Over the last few weeks, as concern over the COVID-19 pandemic has gripped the nation, we have been receiving many inquiries from individuals wishing to make or update Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney and Advance Medical Directives to ensure that their affairs are in order. We always advise our clients to establish an estate plan under normal circumstances, but in these unprecedented and unsettling times, it is even more important to have these critical documents in place.
Importance of a Will
A Will ensures that your final wishes are followed and your assets go to those you have chosen. Without a Will, your assets will be distributed as directed by the code of Virginia. This can significantly alter the outcome you may have desired, especially in blended family situations.
Durable Power of Attorney
A Durable Power of Attorney, or POA, allows you to select a trusted individual to safeguard your assets and act on your behalf in financial matters in the event you become incapacitated for any reason. This can be critical for small business owners, for example, who cannot afford to be without a continuity plan if they find themselves unable to make decisions about the business.
Advanced Medical Directive
An Advanced Medical Directive, or AMD, allows you to select a trusted individual who will act on your behalf for any medical care decisions and decisions about end of life care that you are unable to make for yourself. Having an AMD in place is especially important now that restricted visitor access to hospitals may make it difficult for anyone not specifically authorized to gain access to your doctor to assist with these decisions.
Smith, Barden & Wells COVID-19 Procedure
If you need any of these necessary documents, the attorneys at Smith, Barden & Wells are prepared to assist you with our expedient preparation and execution in a safe, no-contact setting that protects the health and safety of our clients, staff, and attorneys. In accordance with recommended guidelines, we will be conducting all consultations and document review processes with clients by teleconference or through the use of the Zoom video conferencing platform. We have also set up a “Drive-Up” signing station outside our office door that allows clients to sign documents and our staff to witness and/or notarize the signatures in conformance with current will signing formalities without in-person contact.
If you are in need of a Will, Durable Power of Attorney, or an Advanced Medical Directive, contact the attorneys at Smith, Barden & Wells today to set up a phone consultation. We are ready to assist you in this unprecedented time.
Disclaimer: This blog/website is made available by Smith, Barden & Wells, PC for educational purposes only, as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog/website, you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and Smith, Barden & Wells, PC. This blog/website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.