The COVID-19 pandemic affects everyone, but the elderly are particularly vulnerable. They’re more likely to contract the virus, especially if they reside in community living situations, where it’s easier for the virus to spread. And, if they do contract the virus, they’re more likely than their younger cohorts to suffer dire consequences. Given these dangers, they may be wary about attending in-person meetings with their attorneys even if they want to update their estate-planning documents. In addition to health issues, elderly clients also face financial challenges as they deal with market volatility and the decimation of their retirement accounts. And, as always, attorneys also need to be on the lookout for signs of physical and financial elder abuse.
Our Elder Care Committee Report tackles some of these issues. It includes articles on: basic steps planners should recommend to their elderly clients and some opportunities they can consider; the importance of designating a trusted contact person for securities accounts, as required by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority rules; the rules regarding electronic and remote signing of estate-planning documents (the ability to sign documents without leaving their homes is especially important for elderly clients); and best practices and tips in the drafting and execution of property or financial powers of attorney.
We often cover retirement issues, but this month, retirement hits close to home. Thomas G. Opferman has retired and resigned from our editorial advisory board. We wish him the best and thank him for his years of service. In addition, our talented art director, Kathy McGilvery, has retired. Kathy did a great job creating the look and feel of our journal and making the most complicated charts look understandable.