Despite the strain and stress of social distancing during the pandemic on families across the country, it hasn’t impressed the need for advanced health care directives on the average American. A poll of 2000 adult seniors ages 50 to 80 was conducted after the height of the pandemic, and researchers found that just 7 percent of participants said they were motivated to prepare for the future by the outcomes of the deadly pandemic. The vaccine has pushed much of the panic associated with the early days of the pandemic to the back of many memories, but with new variants on the rise – deaths associated with Covid-19 are not completely in the past. A vast majority of adults age 50 and over have not planned for their wishes should they become incapacitated or seriously ill. While many senior citizens are among the most vaccinated group across the country, they are many who are at risk. Even if there weren’t a global pandemic raging around us, the benefits of an advanced health care directive could not be stressed and championed enough.
The Importance of Estate Planning During Covid-19
The ability to clearly outline in a legal document your wishes and dislikes regarding medical intervention is what many families needed during the last year. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 8 in 10 of those who died from Covid-19 were over the age of 65, yet not even 10% of those in the same age group felt the situation was serious enough to warrant making end of life and serious illness plans. Just a mere 1% of seniors were compelled to create, complete, or update existing advance care plans. Marketing and research teams at AARP were shocked by these stats, and they have started the conversation about how older adults can better prepare for the unpredictability of the future. According to senior living experts, older adults should make it their goal for the year to put two critical legal instruments into place. They should work with an attorney to create a medical durable power of attorney and an advance directive, which is also commonly referred to as a living will.
- Medical Durable Power of Attorney: A legal document that allows a chosen proxy to make your health care decisions in the event you become incapacitated.
- Advance Health Care Directive: A legal document that outlines what healthcare procedures and interventions you want or do not want performed in the event of you are unable to make the decision for yourself.
Once you’ve completed these documents with your family law attorney, you can file your advance directive with the State of California Advance Health Care Directive Registry (AHCDR.) The AHCDR keeps a copy of your advance directive on files so medical professionals can access a copy during an emergency to find out your wishes. Your family can also access the document, so they are aware of your wishes.
Empathetic and Compassionate Lawyers Helping Clients Document Their Wishes
At Cecil Cianci Law, PA, we help clients realize estate planning is for everyone. Unfortunately, estate planning continues to be seen as a tool of the wealthy or affluent, but everyone's family can benefit from the clarity provided by these powerful legal documents. None of us knows what the future holds, but we can plan for the worst and hope for the best. We can help you put your wishes into action.
Call us today at (916) 675-3866 to schedule a consultation or use our online contact form to make an appointment with one of our estate planning lawyers.