17 Nov Disability Documents In A Pandemic: Shelly Joyner, Associate Attorney
WHAT IF…most of us have thought about a lot of “what ifs” lately. Some of us have been put in situations that we never thought we would be in until the events of 2020. Indeed, many “what ifs” became reality during the COVID crisis.
Some of our (now) clients, have experienced the need to care for loved ones, but ran into great difficulties making medical and financial decisions.
Below are a few situations clients have run into over the past few months.
WHAT IF: What if your 18-year-old “child” is in the hospital but his physicians won’t let you make decisions for him?
You may be surprised to know that even if your young adult child is still on your health insurance, he is an adult and as such is protected by medical privacy laws. Doctors shouldn’t and don’t have to communicate with you (the parent) and often you will not be allowed to make medical decisions on his behalf.
What if you’re in a strict quarantine and you need mortgage refinancing papers signed ASAP?
What if you’re on a ventilator in the ICU and your loved ones need to talk to your physicians?
What if you can’t travel to authorize construction on your rental property across the country?
All of these (and more!) WHAT IF situations are solved by having properly drafted and executed medical and financial power of attorney documents in place.
What is a financial power of attorney?
A Statutory Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney can be created very broadly or very narrowly to handle any of your personal business or financial concerns. A carefully crafted power of attorney document can even allow your trusted agent to be able to buy and sell real property for you.
What is a medical power of attorney?
We recommend enacting a Combination Medical Directive/Medical Power of Attorney/HIPPA Release. It is a three-part document that can (1) leave instructions for your agents/physicians if you’re unable to speak for yourself and are in an irreversible, terminal condition, (2) name the loved ones that are authorized to speak to your physicians for you if you’re unable to speak for yourself, and (3) authorize those loved ones to get access to your medical records if you’re unable to.
These simple yet powerful documents alleviate some of the stress encountered during times of medical and financial emergencies. Crain & Wooley’s virtual services are ready and able to help you, your family members or friends get these in place – all without leaving the comfort of your home.