Healthcare Decisions and Access to Lawyers and Notaries
April 8, 2020
Gay Jones & Kuhn recognizes that access to legal resources and notaries may be a challenge for many during the outbreak of COVID-19. In response to these needs, our firm has set up a remote legal team which provides a variety of resources, including online legal consultation, document review, new document preparation, and access to notary services. We can work with you and/or your family member to provide the healthcare legal services needed remotely. Governors in several states, including Mississippi and Arkansas, have signed orders allowing for remote notarization during this pandemic. Click the links here to view the Executive Orders for Arkansas and Mississippi.
As you take steps to protect your family during this time, you and your family may need legal healthcare directives and estate planning documents reviewed or prepared. During this time of uncertainty, having healthcare directives and estate plans in place is essential and can be reassuring, especially for those most vulnerable. These documents state your wishes regarding treatment during life and after death.
General Durable Power of Attorney - A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a trusted family member or friend as an agent or agents for you to handle your financial decisions in the event something happens to you and you are unable to handle them yourself. A Power of Attorney contains very broad powers, which are sometimes necessary given the uncertainty the future can hold. This document must be notarized and may need to be filed with the court.
Advance Health Care Directive - A Healthcare Directive is a standard form in most states that allows you to appoint individuals to make health care decisions for you, in the event you are unable to do so. It also allows you to make medical decisions and designate whether there is medical treatment you would prefer not to receive if there is no chance of recovery from a medical illness. This document should be notarized, if possible, and copies should be shared with your medical providers if you are hospitalized.
Last Will and Testament - A Will outlines your decisions about who will receive your property at your death. It also allows you to select who will oversee the administration of your estate. In your will, you may also choose and designate a legal guardian for your minor children. A Will is a way to assist heirs and eliminate an enormous amount of stress and emotions related to your property following your death. This document has several requirements for signature and witnesses to ensure it is valid.