*** Our Annual Client Event Zimmerfest usually planned for early June will be postponed to early Fall 2020. Please check your email and website at a later date for more information***
Updated Thursday, April 2, 2020
Supporting Our Clients and the Community During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The pandemic reminds me how helpless we are to control certain circumstances in which we live. But estate planning is an aspect of your life that you can control — no matter what is going on around you. We urge you to double check your estate planning documents and contact us if you have changes you want to make or have questions.
If you do not have an estate plan, or your estate plan is old and does not reflect your current wishes, it is still possible to take are of this important matter even during the current crisis. Please read on to learn how we are working through the crisis and continuing to operate.
WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
Zimmer Law Firm is open for business. We are here for the long term to support our clients and help those in need of planning. Our team is secure, and everyone is stepping up to go the extra mile for our clients.
Here’s what’s going on.
Gov. DeWine’s stay-at-home order requires non-essential businesses to close. Law firms are categorized as essential businesses and allowed to stay open. Nonetheless, in an abundance of caution to protect the health of our team and our clients, we have closed the office. Effective March 24, 2020, Zimmer Law Firm staff began working from home. What does that mean for our clients?
- Our business hours are the same. Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Incoming phone calls are still answered by a live person. If all lines are busy you will receive a return call or email. Dial 513-721-1513. You may get a return call from a number you do not recognize, via Voice-Over-Internet Protocol (VOIP). That means telephone calls are made over the internet rather than land-based telephone lines.
- You can email staff directly or use email@example.com.
- Our office building is open during normal business hours Monday through Friday. If you need to get paperwork to us, you can leave documents in a box outside our office, slide them under the door, or email or fax them (these last 2 methods are preferred). Note, if you have confidential documents or documents to deliver with personal identifying information, do not leave them in the box. Slide them under the door, email them, or contact us about special arrangements. The box is checked most days.
ENSURE YOUR BASIC ESTATE PLANNING IS DONE AND UP TO DATE
Every adult (over age 18) should have at least these three basic documents, regardless of their wealth or health:
- Healthcare Power of Attorney allows your agent to make medical decisions for you (in consultation with your physicians) if you were unable to make those decisions for yourself.
- Power of Attorney for Property (financial assets and real estate) allows your agent to pay your bills and make other time-sensitive decisions during a period of your incapacity.
- HIPAA authorizes those you designate to access your protected health information.
If you’re already a Zimmer Law estate planning client, no worry! You have these documents as part of your estate plan. If you have friends or family who have not taken any steps toward estate planning, we can have these core documents done pretty quickly, if not a full estate plan. Contact us by phone, email, or through our website.
Do you have young adult children? Moms and Dads, your child may be legally an adult, but she may still be dependent on you. If not financially, then in case of illness or injury. But do you realize that once your children reach age of majority (18 years old in Ohio), you no longer have the legal right to talk to their doctors, make medical decisions for them, or take care of their personal and financial affairs if they should become sick?
The law provides a way that you can be there for your young adult children in times like this. The above documents, plus a special DocuBank program, are the solution. Contact us for information.
ESTATE PLANNING CONSULTATIONS, MEETINGS, & WORKSHOPS
We’re not letting the pandemic get in the way of our mission – helping people gain peace of mind.
- Consultations – Thanks to modern technology, we have flexible options to meet with you or your family virtually. The amazing Zoom application is easy and flexible — almost like being in the same room together! Whether you’re already a Zimmer Law client and need to talk about updates, or you are looking for a law firm to serve your needs now and in the future, chances are you have extra time on your hands. This is a great time to take care of this important matter. Call or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website to inquire about an appointment.
- Seminars – We are putting steps in place to offer our popular and informative Wills & Trusts Seminars from the safety of home, so our community can continue to stay informed about their estate planning and incapacity options. For many, our educational webinars are the first step to creating their estate plan. I promise you’ll look at estate planning differently than ever before. You’ll learn valuable information and have an opportunity for a free, no-obligation Personal Consultation about what is important to you and how the principles discussed in the workshop apply to you.
- Client Educational Workshops – We are known for our unique client workshops, our Trustee and Power of Attorney School, and the one-of-a-kind workshop, “8 Deadly Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Estate Planning – How Clients Routinely Destroy Their Estate Plans… and What to Do About It.” We are working on webinar presentations of both workshops. Check our website, and if you’re already a client watch your email inbox. This is a great time to get better informed, and for your future fiduciaries (Trustees, Executors, Power of Attorney Agents) to prepare for the future through interactive learning.
We have engaged Enviro Master Services to disinfect all surfaces in the office. They will commence regular cleanings once the office reopens for personal visits. Enviro-Master uses a hospital-grade spray that adheres to all surfaces to stop the transfer of viruses, like COVID-19. To view a video of what the process looks like, visit our Facebook or Instagram social media pages and refer to the post made on 3-31-2020. Our first cleaning was done on 3-30-2020. To learn more about Enviro-Master, Click here to visit their website.
We’re not stopping with Enviro-Master. Before the office closing, on a daily basis we wiped down with disinfectant all surfaces that staff and guests came into contact with. Also, before and after consultations. We will continue that practice when we resume personal meetings. We have also done the following:
- Team training on current CDC and State of Ohio recommendations for preventative health and safety, and team compliance.
- Hand sanitizer is available in our lobby and conference rooms. We have ordered take-home bottles of hand sanitizer for our visitors.
- We frequently wash our hands or use sanitizer and avoid touching our face.
- We cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If no tissue is available, we practice sneezing or coughing into an elbow, not hands.
- We offer small packs of tissues for visitors in the lobby and in our conference rooms.
- Team members who are not well are required to stay home.
- We are keeping our distance to show you we care. Once personal meetings resume, or if personal interaction is unavoidable in the meantime, we will greet you with a wave, bow, pledge, or “Namaste”, but sadly, no handshakes or hugs at this time.
- We are monitoring and are poised to adapt quickly to any guidance or requests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our local health departments.
Thank you for your trust and confidence and continuing to be a client and friend of the firm. Our thoughts are with those being affected hardest during this time. I also wish to express my gratitude for the strong leadership from Ohio Government, the brave doctors and medical personnel who put their health and lives on the line to help COVID-19 patients, and our youth who are stepping up to help and be leaders. Thanks to all of you.
We remain committed to your Health, Happiness and Legacy. Best wishes and stay healthy.
Barry H. Zimmer
Founder, Zimmer Law Firm