To our valued clients, prospective clients and professional colleagues,
We understand the growing concern surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community, and we have been deliberating on the best way our company can serve our clients and the community.
While our patrons come from all walks of life, we often deal with individuals that are identified as being more susceptible to illnesses, especially those 50 years of age and older. We are, after all, a law firm that specializes in the practice area of elder law.
With all of this in mind, we want you to know that we are following the advice of the CDC and taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes disinfecting our offices continually throughout the day, declining handshakes, and keeping the recommended 6-foot distance between people (social distancing) and limiting our attendance at non-essential public activities and gatherings.
While we have always offered phone consultations, we are also pleased to offer video conferences through GoToMeeting. As an extra service to those who are concerned about getting out in public, such as coming to our professional offices, we are available to meet at your home, waiving the normal extra-service fee, on the condition that you are not showing symptoms of illness.
We also want to encourage you to be proactive in this most urgent of circumstances. The rapid spread of this dreadful illness reminds us of the need to be sure that your “contingency” plans are fully up-to-date and effective to protect you, your loved ones and your financial/property affairs should you not be able to make decisions for yourself, as in illness, incapacity, and death. If you haven’t already done so, please consider scheduling an appointment with us as soon as possible to discuss your options and, if appropriate, implement or update your estate plan, including a Will or Living Trust, Financial Power of Attorney, healthcare directives, and even a special wallet card containing directions to access your vital healthcare directives and conditions. In this challenging time, won’t you please consider the urgency of the need to get this business finally completed to make the job of your designated decision-makers easier?
There are two simple documents we believe are extremely important right now in the event you are incapacitated and still living: durable power of attorney and health care power of attorney.
The durable power of attorney allows someone to act for you in financial and property matters. It can be made effective if you are incapacitated or effective immediately. For older adults, sometimes we recommend that your durable power of attorney be effective immediately. If you decide to make yours effective immediately, you need to make sure you have complete trust and faith in your agent or attorney in fact (this is the person you name to make these financial decisions for you) and that person you have named will not abuse the powers conferred in this important legal document.
The health care power of attorney allows someone to make medical decisions for you. This includes medical appointments, receiving test results, and making decisions for you that you may not be able to make because of illness or incapacity, be it temporary or estimated to be permanent. In the current coronavirus climate, you must also think about who you designate – if they are more at risk to becoming ill or being quarantined than someone else you trust who would be less likely to be affected.
Ideally, a will or trust would also be in place. While it may seem scary to confront mortality when dealing with a pandemic, you must think of those you would be leaving behind, and the comfort it would give them to know that your wishes have been handled.
While we urge you to take the impending healthcare crisis seriously, we want to encourage “preparation not panic.” The professionals and support team at Aspen Legacy Planning invite you to call us if we can be of any help to you or those for whom you care. We offer a wide array of professional services in the areas of estate planning, elder law, and transitional care planning. We’re here to help you. Thank you for taking the time to read this important message.