Tips for Effective Emergency Planning
Believe it or not, there is actually some good news regarding Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. While the media continues to focus on case numbers and fatalities, those battling the pandemic are making progress with treatment and testing protocols. Meanwhile, case numbers in certain countries are dropping and patients are recovering from the virus.
Going forward, it is crucial that none of us forget the painful lessons learned during this unprecedented public health crisis. Specifically, it is imperative that we all remember the importance of individual and family planning, estate planning, for unexpected events.
There is Hope
To begin with, let’s review some of the positive developments in the global fight against COVID-19. As reported on March 19, 2020:
- The Chinese National Health Commission reported no new domestic cases for the first time since the virus emerged in China at the end of 2019.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) hailed an international study as an important step to finding a viable treatment for COVID-19 patients.
- An existing malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, has shown promise as a potential treatment for COVID-19
In other significant developments:
- Researchers of the Erasmus Medical Center claim to have found an antibody against coronavirus.
- A 103-year-old Chinese grandmother fully recovered from COVID-19 after being treated for 6 days in Wuhan, China.
- Scientists in Israel are likely to announce the development of a coronavirus vaccine.
- Three Maryland coronavirus patients have made full recoveries and can resume their regular routines.
- A network of Canadian scientists is reportedly making excellent progress in Covid-19 research.
- Plasma from newly recovered COVID-19 patients can be used to treat others who are now infected.
Hoping for the Best and Planning for the Worst through Estate Planning
One of the most valuable lessons we can take from all of this is the importance of being prepared for any unexpected event or emergency. A significant part of this preparation is ensuring that all your affairs are in order.
Proper estate planning protects you and your loved ones if you are critically injured, diagnosed with a catastrophic illness, or pass away. Accordingly, it generally includes the creation of a Last Will and Testament, or “Will” for short, which allows you to specify how your belongings should be distributed after your death. A properly drafted Will also provides you with a number of benefits, including the ability to select the executor of your estate (referred to as a “personal representative” in Florida), along with the ability to name a caregiver to look after any minor children.
A comprehensive estate plan may also include the following legal documents:
- A power of attorney, which allows you to name someone to make certain decisions on your behalf when you are incapable of doing so.
- A healthcare directive, which specifies how you would like to be treated if a catastrophic illness or injury, prevents you from expressing your wishes.
- A healthcare power of attorney, in which you give someone the authority to make healthcare decisions for you if you are incapable of making them yourself.
Various trusts may also be established through your Will or independently of your Will. The type of trusts included in an estate plan depend upon your needs and may vary greatly depending upon your assets, income, liabilities, and individual goals.
With all of that in mind, you should be aware that it is also important to review your estate plan regularly. This ensures that it reflects your wishes as they change.
The legal team here at Eskander Loshak is available to help you create or review an estate plan that suits your immediate and long-term needs. To learn what the estate planning process entails, simply contact us online or call (954) 334-1122 today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.