Attorney reminds residents to take care of wills, amid COVID-19 surge

Local News

Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—Officials with The Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid say there are 12 legal documents you should have in place for your family, should the worst happen.

The organization says the recent surge of coronavirus is a grim reminder to have certain legal documents in place, before it’s too late.

Attorney’s says if you become sick and are unable to make decision for yourself, there are certain documents you need to have in place sot that family and friends can help with your needs.

Documents like a last will and testamate, to make sure your property goes to the right person.

A durable power of attorney will allow someone to take care of your financial need, and a medical power of attorney which will allow someone to make medical decisions if a doctor says you are not able to on your on.

There is also a release of health form, which will allow someone to access your medical records and talk with your doctors.

“To be able to pay their mortgage, pay their car payment. If they are very sick and they have not given anybody the power of attorney, or the permission to do that then there are bills that may not get paid, and all of a sudden your situation your health situation is compounded by a very serious financial situation.”  Says Julie Balovich, Attorney, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

There are also documents needed to decied who gets your property like home, car, funds in your bank account, insurance proceeds, retirement benefits, as well as a form to see who gets your remains.

There is not one single document which can take of every situation, so attorneys with TRLA say they want to make sure families have access to this information before it’s too late.

Attorney’s also say you should always get legal advice when filling out these documents, but if you can’t afford legal advice, the documents can be found on-line.

“However we understand that there can be a cost barrier to legal services, so sometimes there may not even be time and you need to get these documents quickly. If you can get these documents in place before an emergency happens, it can save your family a lot of money in a court case much later.” Says Balovich

The documents are available in both english and spanish, and some do have to be notarized or have a witness.

Attorney with TRLA says you may even qualify for free legal advice. For more information about those documents, or to apply for free legal advice you can click here.

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