Estate Planning Weekly COVID-19 Update – 12.10.20
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.
While many of us continue to work remotely, we are collaborating to implement creative and resourceful solutions to meet the needs of our clients.
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. In person document signings at our office are generally being done abiding carefully by social distancing protocols. And the governors of Tennessee and Georgia have in recent months extended executive orders which enable “virtual document signings” for a limited period of time.
As we wrap up 2020 and head into 2021, we hope you’ve found these newsletters informative. We wish you and your loved ones a healthy, peaceful holiday season! 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
Save the Date: Upcoming Webinar with Amy Boulware and Sally Brewer
Demystifying Conservatorship: When Is It Needed and How Does It Work?
Amy and Sally will discuss and help you understand when and why you may need to seek a legal guardian, as well as help inform you about the court process, responsibilities, alternative options, and community resources available to you.
Date: January 26, 2021
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 P.M.
Stay tuned for more details about this webinar!
How to Stay Connected With Loved Ones in Care Facilities During COVID-19 Pandemic
Amy Boulware, Care Manager for Elder Law and Special Needs Planning at Chambliss, speaks on behalf of the entire Estate Planning team to let clients know the firm is thinking about them and their loved ones. Throughout the pandemic, many of us have not been able to physically connect with loved ones living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, senior living developments, and other vulnerable areas. While we may be far apart in distance, there are still ways we can stay virtually and emotionally connected. Watch this video for some of Amy’s tips on what you can be doing while a loved one is living away from you. Some ideas include mailing a card or package, reading a book together on a voice or video call, engaging with the staff, or calling when you can – even if it’s just for a few minutes so they can hear your voice.
Estate Planning Resources
Will People With Disabilities Have Priority for a COVID-19 Vaccine?
The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly devastating to people with disabilities. Recent studies indicate that they are three times as likely to die from the virus as the general population…
Ability to Withdraw Money Early from Retirement Plan Without Penalty Expires at the End of the Year
If you are experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, you may want to consider withdrawing money from your retirement account while you still can. The special exemption allowing early withdrawals without a penalty ends soon…
Also Check Out…
Dana Perry and Amy Boulware to Speak at the 10th Annual Probate and Estate Law Conference
Click here to view Dana and Amy’s on-demand presentation, “Special Needs Estate Planning: Crash Course of What If and How to” which covers details related to Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the conservatorship and guardianship journey, special needs trusts, ABLE accounts, and much more.
Retirement Community’s ‘Hugging Wall’ Allows for Touch During Pandemic
Westminster-Canterbury set up a “hugging wall.” It’s a simple concept: a plastic shower liner is attached with curtain rings to a pipe that hangs in a square from the ceiling. The resident goes inside the three-sided curtained space while their children or grandchildren or whomever they feel like hugging remains on the outside. They hug through the plastic, which is loose enough to allow for a full embrace. The curtain is later fully disinfected with an electrostatic sprayer. The hugging wall fits into the resortlike retirement community’s mission to protect and promote both physical and emotional well-being.
Pfizer and BioNTech Achieve First Authorization in the World for a Vaccine to Combat COVID-19
Pfizer and BioNTech announced today that the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in the U.K. has granted a temporary authorization for emergency use for their COVID-19 mRNA vaccine against COVID-19. This constitutes the first Emergency Use Authorization following a worldwide Phase 3 trial of a vaccine to help fight the pandemic. Click here to read the full press release.
Vaccine Chief Thinks Shots Will Be Long-Lasting
The head of the U.S. vaccine development effort said Sunday he believes the COVID-19 vaccine could have a long-lasting effect once distributed. Dr. Moncef Slaoui told CNN’s “State of the Union” that only time will tell for certain, but that in his opinion, the vaccine’s effectiveness could last for “many, many years,” with older people and others who are more vulnerable requiring a booster every three to five years. Click here to read more.
Starbucks Offering Free Coffee to Health Care Workers and First Responders the Entire Month of December
Through New Year’s Eve, any person who identifies as a frontline responder to the coronavirus pandemic will be served a tall brewed iced or hot coffee at no cost. The company says the perk is “in response to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and to recognize the significant efforts of the front-line responder and health care community.” Click here to read more.
Coronavirus Tax Breaks Ending Soon, Along With 2020
For retirement account holders, there are a few days left before we turn the page in which to take advantage of certain one-time tax breaks in the coronavirus relief legislation passed last March. The CARES Act included several temporary provisions relating to qualified retirement accounts like IRAs, 401(k), and 403(b) plans. If you haven’t already done so, you still have time to evaluate whether you might benefit.
Explainer: How Phones Can Alert You to COVID-19 Exposure
Apple and Google co-created “exposure notification” technology to alert phone users if they spent time near someone who tests positive for the coronavirus, so they know to get tested, too. More than 8.1 million people in the U.S. have turned their iPhones and Android devices into pandemic contact-tracing tools.
Coping With COVID-19
Happy Holidays from the Chambliss
Estate Planning Team!
We wish you and your loved ones a very happy and safe holiday season! We look forward to serving you into 2021 and for years to come.
*2019 Estate Planning Holiday Team Photo
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.