The coronavirus pandemic is showing little sign of slowing across America. To make matters worse, continued research and data have shown that the virus can be debilitating or deadly to people of all age groups, not just elders, as a commonly spread myth perpetuates. As the likelihood of encountering someone with COVID-19 remains steady or even increases in some areas, more and more young adults and college students are thinking about protecting themselves and their futures with estate plans and healthcare powers of attorney.
On Long Island, adjacent to one of the nation’s former coronavirus hotspots in New York City, future planning practices among young adults has considerably increased in the last few months. Many estate planning law firms have seen a spike in business as adults aged 25 to 45 contact them to set up wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other estate planning tools. Before the pandemic, typically only elders, business owners, and parents took the steps to plan ahead for their futures to this extent.
Healthcare Proxy Forms for College Students
Some young adults are completing healthcare proxy forms and healthcare powers of attorney (HCPA), but not necessarily as a result of their own initiatives. Rather, parents who are sending their children to college during the coronavirus pandemic are asking their kids to make these documents before they leave. Colleges and universities have been in the news recently for being epicenters for new outbreaks, especially in states with mild lockdown procedures. It makes sense that many parents are trying to protect their children for the future by requesting they make a healthcare power of attorney.
With an HCPA, a new college student can assign a parent or another trusted family member or friend as their agent or representative. If they become incapacitated due to the coronavirus, then the named agent can make important medical decisions for them. Although COVID-19 rarely causes incapacitation directly, treatments to slow the virus do often rely on placing the patient in a medically induced coma, equipping them with a respirator, and placing them in a deepened state of rest for days, weeks, or more. A healthcare power of attorney would still allow medical decisions to be made for that person by a loved one, rather than purely through a doctor’s choices.
Estate Planning is for Everyone
During the hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic, many all over the country are searching for whatever good can come of this difficult time. The increase in young adults creating HCPAs and other means of estate plans may be one such silver lining.
The fact is that estate planning has always been useful to people from all age groups and financial backgrounds, not just elders and people ready to retire. Hopefully, those who have started future planning due to COVID-19 dangers will never need to use them due to the virus. But understanding estate planning as young adults can be beneficial, and a good thing to have those plans in place.
For many young adults, talking about future healthcare needs and less-than-savory plans can be uncomfortable. Yet the increase of those making plans earlier than anticipated helps reduce uncertainty and demonstrates that estate planning does not have to be intimidating when it is done with the help of an experienced, compassionate attorney.
Educate & Empower Yourself with Our Representation - Serving Long Island, Queens & NYC Metro Area
Our Long Island COVID-19 estate planning attorneys of Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, P.C. believe in the importance of giving our clients the legal tools and knowledge they need to succeed. If you have been concerned about the future due to the coronavirus pandemic, then this is the right time to reach out to our firm. We would be happy to discuss what sort of estate planning tool or power of attorney you should consider based on the unique details of your life, such as your health, age, finances, assets, and more. Together, we can guide you through this process with as little stress as possible.
Call our Long Island firm at (516) 406-8500 to arrange a free consultation.