The coronavirus pandemic has caused many people to think differently about their estate plan. Plenty of people have contacted estate planning lawyers to set up consultations to either create or update their estate planning tools. The unique aspects of this crisis may have made you realize that your current estate planning documents are not suited to handle these concerns.
The language inside your existing estate planning documents may be perfectly fine for normal purposes, but may not go far enough if you were to become ill during this pandemic or a future one.
It is a good time to sit down and review your existing documents, while you're still at home, to determine whether any need an update. The ones most likely to be updated include:
· A living will
· Your health care proxy
· A durable power of attorney
If you already have these documents in place, read through the language in each of them to determine whether they meet all of your current needs. A health care proxy, for example, ensures that your instructions regarding medical treatment are carried out properly. In most cases, the person who is appointed as your proxy would be able to speak with doctors in person about your care. However, that may be impossible during the coronavirus pandemic.
You need to make sure that you speak to your estate planning lawyer about updating the provision inside your health care proxy that would allow electronic communications between your health care provider and your agent.