Missouri Bar Association offering FREE estate planning/advanced directives for STL NPs!
The Bar Association of Metropolitan St Louis is pleased to announce a special opportunity for those individuals currently treating COVID-19 patients or who expect to be treating COVID-19 patients in the near future. The Bar Association has recruited local volunteer attorneys to assist those on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 with their estate planning.
The Association has created a webpage (https://www.bamsl.org/index.cfm?pg=HealthcareProBono) for this purpose.
The webpage includes a recording of a Zoom meeting discussing the outlines of basic estate planning as well as the mechanics of completing a Missouri standard Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Advance Directive. The page also includes a link to that form. If your primary concern is completing that document, then that video should be sufficient to guide you through that process.
If, however, you do not have a Will and you believe you (and your spouse, if any) need one, then that webpage also includes a form by which you can request a volunteer attorney’s assistance in creating a Will, without charge. Generally speaking, a Will is needed for those who have minor children and who would like to name a guardian in the event the child’s other natural parent cannot serve, and/or for those who own property in their own name (not in joint tenancy and not with a named beneficiary or special designee) and who wish for that property to go to someone other than what state law provides. In general terms, state law provides that the property of a decedent without a Will passes to the decedent’s spouse, if any, or children, if any, or to the decedent’s parents and siblings.
Please be aware that the Will and other basic documents these attorneys have agreed to prepare are intended to be emergency stop-gap documents only and are NOT a substitute for complete estate planning. They will not include trusts and will have a limited ability to be tailored for your individual needs. They should, however, allow you to create durable powers of attorney and a basic Will. Once this crisis passes, you should continue to work with your attorney to ensure that these documents are updated in a way to continue to meet your needs (that work may not be pro bono).
This program is intended to give some peace of mind to those who believe that their lives may be at risk from treating COVID-19 patients. Its resources are limited, and we may not be able to assist all applicants. But we will do our best.
In the meantime, we wish all of you continued safety and good health.