At The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen, we are changing the way we work with clients during this time, because as always, the health and well-being of our clients and employees are our top priority. In this time of 'social distancing' we are working remotely, offering telephone and videoconferencing to our clients. We have also established several protocols to execute estate planning documents in a manner that is as safe as possible. While we have implements temporary changes in the way we work, it will not make drafting or changing a plan impossible.
Now more than ever, it is important to implement an estate plan if you do not have one, or review your current estate plan to ensure it meets your present intentions. At a minimum, you should ensure to have implemented the following critical estate documents:
- Last Will and Testament;
- Durable Power of Attorney; and
- Health Care Proxy and Living Will
Last Will and Testament
In Massachusetts, a valid Will must be in writing and signed by the Testator in the presence of two disinterested witnesses. The Will may be made "self-proved" by a Self-Proving Affidavit of the Testator and two witnesses in front of a Notary Public, which simplifies the probate process. However, if you are unable to access a Notary during this time, a valid Will can still be executed without a Self-Proving Affidavit.
Durable Power of Attorney
Generally, a Durable Power of Attorney appoints and agent to handle your financial and legal affairs in your stead. In Massachusetts, a Durable Power of Attorney must be in writing, signed by the Principal, dated, and signed in the presence of a Notary Public.
Health Care Proxy of and Living Will
Generally, a Health Care Proxy appoints an agent to make health related decisions in the event you are unable, while a Living Will gives your written instruction as to the care you wish and do not wish to receive. In Massachusetts, a Health Care Proxy and Living Will must be in writing, signed by the Principal, dated, and signed in the presence of two disinterested witnesses. Notarization is recommended but not required.
Get in Touch
At this time, we remain operational and we are assisting our clients virtually. We are honored to help you protect your family at a time of great uncertainty. To ensure everyone's continued health and safety, we can prepare critical estate documents by phone, video conferencing, and email. We are available for document executions, so long as it remains safe to do so, while practicing social distancing. Alternatively, we can provide the finalized documents with signing instructions, and also be available by phone or video conferencing to oversee the signing to make sure the documents are signed according to law and become valid.
Sending Safe and Healthy Wishes.