Being Prepared for Uncertainty

Whoa–things have changed so fast in the last few weeks. The threat of coronavirus seemed like a problem for other countries and other parts of our country until just recently.

Now we’re all feeling the impact and the fear of getting sick.

There is so much about this pandemic that we cannot control. But there are some things we can do. In addition to washing hands and social distancing, there are things we can do to be prepared should we get infected.

Being prepared for coronavirus is possible.

We know that many people who test positive for coronavirus recover well at home with no hospital support. Those that do require hospitalization or experience severe symptoms may take 3-6 weeks to fully recover from the virus.

Planning for a temporary incapacity now can save you later.

Imagine that you are ill for 3-6 weeks, are you ready? Do you have a financial agent or proxy that can help? Is that person outside of your household? Do they have easy access to your bills and finances?

Here is a quick list of things you can do to get ready for the coronavirus:

  1. Complete/Update a POA–There has never been a more urgent time to make sure your advance directive for healthcare and your power of attorney for finances are complete and accurately reflect your wishes.  Both require witnesses; and if you are in quarantine or in a hospital, you may not have access to witnesses (as medical providers are usually not allowed to be witnesses). Ideally, you do this through an attorney, but there are resources for completing them on your own during this crisis: Georgia Power of Attorney and Georgia Advance Directive.  Then once you can safely meet with an attorney, you should do so to get your estate planning done properly.
  2. Set up Online Access to Financial Accounts–By creating online access to bank accounts, your financial agent (or person you name in your power of attorney to help with financial matters) will have an easier way of stepping into your shoes and handling your financial matters. You can easily create online accounts, and then store those usernames and passwords somewhere secure (yet accessible for your agent).
  3. Links Bills to Your Online Checking Account–Link as many of your bills as you can to your bank’s online bill pay service. Doing so will allow the person with access to your online accounts to pay your bills easily and efficiently.
  4. Share Your Information with Your Agent–Create a file of important papers, account information, and online log-on information. Store this file in a safe, secure location that your agent can access.

Although this post focuses on being prepared for illness related to the coronavirus, this list could be applied towards preparedness for any critical illness. Having your financial affairs in order, and your financial agent ready to act, can save you a tremendous amount of stress and financial mishaps.

While you’re getting things done, you can also stop the amount of annoying and unnecessary mail coming into your house–check out our last newsletter about ending junk mail.

We all at Senior Partners hope that you are safe and well.  These are stressful times. Hope this information helps you be prepared.

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