Most parents can agree that they have all felt guilty at some point for not spending enough time with their children. A huge part of this guilt comes from our culture. American parents feel pressured to dedicate superhuman levels of energy and time in caring for their...
In the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Legal and Financial Actions to Take Right Now
No matter where you are, the COVID-19 pandemic has likely changed your life, both professionally and personally. Many of us are under “shelter-in-place” orders or at least being encouraged to stay home and to follow social distancing recommendations. The most important thing right now is making sure our loved ones are being as safe as possible so that we can all make it through this crisis. However, at times it may be hard to get loved ones to heed the warnings. Considering COVID-19 is especially dangerous for people who are over 60 years old or who have underlying health conditions, your parents may be one of your biggest concerns right now. If your parents are not following the warnings, please refer to our previous blog post where we provided some tips to help you talk to your parents about staying home.
Once you have attended to your family’s health and safety, you may want to consider some additional long-term precautions.
This is a stressful time for everyone, but it is also a good time to make sure you and your loved ones have your estate plans in place. Part of an estate plan includes appointing someone you trust to make health care and financial decisions for you should you be unable to make them for yourself due to illness or incapacity. Since many of us rarely have the time, this may actually be a good time to get your estate plan done.
Here are some things you can, and should, do to ensure you and your family are protected both legally and financially.
Health Care Documents to Have in Place
Above all, you first need to ensure that both you and your parents have advance care directives, such as a Designation of Health Care Surrogate and a Living Will. These documents will let your loved ones and medical professionals know what your wishes are as it relates to your health care decisions.
These documents allow you to clearly state who will be in charge of handling your health care decisions in the event of your incapacity. Even if you have done this already, we urge you to review them. Have your circumstances changed? Do you have changes you would like to make? Encourage your parents to do the same thing, and to communicate with you about what their directives say.
Here’s an article to read, and share with your parents (and adult kids, if you have them) on the 3 parts of a Health Care Directive, and the 5 things you want to look for in your Health Care Directive right now, to ensure it’s up to date for Covid-19.
If you are unsure whether your existing Health Care Directive is in ship-shape, call us, to take an expert look at them.
Create a “Personal Inventory”—an Inventory of Everything That Matters
Many people think that only the very rich need to worry about estate planning, but not so fast. Do you have investments or a retirement account? Physical things like jewelry, musical instruments, or furniture? What about crypto? Or even social media accounts? In the event of your incapacity or death, would your family members even know where or what to look for or even be able to access it? Unless you have planned ahead, chances are they won’t.
There is somewhere between 49 and 80 billion dollars currently unclaimed, or unable to be claimed, by family members of people who have passed away. This is money that family members may not even have known their loved ones had or that people did not make provisions for in order to pass it on to their family after they died. That’s why it’s extra important that you create a “personal inventory” so that your loved ones will not only know what you have, but also where everything is and how they should move forward according to your wishes.
To help you make your own personal inventory, and to help your parents make theirs, call us and we’ll walk you through it.
Wisely Maximize Your Access to and Use of Credit
Financial experts often recommend a rainy day fund, and it seems that the rainy day has come. Whether or not you have a sizable savings, you might also want to maximize your access to credit and consider getting approved for a higher credit line sooner rather than later. You don’t want to find yourself scrambling to pay bills (medical expenses, for example) when you need it most.
We understand that some people might not like the idea of applying for more personal credit, particularly people who are afraid of debt, but think of it as a back-up plan. If you never need it, great! However, if you do, you will be happy you have it. Again, the COVID-19 pandemic has left us in unprecedented times. We don’t know how long it will take for life to get back to normal. Having a back-up plan may give you the peace of mind you need to get through this.
Planning for the future has never been more important. It’s also always a good time to ask for legal and financial help. We are here to support you and have implemented video and phone consultations so that you don’t have to wait. We have also added extended hours to make sure you can get your planning done as soon as possible so you and your family can have peace of mind during these scary times.
Call us now to make an appointment for a Family Planning Session.
This article is a service of The Solution Law Firm, P.A. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Family Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.