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Why COVID-19 has put a spotlight on POAs in estate planning

We stressed in our immediately preceding blog post a suddenly elevated estate planning emphasis for many Americans. What we specifically noted in our Law Offices of Connie Yi April 7 entry is that “an increasingly key focus for many planners during the current pandemic is on power of attorney designations and linked document execution.”

Why is that? What is it about the COVID-19 health care crisis that promotes a spiked interest in estate planning centered on POA documentation?

We surmise that many readers of our Bay Area blog posts will regard the answer to such a question as obvious. Coronavirus is unsettling for myriad reasons, of course, but what is most unnerving is the sheer uncertainty concerning it. How long will the crisis last? What will be the ultimate toll?

Those and related queries cannot be presently answered. What is certain, though, is that COVID-19 is firmly on the country’s radar and a nemesis that is now confronting an unprecedented level of national commitment and resources.

As the crisis plays out, increasingly more people are focused on POAs relevant to finances and health care. A recent national article on estate planning entitled “The one document Americans need now” underscores that the uncertainty surrounding the virus cements for many individuals and families a strong realization.

That is this: their need to timely name trusted parties to act on their behalf in the event of incapacity.

A durable power of attorney for finances and a linked advance health directive (living will) promote that outcome at any time, of course. It is simply the case the possibly stark downsides of COVID-19 playing out in a given case render it a heightened imperative for planners to act now.

Doing so can confer enhanced peace of mind, as well as provide clarity for loved ones and future family generations.

Questions concerning this important subject matter can be directed to an experienced estate planning and tax attorney.

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