THE IMPORTANCE OF LEGAL DOCUMENTS DURING CORONAVIRUS
- posted: Mar. 31, 2020
Certain legal documents have always been valuable to have in place. Wills, Revocable Trusts, Durable Powers of
Attorney, Health Care Surrogate Documents and Living Wills can provide critical direction for loved ones in times
Who Needs Legal Documents
Today, as we all face the daily news from the Centers for Disease Control regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19), these
documents may be more important than ever for you, for your “adult” children (over 18) and for your aging
- Take Care of Yourself
On an airplane, the safety speech always reminds you to secure your oxygen mask prior to helping those
with whom you are traveling. It is the same with estate planning documents; you must plan for yourself
and, if you have one, your significant other.
Having certain legal documents, including but not limited to wills, revocable trusts, health care surrogate
documents and living wills provides direction (as well as power) to make specific decisions on your behalf
(should you become unable), to those individuals whom you designate.
- Prepare for Your Adult Children
Once your children reach the age of 18 they are, in the eyes of the law, an adult. That means that they are
afforded specific rights and have certain responsibilities. While these may seem innocuous, on specific
occasions issues may arise.
For example, if your college-bound 18 year old becomes ill and is unable to communicate with you while
at school, health care professionals may be unable to share information with you due to HIPPA privacy
Additionally, in case of emergency, you may be unable to make health care decisions regarding medical
treatment on their behalf. Similarly, college administrators are also unable to share information with you
about your child. Having certain documents (including a Health Care Surrogate and Durable Power of
Attorney) created can help avoid these issues and protect your child in times of need.
- Assist Your Elderly Parents
As our parents age they may eventually be unable to make important decisions for themselves. Without
legal documentation, the opportunity to act on their behalf on many issues (including making financial
decisions) will be extremely difficult and may require extensive legal action. By talking to your parents
now, and having some important documents (like a Durable Power of Attorney) created on their behalf,
your family will be in a much better place should the time arise when you need to step in.
As mentioned, these legal documents are important to have drawn up and executed under normal circumstances.
They provide your loved ones instructions and plans and protect those who may need help in the future.
With the increasing spread of the Coronavirus, these documents are even more important. Recently
hospitals have been limiting visitors to those who are admitted; you may not be able to spend time with your loved
one should they become ill. ( In fact, certain hospitals in New York have shared that they will not allow mothers in
labor to have their spouse or support person with them during the birth.) Visitors have been restricted from going
to Florida hospitals and assisted living facilities.
Having documents like a Health Care Surrogate in place will allow for the free exchange of information between
you and your loved one’s health care provider.
Lisa I Glassman PA Can Help
In short, we strongly believe in the value of having certain documents in place in case of an emergency and
counseled our clients on which are most important for their personal needs. Today’s environment makes
these essential documents more important than ever. Protecting your family, especially in difficult times, is
the greatest gift you can provide.
We are working from home throughout this health crisis and can consult with you via Zoom, telephone
conference, or other electronic methods to create any documents you may need. Additionally, we will work
with you to have them executed.
Take time today to plan for your future. We understand the importance of being prepared as well as the peace
of mind it provides.
Please Contact us today at 561-447-6676 to discuss your specific needs.
We look forward to working with you. Be well and stay safe!
Since 2002, Lisa I. Glassman, PA has been providing outstanding legal counsel throughout South Florida. The firm has offices in Boca Raton, Aventura and Weston. We skillfully handle Estate Planning, Wills and Probate matters and Real Estate law for our clients. Since 2002, we have provided outstanding advice and advocacy.