SPRINGFIELD, NJ -- Bob Bernstein, an attorney specializing in Estate Planning and Elder Law, spoke about the importance of having accurate and up-to-date legal documents in light of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“One of the things that this pandemic has brought to light is the importance of the alternate that is named,” Bernstein cautioned. With COVID-19 being highly contagious among family members, if one spouse or partner contracts the virus, then the other usually gets it. Therefore, Bernstein explained, one may be unable to legally make decisions on the other's behalf, even if named in a legal document. “If the agent can’t act and the alternate can’t act, the document is worthless,” Bernstein said. 

In light of the pandemic, it’s vitally important to review all health care proxy, health care directives and power of attorney forms, update or revise them if necessary, and of course, address making them if you haven’t already created these documents.

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Bernstein, a former Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and a member of the Elder Law and Disability Section and Trusts and Estate Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association. His firm focuses their practice on the areas of Elder Law, Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Special Needs Planning, Guardianship, LGBTQ Estate Planning, Business and Real Estate Law. 

Bernstein said that Zoom video conferences can be scheduled to avoid face-to-face meetings, and from there, recommendations can be made depending on what documents and updates are needed. “Don’t wait until it’s too late,” he said. 

To read more about Bernstein and his legal practice, visit his firm online at: www.bernsteinestatelaw.com.