Estate Planning Weekly COVID-19 Update – 05.12.20
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
Lessons Learned in Quarantine
By: Leah McElmoyl
As many states across the nation begin the process of lifting stay-at-home orders and reopening restaurants, gyms, salons, and other businesses, there is still much uncertainty about how long our lives will be impacted by COVID-19. As much as I would like for things to return to “normal,” I know there will be some changes resulting from this pandemic that are here to stay. Through all the uncertainty, sadness, and fear, I have searched for the positive lessons to be learned from my time sheltering in place. Below are a few things I hope remain long after we are no longer staying 6 feet apart.
Recognition and Appreciation for Essential Workers
I have been encouraged by all of the love and support shown to the people in this country who do the jobs that have been deemed “essential” by state governments. From the nurses, doctors, and first responders who are taking care of the sick and vulnerable to the grocery store clerks, farmers, truck drivers, utility workers, manufacturers, and restaurant workers who have kept us all fed, clothed, and comfortable in our homes – I hope I never again take for granted the people who are doing the jobs that are vital to our survival.
Over the past several weeks, our attorneys, paralegals, and staff have had to adapt to working remotely and interacting with each other and clients via audio and video conferencing rather than in-person. I have been impressed by how quickly and efficiently everyone has adjusted to this “new normal.” I have had numerous Zoom meetings with clients, colleagues, family, and friends during this time, and I am wondering why I never did this sooner. Perhaps I was just unfamiliar with the technology or thought video conferencing would be uncomfortable. Now that I have seen how helpful it can be for clients who are unable to leave their homes, I plan to make it a regular part of my practice moving forward. I have also found it useful for connecting with friends and family who don’t live nearby. Don’t get me wrong – I can’t wait to see everyone in person again soon. But for those times when we can’t be physically present to meet with a client or have dinner with a friend, I hope we make an effort to take advantage of audio-visual conferencing technology.
I have always found it therapeutic to be outdoors. After all, I commute to Chattanooga from my farm in Alabama because I love the land and the open space (and the cows, chickens, cotton, corn, and soybeans that are grown here)…
Is It a Good Idea to Bring Your Parent Home from the Nursing Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
With the coronavirus pandemic hitting nursing homes and assisted living facilities especially hard, families are wondering whether they should bring their parents or other loved ones home.
Also Check Out…
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.
Does Someone Who Has Died Qualify for the Economic Impact Payment (EIP)?
The IRS answers this question in their Q&A section for EIP Eligibility and General Information. “No. A Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions in the Q&A about repayments.” For details, see question 10. You can also read more in this Bloomberg Law article.
New! COVID 19 Related Enrollment Flexibilities – Medicare Part A and Part B Enrollment Equitable Relief for the COVID-19 Pandemic-Related National Emergency
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking further action to ensure beneficiaries have access to the critical health care coverage they need in the wake of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Click here for details, and please contact Amy Boulware on our team if you need assistance or have questions.
US Senator Introduces Bill to End Discriminatory Ventilator Protocols During Pandemic
A U.S. senator has introduced legislation aimed at bringing an end to ventilator triage protocols that advocates worry could be used to discriminate against coronavirus patients on the basis of disability. Click here to read the full article.
Action for Happiness May Calendar
Coping With COVID-19
How Leah Copes with COVID-19
Leah is enjoying her work from the porch. Just look at that farm view!
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.