PRACTICING LAW DURING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC AND WHAT YOU NEED NOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF LEGALLY SHOULD YOU BECOME ILL.
We all are living through uncertain times. Many of us are feeling out of control of things in our lives: working remotely; not being able to work; teaching our children remotely; wearing masks; not being able to hug, shake hands and greet people like we have been able to in the past. Many of us have felt isolated and in fear for our health and of that of our family members.
I continue to work out of my new Law Office Suite that I created last year with Attorney Mark Armstrong at Dracut Village Square, 101 Broadway Road, Suite #11, Dracut, MA. I host my State Representative Local District Office there as well. At this time, my legislative aides are working remotely for their health so office hours are by appointment only. The office is handicapped accessibility and lots of parking near Dr. Saro’s Chiropractic Office, Sports Madness and Scola’s Restaurant. While Attorney Mark Armstrong and I share office space, we each have our own individual law practice.
The Massachusetts Court System is working under strict rules and have had staff working remotely and many hearings have been occurring via zoom or over the telephone. Because of these conditions, many cases have been delayed or continued. It has been extremely frustrating for clients and attorneys alike. We must remember that the health and safety of the employees of the Court System and those of the public who need access to justice are at stake during this pandemic. That does not mean that cases can not be filed and work their way through the system but it does mean it will most likely take longer. No one can guarantee any timelines in these matters unfortunately. I guess we are all learning to practice patience!
With news stories of another wave of COVID coming, it is even more vital that you have your legal affairs in order. Should you or a loved one get hospitalized, the limitation of visitors necessitate the need for health care proxies and power of attorneys should the patient become unable to speak for themselves. Should a hospitalized person need to apply for MassHealth and they do not have joint bank accounts or a power of attorney to obtain the necessary bank documents to apply, the process becomes much harder. Even transferring the patient to a rehabilitation facility becomes difficult sometimes if they do not have a health care proxy and have limited mental capacity or clarity. A longer and more expensive guardianship court process may be required. Did you know that you can only execute a health care proxy and power of attorney if you have legal capacity? That means you need to do it before dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; debilitating brain injuries from strikes or accidents limit your ability to understand and execute these necessary documents.
To avoid much more expensive and time limited court actions, creating these documents now is the smarter, more cost effective thing to do. If funds are limited, a more comprehensive estate planning option can be done at a later date. I would recommend executing a simple will; power of attorney and health care package now.
I can create and execute your package for $500 per individual and special pricing $800 per couple. We can meet remotely via a telephone call or zoom meeting to discuss your package and then meet safely in my office to execute the documents. We require masks and observe all necessary safety protocols in our office.
You can reach me at (978) 459-2250 or email@example.com to schedule an appointment.
Hoping to help you with all of your legal needs! Please stay safe and well!
Your Family Attorney,