Reminders and Resources for Law Firms During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Practical Planning Lessons from 2020

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Unprecedented. Tragic. Unimaginable. And, ironically, sometimes even boring. Those are just a few of the adjectives to describe our recent world.

But there’s another adjective we should think about:  Prepared.

Beyond the obvious stockpiling (toilet paper and hand sanitizer come to mind), COVID 19 exposed other unexpected holes in our lives and responsibilities that caught many of us off guard and unprepared.  

Now that you are starting to see glimpses of a return to a new normal, it’s time to put old-school pen to paper to list those holes you discovered and develop a working plan to fill them. From documenting indoor family activities to re-evaluating your life insurance, it is important to keep a record of the lessons learned and changes that need to be made to your everyday.  

Take plenty of notes

Your first To Do:  Write down what you’ve experienced and how you handled it.  

  • If you had school-aged or younger children at home with you, how did you manage to take care of them while working? How did you juggle homework, naps, or entertainment at the same time as your virtual deposition? These solutions will be easy to fall back on anytime in the future you’re at home – because chances are there’s going to be a sick child, or a delivery or repairman visit you’ll need to handle during the workday.
  • Being forced to limit shopping made it easier to plan ahead. Don’t break the habit now when menu planning and bulk shopping can save you a lot of time and energy.
  • Did you enjoy games, puzzles, reading, or other activities during your enforced down-time? Make sure to keep up with them in the future because it’s good for your general physical and emotional health and welfare (and relationships) to take time for yourself and your family.
  • Did you feel secure in knowing your family would be protected if something happened to you? Family finances can be a great source of stress during difficult times. Life Insurance is a great way to ensure that your family is protected financially.

It’s easy to forget good solutions like these among the many changes you experienced. But you won’t if you capture them now.

Your home is your castle … and your office … and your school … and your gym …

Like a medieval walled castle, everything took place here at home during your lockdown. Work, school, shopping, cooking, laughing, crying, playing, cleaning, exercising, pet grooming – everything. You probably discovered a lot about your castle and how it functioned during quarantine to add to your To Do list:

  • Because you were there all the time, did you notice that leaky faucet, broken window sash, the dishwasher on the blink, that the family room needs painting? Make that list of necessary home repairs.
  • Was your internet up to speed with so many people using it? Or able to access your work server? If those were problems, investigate getting it upgraded or supported if you weren’t able to do so already.
  • Did your home office work out? Or are there changes to the location, the furniture, and the accessories to help it function better, especially if you factor in a working spouse and children into location and supply needs?

When you make your home function better, it will reduce stress and enhance your life. It’s a perfect addition to your To Do list.

Answer the Difficult Questions

During COVID-19, you may have suddenly realized all the things you meant to do with your family’s affairs and protection needs but had not gotten around to doing. And you may have been concerned it could be too late.  

That is why your most important To Do is to get a handle on these:  

  • Are wills written or updated? Have powers of attorney or healthcare powers of attorney been set up?
  • Are plans clear for your children’s future if something happened to you?
  • If you have your own practice, are business continuity plans in place?
  • Does someone close to you have a list of your accounts and insurance information should they need to access them?
  • Is medical information available? Doctors’ names? Health insurance card/member number?
  • Has living through COVID-19 changed your dreams for the future, such as when or where you want to retire?

Don’t forget about insurance

“Many of us know that we need to do something about our insurance situation, but it’s easy to put off when life is so busy,” says Michael Mooney, Senior Vice President, USI Affinity. “Unfortunately, when COVID-19 hit, it brought those gaps to light.”

Fortunately, it’s easy to schedule a consultation with a Benefits Specialist to discuss your unique situation and prepare solutions:

  • Life insurance plans to protect your family
  • Disability insurance plans for individuals and small businesses

Life goes on

Finally, the most important thing To Do when the world becomes safe again is remember that life goes on. Savor what you’ve missed the most and embrace how we’re starting to live again. With your To Dos in hand, you’ll be prepared for whatever comes your way in the future.

For more information about life and disability insurance planning, talk to a licensed New York State Bar Association Insurance Program Benefits Specialist at 1-800-727-7770.

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