Estate Planning Weekly COVID-19 Update – 05.05.20
This weekly COVID-19 update is brought to you by our Chambliss Estate Planning team. We are sharing articles, legal developments, external resources, and tips for coping during these uncertain times. Each weekly issue will cover various trends of vital interest in the world of estate planning, elder law, and special needs planning. To be added to our email list, please subscribe.
Dear Clients and Friends:
While many of us are working remotely at present, we are also collaborating to implement creative and resourceful solutions to meet the needs of our clients in this uniquely challenging time.
We are doing planning consultations, document signings, care coordination, drafting of documents, and all related work—in sum, all the types of work we usually do. We have generally moved most meetings to either Zoom video conference or audio conference calls. In person document signings at our office are generally being done abiding carefully by social distancing protocols. Moreover, the governors of Tennessee and Georgia have recently signed executive orders which enable “virtual document signings” for a limited period of time.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can assist you with your elder law, special needs planning, or estate planning needs.
— Dana, Greg, and your Chambliss team
How Bermuda Prepared Me for Living in Tennessee
By: Mae Shelley
Recent severe storms with tornadoes causing extensive damage and several casualties in our area have reminded us that NOW is the time to prepare – if we haven’t already.
Before moving to Chattanooga two years ago, I had the privilege of living in the beautiful islands of Bermuda for 32 years. I experienced more than a dozen hurricanes, some having spin off tornadoes. Bermuda’s first settlement was actually the result of a hurricane wrecking the ship ‘Sea Venture’ upon the reef during the 17th century. Thankfully, through the years, Bermudians have developed strict building codes because hurricanes occur so frequently. Bermudians are so well prepared that I would rather be on the tiny island of Bermuda during a hurricane than anywhere else.
I have come to realize my previous preparation for hurricanes is very similar to our preparation for tornadoes. And, it is wonderful to see the Chattanooga community (and other communities across the U.S.) pull together, like the Bermudians, during a disaster and help their neighbors.
So, what is the most important thing you can do to prepare for hurricanes, tornadoes, or other catastrophic events? The best tip I have is to PLAN AHEAD!
Our Chambliss Estate Planning team is constantly having strategic conversations with clients about planning – for their own future and for their loved ones and generations to come. Estate planning tools like a will, power of attorney, advance directive for health care, trust, care plan, etc. are all vital to protect your health wishes, assets, and life plan. They are especially important should a catastrophic or unexpected event happen. However, we also know the importance of keeping yourself and your family safe. This article shares what I have learned from personal experience, and our team hopes it will be helpful to you in some way.
A Letter of Instruction Can Spare Your Heirs Great Stress
While it is important to have an updated estate plan, there is a lot of information that your heirs should know that doesn’t necessarily fit into a will, trust, or other components of an estate plan.
Should Seniors Who Lose Their Job During the Coronavirus Pandemic Claim Social Security Benefits Early?
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment is skyrocketing. Seniors who lose their jobs may be tempted to claim Social Security benefits early, but should they, given the resulting reduction in future benefits?
Also Check Out…
211 – Be the Change-Maker for Those in Need
United Way of Greater Chattanooga knows these past months have been very difficult for many people. Individuals can contact 211 to access free and confidential crisis and emergency counseling, disaster assistance, food, assistance with health care and insurance assistance, housing and utility assistance, childcare and family services, and more.Their trained information and referral specialists can help connect people in need with the best resources available.
Be a Friend to the Elderly, Get Paid
Combating loneliness is vital work. Services that offer “grandkids on demand” are doing just that. Founded in 2018, Papa pairs older adults with college students and young workers who have common interests and hobbies. Papa pals once played card games or worked on memoirs with the seniors they have befriended. Today they are FaceTiming or calling each other to discuss a world in disarray. Some have shifted to running errands or picking up groceries and prescriptions. Read more
Certain SSI & VA Beneficiaries Required to Take Additional Steps to Receive Dependent Payments
The IRS announced last Friday that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and VA beneficiaries who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 must use the online non-filers form by TODAY, May 5, to receive additional $500 payments this year for each of their dependents under age 17. See full Justice in Aging update.
Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS)
As we face COVID-19 together, DHS has adjusted their operations to help keep customers and community members healthier by reducing practices that make it easy to spread COVID-19. Visit the DHS website for more information about receiving services during this time of elevated health risks.
How Are You Celebrating Cinco de Mayo Today?
Source: Picture by Workweeklunch.com
“From left to right: the best fish tacos I’ve ever had, mezcalitas, chile Rellenos (my fave) and homemade mole ranchero, rice and a quesadilla during a Mexican cooking class.”
We’re learning how to wrap the perfect burrito!
[Watch]: How To Wrap A Burrito Like A Pro
Coping With COVID-19
How Amy Copes with COVID-19
It’s amazing to see all the different styles of face masks. Here’s Amy wearing one she made at home. We love her “groovy flowers”!
Our Chambliss team continues to monitor legal developments in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact Jim Catanzaro, Justin Furrow, or your relationship attorney if you have questions or need additional information.