COVID-19: PLANNING FOR THE WORST IS WHAT WE DO HERE
Updated as of: September 7, 2021
DGVE law cares deeply about the health of all our clients and team members and all of our extended family members, neighbors, and friends. We are also in the business of providing peace of mind and serving as a source of comfort and order in the event of a tragedy. We want to take a moment to share our plan with you, and also to remind you about your plan.
WE ARE STILL HERE FOR YOU
As early adopters of technology with paperless practices, our team already had everything we needed to be able to shift on a dime in March 2020 to be able to collaborate together while providing our services remotely with minimal interruption. We alternated working from home and from our offices in downtown Hingham Square, finally returning to working full time in our offices in June 2021, while carefully adhering to many safety precautions, including requiring properly-fitted masks, frequent hand-washing & sanitizing, enhanced cleaning protocols, ample social distancing between team members, and the use of medical-grade HEPA filters throughout the office. We are very grateful that our team is now fully vaccinated, though we remain mindful that some of our family members still are not yet age-eligible and others remain extra vigilant due to their heightened risk of severe complications from COVID-19. Although we had hoped that by now we would be able to offer in person meetings again, given the current trajectory of the virus we are still meeting with clients remotely via video conferencing only until further notice based on the evolving guidelines and the best interests of our team members, our families, and our extended client family.
YOUR SAFETY AND CONVENIENCE
You may safely, easily, and conveniently schedule appointments, complete all necessary “paperwork,” and make payments, any time day or night, online, from the comfort of your home.
As always, you are welcome to contact us any time at: 781-740-0848 or firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to request an appointment.
Meeting remotely via free, secure video conferencing with screen-sharing is easy and convenient. We provide step by step instructions to do so simply using your preferred internet browser. You may meet with us via your computer. tablet, or smart phone with camera and microphone access (though the larger your screen the easier it may be for you).
During the peak of the pandemic here in Massachusetts in April 2020 and around our area on the South Shore, we developed a Safely-Distanced Signing Procedure to help our clients sign their original legal documents by hand in front of Witnesses and a Notary Public, as quickly and safely as possible. At that time we routinely offered Safely-Distanced Sidewalk Signings just outside our offices on South Street in downtown Hingham Square, which we are still pleased to do weather-permitting.
When the weather turned cold in late 2020, we adapted to be able to quickly sign in the expansive conference room upstairs inside the DGVE law offices, with properly-fitted face masks, hand sanitizing, and respectful maintenance of social distance required. Although we removed the signs and arrows and other social distance indicators from the door, walls, and floors in late July 2021 in hopeful preparations to reopen the offices more freely, we have not yet been able to do so. We appreciate your cooperation with the ongoing protocols we have in place to help mitigate the spread of the virus and keep one another healthy.
There was a temporary, emergency law that allowed Massachusetts lawyers to offer Remote Notarization via recorded video conferencing for our clients' estate planning legal documents, though that process was slower, costlier, and more cumbersome. That is no longer an option now that the state of emergency has been lifted. Fortunately, our clients may visit our offices, wearing properly-fitted face masks and maintaining social distancing and good hand hygiene, during scheduled appointment times to sign their legal documents in our conference room.
YOUR ESTATE PLAN
It is always vitally important to have ready access to your own critically important legal documents, including your medical directives (to allow the people you trust to access your medical records, contact your health insurance providers on your behalf, and express your wishes and manage your transportation to or admission or discharge to or from any medical facilities). Your financial powers of attorney can also help ensure continuity of management of your bank accounts and bill-paying in the event of your temporary inability to do so yourself.
All DGVE law clients who have completed their estate plans with us should already have complete sets of their comprehensive estate planning legal documents both on paper and in electronic format (the electronic format depends on the year in which we last saw you!). Any clients who need copies of their legal documents can contact our office for assistance. Our clients should also remind their trusted loved ones that our firm is here to help our clients and their trusted agents as needed.
If you are already a member of the DGVE law client family and you want to schedule a review of your existing estate plan, please click here.
If you are not a DGVE law client yet but would like Attorney Danielle G. Van Ess to review and advise you about your existing will, trust, health care proxy, living will, and estate plan, please click here.
YOUR LOVED ONES' HEALTH CARE PROXY, POWER OF ATTORNEY, WILL, OR TRUST
COVID-19 has claimed the lives of so many of our family, friends, and neighbors and we have also lost so many loved ones to other causes in the midst of this global coronavirus pandemic. The DGVE law team empathizes more than we wish we did. Through it all, we are still here to help guide you through the overwhelming practical decisions, the logistical challenges, the financial mysteries and complications, and the relationships between all the other people involved. We can help you understand how to serve as a health care agent under a Health Care Proxy for your loved one, how to access medical records with a HIPAA authorization, how to pay bills and manage property using a general durable Power of Attorney or a Trust, or how to administer your loved one's estate through a Last Will and Testament or Trust.
To schedule a consultation with Attorney Danielle G. Van Ess to discuss your role in helping your loved one, or to learn how to probate an estate in Massachusetts, or how to administer a trust in Massachusetts, please click here.
Wishing you well always,