Legal Documents You Should Prepare Now for COVID-19
You might feel fine today, but COVID-19 can turn things around quickly. In a matter of days, you may be in serious danger.
You can stock up on the things you need if you become infected — food, Tylenol, prescription drugs, etc. — but what if you become hospitalized and critically ill?
While it' s difficult to think about, getting your affairs in order during a pandemic is probably a good idea.
If that's true, what are the documents you should prepare now? Here's a list.
- An advance health care directive: This form allows you to identify someone who will speak for you if you become too sick to communicate or physically incapacitated. It also allows you to indicate your preferences on life-prolonging procedures. A health care proxy also allows you to name someone to make medical decisions for you.
- A living will: This document can also address your preferences on life-prolong procedures, as well as other preferences.
- HIPAA releases: These are documents where you name a person to communicate with medical providers about your private medical records.
- A power of attorney: With this document, you name someone to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf when you can't do so.
- A will: This document instructs survivors how your assets will be divided up after your death. It also allows you to designate guardians for your minor children.
It's always best to prepare, especially now.
There's an old Chinese proverb that says, "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."
It's not too late to plant the tree.
- Find an Estate Planning Lawyer Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory)
- COVID-19: What Estate Planning Documents Should I Have in Place? (FindLaw's COVID-19 Legal Center)
- Answers to Your Legal Questions About COVID-19 (FindLaw's COVID-19 Legal Center)