As this pandemic continues, we at Finkel & Fernandez are here to help you with your legal issues, guardianship questions, and planning needs. Given the Governor’s “Stay At Home” mandate, planning is certainly more challenging to accomplish. In-office or at-home consultations are no longer a possibility for now. However, that does not mean that all planning opportunities are gone. We can consult by telephone or video conference to move forward at this critical time.
Estate Planning: On April 7, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.14, authorizing virtual witnessing of documents in New York State. The Governor’s Executive Order 202.07, issued March 19, 2020, had previously authorized virtual notarization. Together, these two Executive Orders provide planning opportunities we can navigate together while social distancing protocols remain in place.
We are offering all of our current and new clients telephone or video consultations to guide you in your planning needs at this time. We will review your documents already in place, discuss additional or updated documents needed, and explore any changes you wish to make to your living directives and or post-mortem planning. We can advise you on Last Wills and Testaments, Living Trusts, Asset Protection Trusts, Supplemental Needs Trusts, Health Care Proxies, Powers of Attorney, Nominations of Guardian, Living Wills, Statements of Intent to Return Home, Asset Protection, Benefits Assessments, Estate Administration and Probate, and Guardianship proceedings and representation.
To meet the requirements of the Executive Orders for the formal execution of documents with remote witnessing and or notarization, each participant must have an Internet connection, a device capable of video conferencing, a scanner, and a printer. We understand that many of our clients do not have the technology to complete remote document execution, and we caution you that now is not a time to bring others into your home to help you get set up. In these cases, we are conducting in-depth consultations and providing counsel and document drafts for our clients’ review and approval, and will schedule in-person document executions as soon as it is safe to do so in our office or at a home appointment.
Guardianship Proceedings: New York State Courts are hearing emergency applications related to guardianship proceedings. If an alleged incapacitated person is at grave risk due to present conditions, we are able to address the Court to seek urgent relief. As of April 13, 2020, non-emergency guardianship matters are being rescheduled, conferenced, or resolved by remote teleconferences or video conferences with the Court. We will be notifying all of our clients involved in pending proceedings regarding rescheduled matters. We are continuing to prepare petitions and motions in new non-emergency guardianship applications and ongoing guardianship matters for filing when the Courts reopen.
Estate Administration and Probate Matters: We are preparing the paperwork to be ready for filing so we can expedite the process once the Courts reopen.
We are here for you to remotely and safely guide you in getting your legal affairs in order, and are available during regular business hours for telephone or video appointments. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns we may be able to assist you with. We wish you safety and good health during this difficult time. Please stay home, safe, healthy, and socially connected while remaining physically distanced.