The novel coronavirus is raging across the world. As people shelter in place and isolate, many are wondering, “Do I need to review my estate plan?” Yes, now is the perfect time to review your estate plan and make any necessary changes.
An experienced estate attorney in Oakland, CA can help you review your estate plan during this difficult time. Our firm can help you develop an effective estate plan over the phone without an in-person meeting.
Reviewing Your Estate Plan During the Pandemic
Estate plans can have several aspects that should be updated on a regular basis or if certain life events occur. For instance, now is a great time to update an existing, or set up a new, advanced health care directive (AHCD). Advanced health care directives stipulate who can make medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself, and what types of decisions they can make. Given the current situation with the novel coronavirus, you should strongly consider setting up an AHCD during the call with your attorney – even if you are young.
There are many other reasons to consider updating an estate plan, such as changing economic conditions. Economic disruptions may lead to a reduction in your income or the value of your estate. Your attorney can help you evaluate the changing economy and how it could affect your estate plan.
Even if you are not sick or suffering from COVID-19, you may find yourself unemployed or concerned about your loved ones. Reevaluating your estate plan can help give you peace of mind.
Additional Reasons for Updating an Estate Plan
If you currently have an estate plan, then you should review it annually. Common reasons why you may want to review your estate plan include:
- Naming a new guardian or trustee
- Changes in marital status
- Birth of a child
- The death of a spouse or other family member
- A substantial change in the value of your assets
- Obtaining an inheritance
- Income level changes
- Entering retirement
Contact an Estate Attorney in Oakland, CA
Now is the perfect time to review your estate plan. It helps to have an experienced estate attorney review your current plans. Without an attorney on your side, you may not have the protection you need for your estate and your loved ones.
To learn more about estate planning in California, give us a call. Contact an estate attorney at Davidson Estate Law at (510) 527-6774 or fill out our confidential contact form. Our main office is located in Oakland, but we also have offices in Berkeley, San Francisco, Walnut Creek, San Jose and San Mateo to better serve you.
Most people do not enjoy contemplating their own mortality. Moreover, they do not enjoy planning for it either. Thus, it is not surprising to find that most Americans have failed to create an end-of-life plan.
Yet, the coronavirus pandemic has reminded us that life is fragile. Thousands of people across the country have died after contracting the virus. In fact, recent research suggests that many more will die over the next several months.
Thus, it is important for you to create an advanced healthcare directive. By doing so, you can avoid the risks of not having an end-of-life plan during the pandemic.
Advanced Healthcare Directive in California
The purpose of an advanced healthcare directive is twofold. First, you can name a healthcare agent. This person will make healthcare decisions for you if you become unable to do so yourself. This document is commonly referred to as a medical power of attorney.
Second, you can create a living will. This document lets you decide which medical treatments you would or would not like to receive under certain circumstances.
In California, an advanced healthcare directive combines both of these documents into a single form.
The Risks of Not Having a California Advance Healthcare Directive
Do you have an advance health directive in California? If not, then you may run into problems during the pandemic. The risks of not having an advance health directive during the COVID-19 outbreak include:
Receiving Treatment You Do Not Want
You may experience severe complications after contracting the coronavirus. These complications could result in you becoming mentally incapacitated. Thus, someone will need to make medical decisions on your behalf.
Without an advanced healthcare directive, there is no guarantee that your healthcare agent will act in your best interests. Also, he or she may not know anything about your healthcare wishes. Thus, you could wind up receiving medical treatment that you would not choose on your own.
Having Someone You Do Not Like Acting As Your Healthcare Agent
Is your relationship with your family a work in progress? If so, then you need to create an advanced healthcare directive immediately. Without one, your treating physician may ask your family to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
For example, your family may not share the same values and wishes as yourself. They could make critical care decisions on your behalf that conflict with your own beliefs. Even worse, they could make critical care decisions on your behalf that are not in your best interests.
Placing Too Heavy of a Burden on Your Family
Alternatively, you may have a great relationship with your family. Yet, you might not want them to have the additional stress of acting as your healthcare agent.
Does this situation apply to you? If so, then you can name someone else as your healthcare agent when creating your advanced healthcare directive.
However, if you choose not to create one, then your family may have to take on the burden of decision-making and act as your healthcare agent.
Learn More About California Advance Healthcare Directive Law
Does the coronavirus pandemic have you thinking about advance care planning? Now is the perfect time to create an advanced healthcare directive. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you create an advanced healthcare directive that is legally sound. He or she can also ensure that your healthcare provider receives a copy of this important document.
To learn more about California advance healthcare directive law, give us a call. Contact Davidson Estate Law today at (510) 527-6774, or fill out our confidential contact form. Our main office is located in Oakland. However, we also have offices in Berkeley, San Francisco, Walnut Creek, San Jose and San Mateo to better serve you.