The COVID-19 pandemic is difficult for all of us. Economic, psychological, and most important, physical health is on the top of everyone’s mind during just about all waking hours. We must stay strong for our vulnerable and remember that with the right preparedness and planning, this too shall pass.
Estate plans are vitally important to our overall preparedness and peace of mind. Any preparedness plan involves ensuring that Health Care and Financial Powers of Attorney and Last Will and Testaments are updated and reflect your desires. In these uncertain times, there are questions of whether our responses are alarmist or practical. As part of your practical preparedness plan, you may ask yourself:
- Am I prepared with my documents if I become hospitalized?
- Does my current plan do what I want it to?
- Has the law changed since I last updated my documents?
- Has my family changed since I last updated my documents?
A Health Care Power of Attorney is one of the more important documents you can have during this time. This is the document with which you appoint one person, and then one substitute person, to make your health care decisions for you when you are no longer able to do so yourself. If you don’t have one, or need to change the one you do have, now is the time to get this done.
A HIPAA Authorization Form is another important part of your plan. This document allows you to waive your privacy rights, thereby allowing your loved ones access to your medical records at the time (not now) they need to act in your place.
We have made both the Health Care Power of Attorney and the HIPAA Authorization Form available to you if you need them. Simply fill in your information, print, and sign them. Please note that the Health Care Power of Attorney must be signed in front of two witnesses or a Notary that you must provide, even if they see you sign it through a glass door. Store these documents in a safe place and make sure your loved ones know where they are located in case they are needed.
If you have questions, we are here to talk you through it. Our offices remain open, even during this lockdown, and our team stands ready to work with you, albeit in different ways than we are used to, to help you prepare. We have expanded our non-contact communication methods, so we are never more than a telephone call, video conference, or email conversation away. We will continue to do whatever we must to support you and your family.
In this time of unparalleled uncertainty, Hickman & Lowder is here to help you find clarity, options, support, and relief. You don’t have to do this all by yourself.