The worldwide coronavirus sometimes referred to as COVID-19 virus has increasing exponentially since its discovery in China. Every day reveals new aspects and dangers from this condition. Because of this, numerous US cities including the city of Pasadena, have declared states of emergency in the face of this ever-growing threat.
Every day brings new reports of people throughout the world either becoming disabled or dying as a result of this virus and now it’s in our own backyard.
Attorney William Hayes of the Hayes Law Firm in South Pasadena says that whether or not the virus has yet to impact you or your family, now is the time for a candid discussion about your estate planning.
“Many people do not have the necessary documents in place to have someone legally represent them if they should become incapacitated or disabled,” Hayes said recently. “They don’t have powers of attorney in place naming someone to handle their healthcare decisions nor do they have financial powers of attorney in place to make sure that if they are unable to take care of their own affairs, that someone is empowered to make sure that their monthly bills are paid. Utility companies nor your landlord care that you are sick. They just want to be paid and if you haven’t named anyone to do that, you’re setting yourself up for a big problem.”
“Because of the vulnerable state that many people leave themselves in, it is of paramount importance that everyone have something in writing that legally authorizes a trusted friend or family member to speak for them if they are unable to speak for themselves.”
If an adult person should find themselves disabled, they could very well find themselves placed under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Superior Court which would require that all decisions regarding their lives would be handled through the court process known as Conservatorship. This essentially means that for the foreseeable future, the court would oversee your assets and everything that you do. The substantial costs and attorney fees are deducted from the assets of the person who is the subject of the Conservatorship.
“If you should find yourself in a Conservatorship, there’s a high probability that you will come out of that process significantly poorer. You will find yourself going down a rabbit hole and wondering how you got there. Because once you’re under the authority of the court, it’s going to take a lot to be released from court supervision.”
Hayes also cited a hypothetical case of a married man with children contracting the virus. “Let’s say that the husband is now incapacitated”, said Hayes. “He’s not able to do anything to help his family. He may have financial accounts in his name at different institutions for which his wife has no signing authority. Just because she is married to her husband does not automatically give her legal authority to gain access to his accounts.
In order for her to gain access to those accounts, Hayes explained, she would have to file a Conservatorship petition in court to be appointed as his conservator and by that authority, she would then have the legal right to speak on her husband’s behalf and to access the accounts that she needs for the support of their household and to pay for her husband’s medical expenses.
Attorney Hayes also points out that had that man put in place powers of attorney or even better if he had created a living trust, then there wouldn’t have been any court proceeding under the authority of the court. The wife would already have legal authority to act on her husband’s behalf and the family would have saved the tremendous costs that come with going through a Conservatorship proceeding.
Estate planning is definitely not just for the rich. The Hayes Law Firm offers a great deal of information on its website, including articles, videos and reports on what people should and can do to protect themselves. The firm also regularly holds free seminars which explain the numerous benefits of creating an estate plan.
“We always suggest that people come to one of our seminars if they really want to understand what they should do to protect themselves and their families. It’s very easy with these types of matters to put your head in the sand like an ostrich, but ultimately you, your assets and your family will suffer. You can either go through life thinking that you’re going to get around to this at exactly the right moment or you can be proactive and have the comfort of knowing that you’ve done hat is necessary to protect you and your assets. Everyone knows someone who had the best of intentions with regard to completing their planning but ultimately did not get it done in time.”
The estate planning seminars which the Hayes Law Firm offers provide an informative and entertaining way for you to get all of the information that you’ll need. You’ll have the opportunity to have all of your questions fully answered.
The seminars scheduled over the next couple of months deal not only with estate planning, but also specialized presentations are being offered on how to be a trustee or how to prepare yourself to receive Medicaid benefits even if you’re middle-class person.
The US Department of Health and Human Services says that 7 out of 10 people over the age of 65 will have long-term care health problems and 40% of those people will wind up in a nursing home. Your health insurance does not cover long-term care expenses. Medicare only pays for 100 days of long-term care. Remember if you do not have long-term care insurance, the expenses for your care will come directly out of your pocket until you have nothing left to give. This is the reason why 66% of all bankruptcies are due to medical bills.
The Hayes Law Firm will present free estate planning webinars this month on: Trustee, Executor, and Power of Attorney School and Estate Planning: Have You Protected Your Loved Ones?
The Hayes Law Firm offices are located in the historic Baranger Studios building at 729 Mission St., Suite 300, at the intersection of Orange Grove Ave. and Mission St.
“If you would like to attend, call the Hayes Law Firm at (626) 403-2292 and reserve a seat for one of their free seminars or you may also reserve a seat by visiting their website at www.losangelestrustlaw.com/seminars
Check out our previous Post: Preparing for Coronavirus
For more information about The Hayes Law Firm, visit our Google My Business page.
This website is not intended to be a source of solicitation or legal advice. General information is made available for educational purposes only. The information on this blog is not an invitation for an attorney-client relationship, and website should not be used to substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. Please call us at (626) 403-2292 if you wish to schedule an appointment for a legal consultation.