By now, you’ve probably received half a dozen or more emails from companies telling you they’re monitoring Coronavirus, that they’re cancelling group events, that their thoughts and prayers are with you, and that they’re there for you.

Estate Planning > Toilet Paper

I want you to know that we’re handling this event with care, too. And at the end of this article, I’ll tell you what we’re doing to limit the spread of the virus.

But rather than getting all swept away, wallowing in why we’re all victims of this terrible affliction, and wringing our hands about what we’re going to do, I want to help give you some tools to empower you. So you can get *ahead* of this and handle this challenging situation with relative ease and grace, not panic.

At CFEP, we believe that problems create opportunities, and we believe that this potential problem may create the opportunity to encourage those of you that have been procrastinating to finally get a plan in place. If you’re feeling anxious about the news, then be proactive and make sure you have an up-to-date, comprehensive estate plan that includes detailed health care directives, financial powers of attorney, and makes things as easy as possible for your family if you should become sick.

If you have college age children, know that once they turned 18, your parental rights were cut off. If they don’t have health care directives and powers of attorney in place, give us a call to discuss.

In the meantime, it bears repeating the recommendations to prevent infection: regular hand-washing, covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness. In other words, pretty standard stuff.

Here are some less standard things we would ask you to add to your list:

  • Please keep in mind that if schools close, there will be a good number of children who will lose two meals a day that need those meals. Please consider increasing or beginning donations to local food pantries.
  • Please remember that though CFEP has taken measures to work remotely if needed, many people will still need to go to their jobs in order to pay their bills and may not have adequate child care if their kids can’t go to school. If you’re in a position to help those needing childcare please do so. 
  • Check on your neighbors, especially if they are elderly, and make sure they have food, medications, and supplies.
  • Small business and restaurants are already feeling the impact and if the trend continues, many won’t be able to support their families. When possible, shop and eat local. If you’re not comfortable dining out right now, order takeout or stop by your favorite place and buy a gift certificate for future use when things settle down.

What we’re doing to protect our staff and clients

As is always the case--nothing is more certain in life but change. That’s why at CFEP, we’ve always focused on changing, improving, and adapting.

We are prepared to do 90% of our work via phone or video conferencing. Unfortunately, estate planning documents cannot be signed electronically. Thus, we can make arrangements for you to sign your documents at our office or we can send you signing instructions (though you’ll need to arrange for a notary and two witnesses who are unrelated to you).

Knowing that we regularly work with seniors and the immuno-compromised, who are at greater risk, as soon as word of coronavirus first hit the news, we began taking additional disinfection measures in our office.

We have adopted a ‘no hand-shaking’ policy. Our janitorial services are disinfecting each evening. Upon arriving at the office, each team member is washing his or her hands and disinfecting his or her workstation. All common areas, restrooms, breakrooms, light switches, door handles, and so forth are being disinfected each morning. Client meeting rooms are being disinfected in between each meeting.

Our policy has always been and remains that any member of our team who isn’t feeling well is encouraged to stay home. We can’t do our best work for our clients unless we keep ourselves, each other, and our clients healthy.

Almost everyone on our team has a laptop and is able to work remotely, so we can keep helping our clients, even if it becomes necessary to quarantine. We will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation very closely, with the safety of our clients and our team as our top priority.  

Bottom line: We are fully prepared and committed to moving you forward towards your goals and help you have peace of mind that your affairs are in order. 

If you need assistance with something, please ask us. We’ll do everything we can to offer it.

Let’s get through this together. Onward!