Wednesday, March 25, 2020

I hope all of my readers are doing well after their first weekend on lockdown!

I thought I would bring you up to date on our efforts at the Pasadena Law Group to continue to provide for our clients, even if we should not/are not allowed to meet face to face. So, we’ve investigated technology that allows us to continue to communicate with each other, and to enable you to keep your estate plan current.

First, we now have the technology to do online video conferences, using Zoom. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. You will be able to see me, and I can share my computer screen with you. If you have a video camera connected to your computer, all the better; that way I’ll be able to see you! With Zoom, we can pretty much do anything we could do if we were sitting in my conference room. Zoom is easy to use and fairly intuitive. Although you may be asked to create your own account, it will be easy and free.

The one thing I can’t do with Zoom is notarize your documents — California does not allow remote notarizations. What we can do, however, is have you sign your documents using DocuSign. The documents will be legally valid, just as if you had signed them in front of me. The only thing is that you won’t be able to use them for real property transactions until the documents have been acknowledged by a notary public.

My vision of how to handle this is to have an online meeting, walk you through the documents, and have you sign them through DocuSign. When we can see each other face-to-face again, I’ll set up a meeting with you to complete the notary acknowledgments and sign new wills. In the meantime, you will have documents that are contractually valid and evidence of your intent if something happens to you before we can meet face-to-face.

So, the moral of the story is that we are here for you! Please don’t hesitate to call if you have questions or concerns. If you know someone who is fretting about getting his or her legal house in order, I’d be happy to talk to him or her, too.

Take care and stay safe.


Friday, March 20, 2020

Well, it looks as if the State of California is pretty much on lockdown right now. That does NOT mean the Pasadena Law Group is closed — we are open for business! Although we can’t hold face-to-face meetings, we can do online meetings and, if you need to sign documents that must be notarized, we can take advantage of electronic notary procedures. Besides, there’s always the phone. Stay tuned for more solutions.

I must say that I will miss seeing my clients in person. It’s one of the things I like best about my job. However, what I like even better is the sense that I am helping people, and I see no reason why self-isolation should prevent me from continuing to do that.

So, if you have concerns about your legal preparation for our new reality, give me a call. And, if you know someone who has expressed worries about their preparedness, I’d be happy to talk to them, too.

Take care and stay safe.


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

I suspect you have been receiving a lot of emails about the novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 from your doctors, financial advisors and local restaurants. I thought you might appreciate a short note from your lawyer’s perspective.

We certainly do not want to see a pandemic or declining markets, but here we are. Of course, one of the reasons we do estate planning is to prepare for unexpected crises. Who saw this pandemic coming? Since you have worked with us to create your estate plan, you have taken very important steps to protect yourself and your family in case of illness (COVID-19 or otherwise). You already have the right people in place to take care of you and your family, and to manage your assets if you get sick.

However, if we haven’t seen you in awhile, it might make sense to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What has changed since I created my plan?
  2. How long ago did I create my plan?
  3. Are all of my assets titled to coordinate with my estate plan?
  4. Are the beneficiaries of my retirement accounts and insurance policies correct?
  5. Who is going to make financial and healthcare decisions for me if I cannot?

Although it may seem as if the entire world is shutting down, I want you to know that we are open for business. To the extent you prefer to meet remotely, I will do my best to accommodate you; we are exploring the best tools to enable virtual meetings and I have applied to become an “e-notary” — that is, someone who can notarize documents remotely and electronically — so you can sign your completed planning documents in the comfort of your own home!

Finally, on a less esoteric note, I attach a recipe so you can make your own hand sanitizer.

If you have concerns about any of this, please give me a call — we are here to help. And if any of your friends have similar concerns, I would be happy to talk to them, too.

Hand Sanitizer Recipe

(Courtesy of Fair Oaks Women’s Health)

Mix 1 cup of Isopropyl alcohol, ½ cup Aloe Vera gel, a few drops of scented oil (for aroma), 1-2 drops of Vitamin E oil (for skin softening) and enough water to thin the gel mixture to appropriate consistency.

Use in good health!