Planning for the future amid COVID-19

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — With increasing concern of the COVID-19 pandemic, one local attorney shares three things people can do to prepare if health becomes an issue in the upcoming months.

Lubbock Attorney Fernando Bustos said it is always best to be prepare ahead of time, no matter health or age.

“Say you became ill with COVID-19 and you had to be hospitalized and, heaven forbid, you’ll need someone trusted in your life to pay your bills on time and to make health care decisions for you about treatment,” Bustos said.

Bustos said there are three things people should think about getting during this time.

No. 1 is to have a last will to grant an executor to your estate.

“If something were to happen to you, then that executor of your estate can go after a person, for example, who may have caused your death in an accident,” Bustos said. “It also may clear who you want to make clear your property to.”

No. 2 is a statutory power of attorney, which Bustos said he calls the business power of attorney.

“You name somebody to be your agent under that statutory business power of attorney, and that person can transact financial matters for you or legal matters for you if you become incapacitated,” Bustos said.

No. 3 is a medical power of attorney in the event that hospitalization is necessary.

“A medical power of attorney puts power into the hands of someone you know and trust,” Bustos said, “and if you become incapacitated and can’t make your own medical decisions, then that person can step in.”

Bustos also said one thing he has seen lately is an uptick in parents wanting to deed their homes to their children.

“If there hasn’t been a five-year window from the time you deed that home to your child to the time you enter a nursing home and Medicare is going to be paying for your nursing home,” Bustos said. “Medicare can then demand reimbursement from you and your estate, and if they can’t get it out of you, in cash, they can put a lien on that home.”

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