As we struggle alone-together through this 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, it seems many of us have looked our own mortality right in the face. Daily news reports show staggering numbers of hospitalizations and deaths due to the coronavirus. By now most of us have heard of someone we know who has either contracted the virus or has been exposed to it through work or other social contact.
All this, coupled with isolation and economic hardship because of Stay-Home, Work-from-Home orders, leads inevitably to some level of anxiety and depression. Mental health professionals agree that taking control of things we are able to control, while letting go of things we cannot control, is a helpful strategy for dealing with anxiety and depression.
One area of our lives that we CAN control, is the Legacy that we will leave our families when we are no longer able to manage our affairs due to death or incapacity. Planning that legacy is something that an estate planning attorney can assist with. Many estate planning attorneys are using telephone, email and video conferencing, in place of face-to-face meetings, to assist their clients in getting their financial, medical, and personal affairs in order during these unprecedented times.
Some of the issues to consider are:
- Who will you nominate to step into your shoes and manage your financial affairs if you become sick or incapacitated? Who will take care of your children?
- Who will you nominate to make critical medical decisions for you if you should become unable to speak for yourself due to illness?
- What are your wishes for end-of-life, life-sustaining medical treatments, including artificial life support?
- Who will you nominate to step into your shoes and wind-up your legal, financial, and family matters after your death?
- To Whom do you wish your property to be distributed?
- Would a Trust be a good or better option for your family?
These are just some of the issues you should discuss with your family and your trusted legal and financial advisors. There is no time like the present, because “Later” sometimes becomes “Never.”
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Take Care of Yourself and your Family. Nothing matters more.