THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING – UNSETTLING WITH COVID-19
To our past and current clients, advisors, colleagues and friends:
It is the first day of spring of 2020 and instead of looking with anticipation to our summer of fun, we find ourselves in the midst of an unprecedented global crisis, with no clear answers or definite end in sight. Fear of what is to come is unsettling to everyone and we are all feeling a loss of control and sense of helplessness as we try to care for our loved ones. The list of what we cannot control is staggering and shocking. We cannot control the stock market. We cannot control the closing of businesses or the imploding of our economy. We cannot control our ability to access simple things like toilet paper. We can try to be careful with our health, hygiene and safe practices, but we cannot control COVID-19. We find ourselves stunned, saddened and afraid. At WPD, the attorneys and staff members have dedicated lifetimes of work to helping people prepare for what life throws at them. We cannot stop this pandemic nor can we ensure that you will not get sick, but we can help.
As counselors, we want to share information regarding steps you can still take now to have your legal and financial affairs in order and prepare for a medical emergency or death. Most federal and state courts are now closed, which means there may be no avenue to address legal matters if someone becomes incapacitated or dies without legal documents in place to provide for decision-making and handling of finances and the transfer of assets.
Illinois law requires Wills, Living Trusts, Powers of Attorney and other Advance Directives to be executed on paper, in person, and most with witnesses and/or a notary public present. Our policy has always been to include additional witnesses and a notary seal on documents we prepare, even when not required under Illinois law, in case the documents are being administered in a different state, must be recorded, or are ever challenged by someone.
Due to the circumstances and health risks in the world right now, we understand that coming to our office to discuss your circumstances and estate planning needs may not be possible for some people, and is not likely practical. This does not, however, mean you cannot still prepare and execute certain legal documents to provide protection for you and your family in case of emergency. We have options and would like to help you. We can work with you by telephone and e-mail to discuss and prepare documents for you, and will instruct you as to how to execute your documents remotely, in your own home and with as few other people present as necessary.
We have been taking affirmative steps to protect ourselves and our clients by working remotely, minimizing in-person meetings, providing hand sanitizer throughout our office, and regularly and rigorously cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces in our offices, including pens before and after each meeting. However, if leaving your house and coming to our office to take care of your legal needs is not an option, please know that we have do have other options for you and will help you in any way we can to give you some peace of mind during this very frightening time.
Now is not the time to dally or delay. While your college-age students are home, have them execute Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives. While you are able, let’s take care of your family with properly funded Revocable Living Trusts and Wills that address issues related to guardianship of your minor children. We are here. We can help.
Should you have any questions about estate planning, or would like to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.
Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.
This article constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.