and existing clients all asking me the same thing: Do I have an estate plan, and does it protect my family in these uncertain times?
An estate plan consists of the following legal documents:
- Last Will and Testament: A will tells the world where you want your earthly things to go and who you want to be in charge after your death.
- Financial Power of Attorney: A power of attorney appoints someone to take care of your financial affairs like paying your mortgage, running your business, and filing your tax returns while you are unable to do so (for example, if you were in the hospital due to complications of coronavirus).
- Medical Power of Attorney: A medical power of attorney appoints someone to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so (for example, if you are unconscious due to coronavirus).
- Living Will: A living will states what you do or you do not want at the very end stages of your life, what heroic measures you want to be taken in certain circumstances, and whether or not you want to donate your organs.
In these troubling times, it is more important than ever to have your estate plan up-to-date and in place in case any of these documents are needed. It is also critical to speak with your loved ones who are most susceptible during this pandemic to make sure they have documents in place and know where they are located so they can be easily retrieved if they are needed.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic and the growing concern in our community, I am offering call-in hours at no charge for the next two weeks from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Whether you are an existing client or not, you can schedule a free consultation with me to review your estate plan or to talk to me about creating one or answering any legal questions you have.
My paralegal has rearranged my schedule so I can accommodate this program. There are limited spots, so appointments are available on a “first come” basis. Please email my paralegal, Mindy Norcross, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to schedule your call.
I know this program will ease some of your anxieties related to your estate plan and help you put things in order for yourself or your loved ones.