What to Know About Making a Will in the Age of Coronavirus

Living Wills Health Care Proxies, Wills And Estates, Coronavirus, Covıd-19, Death, Us States, Quarantines, Retirement

Estate planning lawyers we talked to this week said they had been getting more calls since the outbreak worsened.

Living Wills Health Care Proxies, Wills And Estates


“The least selfish thing you can do is to put it in writing now.” Estate planning lawyers say they are seeing a rise in calls from people who want to get their end-of-life plans in order as the coronavirus outbreak worsens.

Estate planning lawyers we talked to this week said they had been getting more calls since the outbreak worsened.

National Notary Association . Besides needing notarizations, however, wills executed in New York require two witnesses to be in the room when the document is signed. So does a health care proxy, which appoints an agent to make medical decisions if someone is incapacitated. On Wednesday, Ron L. Meyers, an estate planning lawyer in Manhattan, adjusted his practice to the times. From home, he used FaceTime to watch two clients and their witnesses more than 100 miles away sign new financial powers of attorney and health care proxies. He used his laptop to record a video of the proceedings. His clients used their phone. The clients, Phyllis Diamond, 74, a psychotherapist, and her husband, Peter Dignazio, 79, a retired engineer, bundled in coats and scarves, sat on the enclosed porch of their friends’ house in Columbia County, outside New York City, where the couple live. The couple have a second home nearby. Ms. Diamond and Mr. Dignazio, wearing vinyl gloves, signed the papers at a large table, while their two friends, both witnesses, stood six feet away. When the couple finished signing, they moved away and their friends moved in, Ms. Diamond said. “We thanked them profusely,” Ms. Diamond said of her friends. “We said we would have a virtual cocktail party.” Ms. Diamond said she scanned the documents, which she sent electronically to Mr. Meyers, who notarized them. She is also sending him the paper copy, which he will authenticate. In New Jersey, where notaries need to be present, Wynne Whitman, an estate planning lawyer with Schenck Price in Florham Park, also found a creative way to deal with social distancing. A friend told her that two emergency room nurses, who were single mothers and handling coronavirus cases, had posted a Facebook notice: They had downloaded estate planning documents from an online service and could not find a notary to authenticate their signatures. All lawyers in New Jersey can act as notaries, and on Saturday, Ms. Whitman met the nurses, who had set up a table in the front yard of one of their houses. A rock kept the papers from blowing away. Everyone wore gloves. “It was B.Y.O.P. — bring your own pen,” she said. Each nurse acted as the witness for the other, and another friend witnessed both. After one person signed, she stepped away while another moved to the table, Ms. Whitman said. What documents do you need? Besides creating wills and possibly trusts for more complex estates, lawyers suggest that people draw up a financial power of attorney and an advance directive, which designate agents to make financial and health care decisions while a person is alive but incapacitated. “Make sure that the people you have named know what their responsibilities are, and send them copies of the documents,” said Rudy Ogburn, an estate planning lawyer in Raleigh, N.C. With the financial power of attorney, the agent makes financial and legal decisions when someone is disabled, even for a short period. Mr. Meyers advises clients to choose a durable power of attorney, which takes effect immediately. During the weeks that a person may be ill with Covid-19, or another incapacitating illness, the agent could file taxes and pay bills, including premiums for long-term-care insurance, which could lapse because of a late payment, Mr. Meyers said. To safeguard against an agent stealing, he said, “only name someone as an agent you can fully trust.” Depending on the state, advance directives come in two parts. One directive is a living will, which describes the kind of life-sustaining medical treatment a person would want or not want if terminally ill or with no chance of recovery. The other is a health care proxy, or a medical power of attorney, which names an agent to make medical decisions. Advance directives typically cover permanent unconsciousness, an irreversible fatal illness or severe brain damage — all with no expectation a patient would recover and have a meaningful quality of life, Ms. Whitman said. “This is a high standard,” she said. “Ending life-sustaining treatment would require a very dire situation in the opinion of a physician.” Ms. Barney said it was best to name just one person to be a health care agent. “It is very difficult if the doctor needs to talk to two people if they do not act together,” she said. And if someone is drawing up documents now, she said, it may make sense to choose an agent who lives close by, given travel difficulties since the coronavirus began spreading. Also included in the documents should be a HIPAA medical records release form, which would allow health care providers to provide private information to approved family members, friends and others. Parents of college-age students and single adults in their 20s should ask their children to sign their own HIPAA release and perhaps an advance directive, lawyers say. Without these documents, once a child turns 18 or 21 (depending on the state), a parent cannot make decisions related to his or her care and may be unable, depending on a physician’s discretion, to get information on a child’s condition. Also, it is imperative to review, and perhaps update, beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and life insurance policies, experts say. A beneficiary designation on an individual retirement account or a company 401(k) account, for example, would override any instruction in a will for that asset. “It’s not unusual for someone to fill in a beneficiary on Day 1 of a job and never look at it again,” Mr. Meyers said. Holders of accounts and policies should be able to change beneficiaries online. People who do not have complex estates or the money to spend on costly legal fees can turn to online services such as Read more: The New York Times

nytimes lies every day… Good to see the lawyers are able to keep their jobs!!! 80 percent who die are 60 or older with pre existing conditions, They should have every thing order years ago what where they waiting for How are the upper-middle-class doing? That's the important thing. They don't have a lot of resources to figure out what's what.

cc: erinbury kevinoulds 10 deaths from Coronavirus every hour in America now. Trump blew it. Am I the only one who finds this article a little creepy? This is not helping, but it’s necessary. I don’t understand how Dem populated areas are the most hit by a crisis allowed by a republican. My most sincere condolences

Thanks to our great president,ha ha

Target CEO withdraws forecast: 'None of us know how long this virus is going to last'As Target sees a “surge in business” with people stocking up on items during the coronavirus pandemic, CEO Brian Cornell describes the company’s $300 million investment in its employees. lmao target even invest 300billion in its employees thats 50b's more than our government invested in its people hell let the ceo of target run our country since he has the right idea in investing in its people equilarinc will track the compensation of Target leadership and employees as they navigate this novel situation. Stay updated on companies that include COVID-19 provisions in their disclosures. Close Target before Target workers begin to die and infect others. You're probably holed up in mansion with a garden. When the bodies are counted, I hope the American mob will aim their desire for justice at people like you who are forcing people to risk their lives for profits

You Know Which Disney Princess You Are, But Which Non-Princess Disney Woman Are You?Sit down, princesses. It's our turn.

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With coronavirus spreading, neighbor worries her Amish neighbors 'wouldn't know'“They had a vague inkling about it, but they were kind of making a joke out of it. And that’s what got me really concerned, because without TV, radio, internet, they wouldn’t know how bad it is,” Mary Swander said. I understand completely.. While I am NOT Amish, I was born and raised in PA Amish country‼️ I do hope “The Plain People” have been made aware of the 🦠‼️ They keep pretty much to themselves, so they may not face this scourge on Society that we’re facing‼️🥰🥰 Do they not get newspapers? BS They know what the English are doing.

What you need to know about the coronavirus right nowHere's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now: Sir,mam, I am an Indian, I am join Reuters news, please help me, I have new agency, material, Video camera,(no dimand for our side, no sallery, no fee,etc) Indian total news to give Reuters, honestly, I am proud Reuters news, carona, etc urgently news, Thanks It's odd that Pompeo would accuse China of delaying the transfer of information when the FDA has access to test results from interventions completed in China now. Trump's trouble is his administration's bias towards less effective USA owned patents.

What we know: How the $2T coronavirus stimulus will affect you and the economyHere's how the COVID-19 relief package affects you and the economy. The bill provides lifelines to working Americans, the unemployed, contractors. That's it a one check of 1,200 dollars? And these businesses are getting millions and millions of dollars What about my 401k I lost 50,000 from this mess that Trump caused from not taking care of this virus back when he first knew about it back in January but dismissed it! 😠 EVERYTHING MUST BE RETHOUGHT: new productive & organizational models (direct & economic democracy) -property-health-ecology-agriculture-food-respect for the living -education-housing-social violencefamily-isolation-taxation-inequality-globalization..GLOBAL APPROACH & SUSTAINABLE What about those on social security insured and disability

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National Guardsman is 1st US service member to die from coronavirus, Esper announces

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