At Knapp Law the health and safety of our clients, family, and friends is our highest priority. As the news of the Covid 19 pandemic unfolds, each day there are new issues and obstacles to address. Nevertheless, we remain committed to providing our clients with a high level of service during this difficult time.
We are still working and remain available to our clients and potential clients via phone, email, and video conference. Our office location is closed; however there is a drop box for dropping off and picking up documents. At the present time, we have suspended all in-office meetings for the safety of our clients and staff. However, we can work remotely using our existing technology which enables our firm to efficiently and effectively provide services to our clients. We are equipped to electronically file documents with the Court; share information with clients; review contracts and agreements; obtain electronic signatures; offer virtual consultations; access case information and work on files remotely. We will continue to work with you to meet your expectations and legal needs.
We hope that you and your family stay safeand healthy!
With many people not working and stuck inside, now is a great opportunity to take some time to get your estate plan in order. Here are a few simple tips to get you started:
1. Review your existing will or prepare one: If you have a will, take a few minutes to look it over to make sure it still accurately reflects your wishes. Some issues to consider- Are your children now adults? Are your beneficiaries, executors and other representatives still around? Do you have any specific gifts you want to make? Are your burial instructions spelled out? Has your estate significantly increased?
If you don’t have a will, now is the time to get one prepared. It is a relatively simple process and most of it can be done over the phone or via videoconferencing. Even if you are unable to get to a notary during the quarantine, don’t worry; in Pennsylvania, a written, signed will is valid even if it is not notarized.
2. Prepare a healthcare power of attorney and living will: You should consider having a healthcare power of attorney and a living will prepared. These documents are important especially given the current circumstances. A living will, also referred to an advanced health care directive, is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding end-of life-medical procedures. It comes into effect when a person is unable to make or communicate their preferences and has an "end-stage medical condition”. That is an incurable and irreversible medical condition, in an advanced state, that will, in the opinion of the attending physician, result in death, despite the introduction or continuation of medical treatment. In a living will you decide what care you want to receive and more importantly, what care you don’t want. This can include feeding tubes, blood transfusions, ventilators, and organ donation. It only applies if there is no realistic chance of recovery and you are only be kept alive by mechanical or artificial means.
A healthcare power of attorney is a document used to designate someone to serve as your health care agent, a person you choose to make decisions about your health care if you become unable to make those decisions yourself. Your agent may be a family member or a close friend whom you trust to make serious decisions. This individual should clearly understand your wishes and be willing to accept the responsibility of making health care decisions for you.
3. Review your beneficiary designations:Make sure your beneficiary designations are up-to-date on any retirement plans, 401(k)s, pensions, IRAs and life insurance policies. This can usually be checked online. If they are not current, change them.
4. Document your assets: Prepare a list of your assets, accounts and contact information so that your loved ones know where to find this information. Since most financial companies no longer send out paper account statements, it has become more difficult to locate these assets after you die. If your family does not have access to your email or online accounts, they may not be aware of all of the accounts that you have. Also make sure your loved ones are aware of any life insurance policies that you have, either through employment or outside of employment.
5. Record you email passwords and other login information: You may want to consider providing a list of accounts and login information to a trusted family member. If they are able to access your email after your passing, they will at least be able to see emails received from creditors and online accounts. Obviously, this information should only be shared with a person you fully trust. You can store it with your other important documents in a safe location. Just make sure someone else can find it if you are no longer around.
A little planning goes a long way!
We can prepare a living will and Healthcare Power of Attorney for you.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is provided for general information purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice or advice for a specific case or legal matter. Nothing on this website should be construed as an agreement for legal representation. This firm does not represent you in your particular matter unless there is an express, written representation agreement between you and this firm.
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