The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a slowdown in everyday activities, but certain life events do not wait for a more convenient time. In health emergency situations, legal services are still required, and conscientious legal services providers value the rights and needs of seniors while attending to their clients’ health and safety. Changes are being made to provide services while protecting the health of both provider and client. The following are some considerations that are meant to provide you with essential legal help while reducing risks to your health.
In general, the safety of the greater community is paramount during these times. Legal assistance providers, such as attorneys and courts, must keep abreast of — and abide by — the ever-changing government directives and guidelines for public safety.
Office management has been affected by the pandemic, often resulting in reduced staff and more remote employees. This can affect communications and timely delivery of services and resources. Social distancing has caused offices to learn and engage new technologies to allow for virtual meetings and even virtual court cases.
Restrictions on time, mobility, and face-to-face interaction can result in new sets of priorities and time management strategies. This can cause delays in meetings and court cases. In order to accommodate the special needs of vulnerable seniors, many services, such as help desks, hearings, and document delivery, can be done remotely via Zoom, Skype, and other means.
There are many channels of communication open that do not put older clients in at-risk situations, such as social media accounts, websites, email, phone, and local media.
Many courts are limiting personal appearances, and some have temporarily closed. Others have instituted methods to continue functioning, such as arranging phone and video links, using documentary evidence to rule without personal appearance, and simply ordering continuances.
The current pandemic has not only not stopped, but in some cases increased, major life events, such as home sales, lawsuits, deaths, scams, and other serious issues. Rest assured that Painter Elder Law remains available to help you navigate these uncertain times. We practice the latest and best precautions to protect our clients and ourselves. But that doesn’t mean we can’t help you. We are available for phone and video conferences, and — yes! — we can meet face-to-face when necessary. The governor has authorized face-to-face meetings for certain legal matters of an emergency nature.
Your legal needs — wills, Medicaid issues, power of attorney, estate planning and administration, veterans benefits, etc. — are important to you and to us, and these needs don’t stop for anything. Please don’t hesitate to contact Painter Elder Law at any time so we can begin working with you to take care of your legal needs and ease your mind!