Managing your financial affairs encompasses many aspects outside your investments. In light of COVID-19 it is essential to revisit your estate plan.
In light of COVID-19, it is essential to revisit your Power of Attorney and Healthcare and your Living Will.
Hello, my name is Kelly Stanley, and I am a Wealth Advisor with Cogent Strategic Wealth. Today I want to spend a few minutes talking about a topic that for many people can be uncomfortable, but it's also a necessary subject to discuss especially in light of COVID-19.
Managing your financial affairs encompasses many aspects outside of your investments. For example, estate planning is extremely important and a necessary step to take in order to make sure that your wishes are adhered to.
If you already have taken the steps to create an estate plan, you likely have a power of attorney for healthcare in place as well as a living will. If you have these documents in place, it's really important that you pull them out and take a look at them to see if they still reflect your current wishes. Do they reflect the individuals in your life that you feel comfortable with making decisions if you aren't able to make those decisions yourself?
In a living will document, typically you will notate whether or not you want to be kept alive by artificial means. Because COVID-19 results in many individuals being placed on ventilators, you want to make sure that the language in your living will is broad enough to encompass if you want to be kept alive if you were to contract this disease and they have to use a ventilator.
Another consideration is to make sure that the individuals that you have nominated as your power of attorney are able to communicate still with the medical professionals who are making decisions about your treatment. Given travel restrictions and restrictions on who they're letting into hospitals, you want to make sure that the documents reflect whether or not instructions can be given verbally, over the phone, via electronic video means or via email for example.
If you are considered high risk and you already have documents in place and you're comfortable with the language that is in those documents, we would also recommend you take the steps to print off copies and put them in an envelope so you have them handy should in fact you need to get to the hospital in a quick manner.
If you have not yet taken the steps to create an estate plan, and more specifically powers of attorney for healthcare and a living will, we would suggest you highly consider doing that at this time. If you do not have an attorney that you are comfortable working with, we have a deep bench of estate attorneys in our network and we are happy to refer you to somebody if you don't currently have somebody that you work with.
Most importantly, we just want to make sure that everyone has taken the opportunity to review their own situation and determine if any changes are needed. The last thing that you want is to be in a situation where you don't have the proper documents in place to communicate your wishes.
If you ever have questions or concerns, we are here to help. Please feel free to reach out at any time and we will be happy to walk through your situation with you.
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