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Estate Planning Movement for Healthcare Workers

I inadvertently started a movement—be the helper.

I recently found a small leather-bound, handwritten book of quotations that my father collected in the height of his most intense and motivated years, the late 1960s.

Many quotes from this inspiring collection resonate with me in the wake of what we’re experiencing today. One particular quote is by Sir William Osler, a Canadian physician who co-founded the Johns Hopkins Hospital, a facility that is top of mind in the age of COVID-19. In an unfortunate coincidence, Osler died in 1919 the Spanish Flu Pandemic. He’s famous for his controversial views (which I certainly don’t endorse), but also for saying: “The way of life that I preach is a habit to be acquired gradually by long and steady repetition: It is the practice of living for the day only, and for the day’s work; Life in day-tight compartments.”

In uncertain times, I also like to revisit another of my father’s favorite quotes from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address: “Ask not what your country can do for you –ask what you can do for your country.”

Fred Rogers understood this message and was known for this quote, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

This last reference often surfaces during difficult times and, while it is comforting to see so many generous acts of kindness across the world, I think it’s more important to be the helper rather than look for them. What we’re facing right now is scary, but I feel empowered to know that I can lend a helping hand and offer something to my country.

Medical personnel across the country are on the frontlines of this unprecedented battle. They’re putting their health at risk to care for those who are sick and have a front-row seat to the full wake of this global tragedy. In their vulnerable positions, many individuals have identified the need for a healthcare directive, power of attorney appointment and/or last will and testament. This is a sobering, daily reality for these heroes who are working tirelessly to keep our communities safe.

On a side note to anyone reading this regardless of your job title, if you already have these documents established, it’s also important to consider reviewing the healthcare directive to ensure that it does not prevent “life-saving measures,” such as a ventilator, which appears to be necessary in many instances to survive COVID-19.

How we’re serving as a legal resource

At Michael H. Moody Law, P.A., we have created an online, automated form that simplifies this process into a virtual, easy to follow format that we are offering as a service for front-line healthcare workers. This was inspired by the drive-thru testing clinic for COVID-19 that we can see outside of our windows. We can only imagine the fear the workers might experience as they bravely stand up to the responsibility of coming face-to-face each day with a deadly virus. Our healthcare workers are truly superheroes in this fight.

Our process is designed to provide the signer with all the necessary information and instructions to enable a little peace of mind that their affairs are in order. I have offered this resource to healthcare workers with a critical need in Leon County, free of charge to show my support and appreciation. I have also been sharing my process and templates with fellow industry colleagues along with instructions for how to locate comparable documentation in other states. We’re all in this together and, as attorneys, we have an ethical responsibility to serve the community with our specialized skill set. From offering complimentary legal services for frontline workers to organizing food drop-offs and gathering PPE for hospitals, I am so inspired by my peers who are rising to the occasion.

I’d like to recognize 70 other law firms who have contacted me for access to my templates and process. These considerate individuals are eager to offer up our expertise, time, funds and support during this season of great need. There will always be those who will sit back and watch from the sidelines, and others who will step up and do their part. I hope you will consider supporting them by reaching out if you encounter a critical need for a front-line healthcare worker or any other legal matter.

Jonathan Paul, Altamont Springs, Florida

Heather Harmon Kennedy, Ambridge, Pennsylvania

Stephanie Hunnell, Asbury Park, NJ

Ellaretha Coleman, Atlanta, GA

Brian M. Douglas, Atlanta, Georgia

Castor Sprattlin Law Group, Atlanta, Georgia

Nancy E. Roden, Bradenton, Florida

Colleen Elizabeth, Brooklyn, New York

Yana Feldman Safyan, Brooklyn, New York

Tamara K. McCormick, California

Jeneva LiRosi Vazquez, Charlotte, North Carolina

Rebecca BM, Chicago, IL

Evan Saucer, Chicago, Illinois

Jennifer Harlow, Cincinatti, Ohio

Jessica, Clearwater, Florida

Hunter Cavell, Cleveland, Ohio

Jeb Lewis, Columbia, South Carolina

Melisa Pena, Coral Gables, Florida

Wes Baldwin, Donalsonville, Georgia

Wesley Starrett, Douglasville, Georgia

Shelby Bridges, Edmond, Oklahoma

Gill Ingraham, Greenwich, Connecticut

Samantha McCarthy, East Greenwich, Rhode Island

Patrick Zena Slaughter, Knoxville, Tennessee

Tyler Moffitt, LaGrange, Georgia

Michael Jeffcoat, Lexington, South Carolina

Justin Zachary, Little Rock, Arkansas

Kay Godfrey Siniard, Little Rock, Arkansas

Shaun Benater, London & South Africa

Rob Freund, Los Angeles, California

Jesse Block, Marietta, Georgia

Kim Keheley Frye, Marietta, Georgia

Becky Easton, Mesa, Arizona

Jennifer Lewis Kannegieter, Monticello, Minnesota

Cara Gruszecki Smalley, Nashville, Tennessee

Sunny Eaton, Nashville, Tennessee

Erzsebet Pifko, New Orleans, Louisiana

Amber King, Newport, Vermont

Catherine Tang, Oakland, California

Shannon Villalba, Ohio and Kentucky

John Cannon, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Niki Lindsey, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Ben Byers, Owensboro, Kentucky

Angel Murphy, Oxen Hill, Maryland

Brittany Angel, Phoenix, Arizona

Danny Mazza, Phoenix, Arizona

Brendan Lupetin, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Justin Key, Prospect, Kentucky

Joshua J. Wilson, Raymore, MO

Terry Frank, Richmond, Virginia

Jason Velez, San Clemente, California

Matthew Odgers, San Diego, California

Allyson Snow, Scottsdale, Arizona

Judy Nakashima Shoji, Seattle, Washington

Dan Schnurbusch, St. Louis, Missouri

Margaret M. Barrett, St. Paul, MN

Jessica Sebag, Stuart, Florida

April Martindale, Sunrise, Florida

Sarah Croghan King, Tennessee

Penni Skillern, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Brittany Holmes, Vancouver, Canada

Bishop L. Toups, Venice, Florida

I hope this post inspires you to consider how you can help too. All acts of kindness, both big and small, can make a difference. If you’re a Tallahassee resident, we’ve gathered a few resources and suggestions for ways to help. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Michael H. Moody Law should you or someone you know need access to legal tools and resources that can support you during this time. I’m here to help and we’re all in this together.

Ways to help in Tallahassee:

Michael H. Moody is a business reorganization and bankruptcy lawyer who handles matters throughout the Southeastern United States. Michael’s primary office is located in Tallahassee, Florida. In his practice, he represents successful individuals and businesses of all sizes navigate the challenges that appear before them.