Elder E-Letter: Spring 2020

We’re still practicing elder law during the coronavirus pandemic, just in a different way!

Elder Law Askit Baskit: Preparing for Sickness

Coronavirus is all over the news and yes—it’s here in San Antonio, too. Fortunately, Bexar County residents are practicing social distancing to flatten the curve and save lives, including yours and your loved ones. We’re living in uncertain times. Hopefully you will stay well, but it’s good idea to be prepared in case you get sick.

You may have gotten your affairs in order 20 years ago and stuck your documents in a filing cabinet somewhere, but a lot can change in 20 years. Perhaps your children are grown, or you have gotten divorced, or your spouse’s health has declined. In fact, you may be a caregiver now for someone you’ve appointed to help you when you can’t make decisions for yourself. If any of this rings true for you, it’s time to update your Advance Directives.

Here’s a look at the documents you should have in case you get sick:

Medical Power of Attorney

This document designates someone to make healthcare decisions for you if you’re unable to make them yourself. This document does not become effective until you are incapacitated.

HIPAA Authorization

This document gives medical providers permission to release medical records to your medical agent even while you have capacity. This document can be especially helpful for your appointed agent to handle your billing and insurance claims when you are sick.

Directive to Physicians

This document is sometimes called a Living Will. It allows you to decide in advance if you wish to have artificial measures used to sustain life when you are near death if your condition is irreversible or terminal.

If you already have your Advance Directives, good for you! That’s one less thing to worry about during this already stressful time. However, if you haven’t had a chance to get your Advance Directives together, give us a call at (210)892-4555. Our law firm is an essential business under the “Stay Home Work Safe” declaration. We are committed to serving the elderly and disabled during the Coronavirus pandemic. As you can see in our pictures, most of us are working from home, but our trusty office manager, Toni Obrien, is holding down the fort and she’s still scheduling virtual and telephonic appointments with our legal team to help meet people’s needs.

We also recognize that some of you may get sick unexpectedly and may not have time to have an attorney draft Advance Directives for you. There also may be some of you who cannot afford legal counsel at this time. Don’t let anything stand in the way of getting your Advance Directives done. TexasLawHelp.org has free, readymade forms for the general public. Click here to access the forms.

Happenings

We usually post pictures of community events we’ve attended in our Happenings section. However, we can’t physically be out in the community because public events are cancelled and we must practice social distancing. Still, the community needs us more than ever, so we are showing our love and support but from a distance.

We’ve made monetary donations to the San Antonio Food Bank and to Jefferson Outreach, both of which are delivering free food to seniors in need.

If you are able to contribute money, click here to donate to the San Antonio Food Bank. If you are unable to give monetarily, give the world your good vibes. Extra kindness, patience, and calmness is needed right now.

Click here to donate to Jefferson Outreach.

Here are some additional services for seniors who may need help with food during this time.

Perhaps the most memorable thing during the coronavirus pandemic will be the toilet paper shortage. Running low? Have no fear. You can restock your toilet paper and household staples while supporting local businesses.

Bill Miller Bar-B-Q is offering toilet paper for $1 per roll, with a limit of 12 rolls per person while supplies last. Half gallons of whole milk are also available for $3 each, while supplies last.

Sangria on the Burg is offering quarantine packs with eggs, toilet paper, milk, rice and beans.

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