Estate Planning Movement for Healthcare Workers
Updated: Apr 13, 2020
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:
Support a local business using the Office of Economic Vitality’s interactive “Open for Takeout” Map
Donate food and funds to local charitable organizations
Practice social distancing and follow along with #THLCanDo to connect with the community
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.