1)    Check your mortgage and car loan documents.

Frequently, loan companies will add on what’s called “loan protection insurance” and you might not pay attention to it or realize you have it.  Loan protection insurance is designed to help policyholders in case the people who are insured can’t pay on their loans because of unemployment, disability, illness, or another hazard.  You might have to call your loan companies to see if you have this coverage.  If you have it, the loan protection insurance should help cover mortgage and possibly car payments while you are out of work.

2)    Car insurance and homeowner’s insurance grace period.

While not all insurance companies will give a grace period on your premium payments, some of them will.  If you are out of work right now and you think you might struggle to pay your auto, homeowners, or renters insurance, I would encourage you to call your insurance company, explain your situation, and request an extension on your premium payments.

3)    Medical Power of Attorney and Advance Medical Directive.

If an adult in your family gets sick during this time, it could be important that he or she has a Medical Power of Attorney or an Advance Medical Directive.  A Medical Power of Attorney is simply a legal document that names one person as the health care agent or decision-maker for another person.  That decision-maker has the ability to make health care decisions and has the responsibility to make sure doctors and other medical personnel give the necessary care that follows the patient’s wishes.

Along the same lines of the Medical Power of Attorney is the Advance Medical Directive.  This is a document that helps you plan for end of life services and care in situations where you are not able to make those decisions for yourself.  These are not things we like to think about.  But, having these items in place before you get in a situation where you need them, is important.  To help with this process, we have shared forms for both a Virginia Medical Power of Attorney as well as a Virginia Advance Medical Directive published by the Virginia State Bar on our website.  You can access these forms on our website     at www.ritchielawfirm.com/medicalforms

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