Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the US, life has changed dramatically for Californians. As Governor Newsom recently announced plans to enter Stage 2 of reopening the state, many citizens are remaining vigilant in their efforts to maintain social distancing. However, it’s vital to have critical documents such as your will, Advance Health Care Directive, and power of attorney in place and up to date. It is especially important to have these devices prepared during these uncertain times. The good news is that there are ways to take care of California estate planning during the global pandemic.

The Advance Health Care Directive

As recent events have demonstrated, it’s impossible to predict when a medical crisis will occur, and it’s essential to be as prepared as possible. Although you may never become infected with COVID-19, another illness or accident could incapacitate you and make it impossible for you to direct your health care decisions. One important way to safeguard your health in this instance is through an Advance Health Care Directive. A California Advance Health Care Directive is a legal document that allows you to name your preferred medical decisionmaker. The instrument also provides a way for you to leave specific care instructions for your medical treatment providers. If you don’t have this device in place, now is the time to consult with a California estate planning attorney to create your California Advance Health Care Directive.

California Power of Attorney for Financial Matters

Just as you need a trusted person to protect your physical health during incapacity, you will also need someone to look out for your financial well-being. In California, you can use an instrument called a power of attorney for finances for this purpose. This is a legal document that allows another person to step into your shoes and make financial decisions on your behalf.  A power of attorney can be limited according to how much authority you want to give the other person over your economic interests. For instance, if you have a business, you may want to limit your power of attorney to apply only to your personal accounts and make other arrangements for your commercial operations.

Your California Will and Trust

If you have not prepared a will, getting one in place should be a priority. Having a will provides clear instructions regarding your final wishes. The document can also spare your loved ones from going through a long and drawn-out process with the probate court during an already painful time. If you have children, it gives you a way to communicate critical information about your guardianship preferences.

If you don’t have a California living trust, you may want to consider creating one to keep certain assets out of probate. You can benefit from the trust and make changes to it during your lifetime. You can also use this device to ensure that distributions are made to your beneficiaries according to your preferences.

Creating California Estate Planning Documents During the Pandemic

Although social distancing has changed how estate planning is taking place in California today, your estate plan should be reviewed and prepared with thoughtful consideration and attention to detail. At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we are experienced California estate planning attorneys who are ready to assist you during this process.  Please contact us online or by phone to set up a free consultation today and start your solution. https://www.salvolaw.com/