New Indiana guidelines let you create documents from home to help family, doctors if you get sick

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Extreme stress during the COVID-19 pandemic can make it difficult to consider the worst case scenario, but health officials say now is an important time to think about documenting your wishes in case you get sick.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Governor Eric Holcomb paved the way last week for estate planning documents to be signed remotely.

Previously, you would have to be in the same room with two witnesses to execute such documents.

FOX59 spoke to estate planning attorney Sara McClammer, who suggested that you at least think about some basic documents, which include a healthcare and financial power of attorney, living will (also known as advance directive) and final will and testament.

“If you’re in the hospital, incredibly sick and can’t pay your mortgage or pay your bills, or direct the doctors in your own healthcare, those documents can name other people to do those things for you,” McClammer said.

McClammer’s team can now put those documents together via video chat through a phone or computer. For those who don’t have such access, they’re even getting creative.

“They could stand behind a glass door, or stand on their porch and we could stand on the street. We can still get documents signed, we did that recently,” McClammer said.

Once the state of emergency is lifted, you will need to meet with an attorney to re-execute the documents in person. McClammer offered additional advice in the extended interview below.

If you can’t afford to hire an attorney right now, the Indiana State Department of Health does have guidance about making advance directive plans for your healthcare on your own. You can find more information at the link here.

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