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Lessons learned from COVID-19 in estate planning

We are all acutely aware of the seriousness of the Coronavirus, or Covid-19. I have to admit that I was a naysayer early on, not believing that a virus could spread so quickly all over the world and with such serious consequences. But, everyday our government leaders and smart doctors emphasize the behaviors that we all must practice to slow the spread of the disease and thereby (hopefully) reduce the number of deaths.

There are other lessons to be learned from this outbreak. We are hearing stories of family members and loved ones not able to be at the bedside of a patient. If you found yourself in that situation, do you know the wishes of your loved ones? Do you have the proper authority to make medical decisions? Are you able to take over someone’s finances?

These questions are easily answered “Yes” if you have a Durable Power of Attorney, a Power of Attorney for Healthcare and a Living Will or Advanced Directive. You, and each of your adult loved ones (including adult children) should have executed these documents ideally drafted by legal counsel.

Durable Power of Attorney
The Durable Power of Attorney allows a person (or persons if you name more than one) to make financial decisions on your behalf if you are unwilling or unable to make those decisions. This might include having access to your bank accounts, investments, real estate and other business interests that you have. Because of the scope of the unlimited authority, it’s important to name someone that you trust, as these powers are without supervision.

Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney for Healthcare names a person (or persons) to have the authority to make medical decisions for you. This could mean authorizing surgery or any other medical treatment. An individual named in this document has the authority to speak with your medical team. Often times privacy laws prevent medical professionals from even speaking with others about your health.

Living Will or Advanced Directive
A Living Will or Advanced Directive is really just an expression of your wishes as to the extent of medical intervention, most commonly at the end of life. This document relieves the burden on your family to make that difficult decision.

Now is a great time to go to your attorney and get these documents prepared for you and your loved ones. If you would like to visit with someone from the TS Prosperity Group in preparation for a meeting with an attorney, give us a call. We would love to talk through the issues with you.

Contact us at 844-487-3115 about any of your current retirement, estate planning or investment needs and we will be happy to answer them to keep you and your family on the path to generational prosperity.


Mary Jewell_updatedMary Jewell serves as a Fiduciary Officer and Vice President for the TS Prosperity Group. She began her career with TS Bank in 2012. Prior to working at TS Bank, she was an agricultural estate-planning specialist for Farm Credit Services and spent 12 years as a trust officer for another regional bank. She spent four years as a planned giving officer for a public foundation and shares her expertise with the Treynor State Community Foundation. She also raised funds for a local non-profit. Mary received her undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her Juris Doctorate from Creighton University. She stays busy with her family of six children and volunteers her time at the Joslyn Castle, the New Cassel Foundation Board, and the Center, in Council Bluffs. She is a member of the Omaha Estate Planning Council and the Nebraska State Bar Association.

Topics: Wealth Management

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