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Instructions While We Are Dealing With COVID-19

Instructions While We Are Dealing With COVID-19 Image

Now especially, it is crucial to be prepared if you or someone in your family gets so sick they can’t make decisions about health care or finances. Banks, insurance companies, and medical providers will not listen to what another person says about what you need, not without up-to-date legal documents.

But how are you, or someone you know or love, supposed to get those documents, and still do your bit to keep physical distance so we can stop this virus and get back to easier times?

Internet is the answer. Almost everything you need from us can be delivered remotely without your setting foot outside, as long as you have a good phone or internet connection. From the safety and comfort of your home, you can get just about all the way to the goal:  peace of mind from knowing that your family or another trusted person can pick up the reins for you, so you or your loved ones get the care you need.

On the other hand, if you prefer to, or must, consult us in person, be reassured that we are taking extraordinary care to protect all our health by adhering strictly to Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

In these challenging times, we all must do all we can to strengthen our resilience, optimism, good planning, and teamwork. Here is how to safeguard your and our health while you access uninterrupted legal services.

1.         We invite you to take advantage of internet capability. Of course we would love to see you in person, but, these days, let’s keep in close contact outside of physical presence. If you have a good phone or internet connection, we can meet together via phone or video conference. You can get and send documents via email. We can stay connected “virtually” so that in most cases, you can get everything up to (but not yet including) signing, without budging from home.

2.         Once we begin seeing clients in our office, we will take every precaution CDC recommends. We all are conscientious about strict infection-control protocols, physical distance, and frequent sanitizing of high-touch surfaces. For now, you will be welcomed with a warm smile instead of the usual handshake or hug!

            However, your help is essential. Please, if you aren’t feeling well or are showing symptoms, reschedule your appointment or ask about alternative means of meeting.

3.         For now, our clients and friends in hospitals or nursing homes can’t count on us to visit as we used to. However, facilities usually have people on hand who can witness and notarize signings. They also have internet connectivity. So your or your loved ones’ documents might still get created, updated, and signed in most cases, even though we can’t physically be together. These days, given the current realities, it is more important than ever that especially vulnerable people get current documents in place.

Now is the time to make sure you and yours have the proper documents in place, so your trusted person can handle legal, financial, and health-care decisions for you if you cannot do so yourself. Take the few easy steps to get prepared.  We can help prepare these important documents and guide you through the decision-making process. Please visit our website for information on how to contact us.  And if you are outside of our service area, please contact an experienced Elder Law Attorney (preferably one that is Board Certified in Elder Law) to assist you.

May we all stay safe and well.

Jason A. Penrod is only the 20th attorney to be Board Certified as an Elder Law Expert by the Florida Bar and the National Elder Law Foundation.  He is the founder of Family Elder Law (www.familyelderlaw.com) which has offices in Lakeland, Lake Wales, and Sebring, Florida.

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