As part of our commitment to helping you make the most of the unusual circumstances triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the team at AgingOptions, along with our partners at LifePoint Law, want to make it as easy as possible for you to experience the peace of mind that comes with proper legal planning. But how can you take advantage of our professional planning services at a time when most of society is basically stuck at home?
Fear of Coronavirus Prompts Many to Consider End of Life Directives
Fortunately we have the answer: the LifePoint Law Emergency Legal Kit. We’ll explain the details in a moment, but first we wanted to share this related article that we read a few days ago from MSN, describing how many people are being prompted by the coronavirus outbreak to get serious about important legal documents including wills and end-of-life directives. How ironic that it takes a worldwide health crisis and a virtual community lock-down to cause us to take the need for preparation seriously.
The MSN article gives several examples of people around the nation who suddenly feel prompted to get going on their end-of-life planning. Some of these are living with underlying health issues that put them at greater risk from COVID-19. One is 67-year-old Jayne Marlink, a retired Sacramento educator. In spite of many health scares over the past decade, “she never felt the urgency to put together an advance health directive advising her son what to do in case she didn’t pull through. But last week, as she watched the coronavirus pandemic rapidly unfold from her home in California…she wrote down her last wishes.”
End of Life Directives: Danger of Illness Brings Us Face to Face with Need to Plan
Marlink describes herself as vulnerable and “in that target age” so she knew she had to get serious about legal planning. “This has put me face-to-face with my responsibility and what I need to do to make things easier for my son should anything bad happen,” she told MSN. “Before, it was always a conversation my son and I put off, but we finally realized that this is a conversation we need to have now.”
According to the MSN article – and as we have seen at AgingOptions – many people are coming to the same conclusion. “Similar sobering realizations surrounding mortality have hit scores of individuals who have been voicing their intentions to write medical directives, guardianship designations and other legal contingency plans on various social media outlets over the last two weeks.” Some people are downloading legal templates from the web and trying to prepare emergency documents on their own.
The frightening combination of the pandemic and the near-collapse of the economy is causing people to focus on what one Georgetown professor called “these more personal, intimate and highly consequential issues.” This heightened sense of urgency spans a broad range of people, especially the medically vulnerable, the parents of young children, and those with at-risk family members. But as Rajiv Nagaich of AgingOptions reminds his radio listeners, proper legal planning is something everyone needs to do.
End of Life Directives Guide Medical Professionals and Loved Ones
According to Northwestern University professor of medicine Dr. Kathy Neely, advance directives are essential to guide the medical community. “In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s really important for everyone to decide who the person is that they trust most to make medical decisions if they couldn’t make those decisions themselves,” she says. “A lot of us are going to get sick, and some of us are going to need that kind of decision making. That’s a choice we all get to make while we’re thinking clearly, so that choice should be thought through right now.” Advanced directives give clarity and help doctors counsel patients and guide decision makers.
The MSN article recommends having a legal professional advise you and draft these necessary documents remotely. We agree wholeheartedly – but in this time of personal isolation, when people can’t even sit down across the conference room table from one another, how are we supposed to accomplish this vitally important task? Here at AgingOptions, through our partnership with LifePoint Law, we have developed an exciting answer, which we call the LifePoint Law Emergency Legal Kit.
Emergency Legal Kit Allows Important Documents to be Prepared and Signed Remotely
“We are determined to make it possible for anyone to access this essential service, even in a time of crisis,” says Rajiv Nagaich of AgingOptions. “This can be the perfect time to do some responsible end-of-life planning.” According to Rajiv, the process includes preparation of appropriate documents along with the ability to sign those documents without making the trip to the attorney’s office. “We’ll include an emergency card to carry with you,” Says Rajiv, “so you’ll have quick and easy access to information you need. We’ll also make certain all the key people will have access to important documents as needed.”
The Emergency Legal Kit will provide you with a complete set of legal documents, including
- Financial Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Power of Attorney
- Living Will – Advance Directive
- HIPAA authorization
- Instructions on the handling of Remains
- A Will or Trust
- Emergency Wallet Card
- Instructions to Agents
Again, visit the LifePoint Law website to learn more about the Emergency Legal Kit.
There’s More to Retirement Planning than Legal Preparation
Rajiv Nagaich reminds you that legal preparation alone, as essential as it is, does not mean you’re ready for retirement. You’ll also want your finances, housing, medical and family issues to be carefully thought through as well, and that involves a planning process we call LifePlanning. During this period when gathering in person is not possible, Rajiv is conducting his popular LifePlanning Seminars online as live webinars. Check out our online calendar here and register for the webinar of your choice. You’ll be very glad you did. Meanwhile, we urge you to stay safe and “Age on!”
(originally reported at www.msn.com)