Estate Planning for Teachers, Staff

female teacher standing in classroom with face shield on

On August 10, the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education joined together to draft recommendations for Pre-K to 12 schools to use when making decisions related to the instructional models used during the 2020-21 school year.

While under these guidelines, many institutions are utilizing a hybrid of in-person and online learning methods, leaving some educators and staff members worried about their own health and safety when returning to the classroom.

Though Pennsylvania COVID-19 cases are trending downwards, there is no guarantee what the school year will bring as children may be silent carriers of the coronavirus. With the majority of Pennsylvania educators in their 40s or older, they are at high risk of serious complications from COVID-19.

While teachers and staff members plan for an unusual school year, who is helping the teachers plan for their future?

Estate Planning For Pennsylvania Teachers, Staff

Across the country, educators and staff members are preparing estate plans in an effort to give themselves and their families peace of mind as they return to the classroom. But knowing what documents will be the most beneficial to you can be complicated. Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano explains.

The first forms educators should be considering are advanced health care directives. This estate planning tool encompasses the health care power of attorney and living will.

A health care power of attorney (HCPA) is a legal document that allows an individual to make decisions about another’s medical care while a living will provides the specific wishes you want for treatment, organ donation, etc. should you be unable to communicate them on your own.

In addition to the advanced health care directives, educators and staff members should consider a durable power of attorney which explains the financial decisions you want to be made should you be unable to do so.

What’s important in the drafting of all of these documents is knowing who will be the executor and primary contact for your medical and financial institutions should something happen to you.

Though no one wants to consider the possibility of tragedy in these uneasy times, it’s more important than ever that we do– creating these documents allows your loved ones to care for you, while you can also care for them.

For those educators with state pension plans, you’ll also want to make sure that your spouse or any beneficiaries are up to date on important paperwork and documentation. This will also be critical if you are creating a will–or updating it. Making sure all documentation is cohesive is critical to ensure no documents are contested.

We know this is not how any of us expected the new school year to go. But being prepared for anything is critical in these uncertain times.

Estate Planning for Pennsylvania Educators and Staff: Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano

COVID-19 has torn lives apart. But it’s also brought communities together. At Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano, we stand with Pennsylvania teachers and staff as they prepare for a new era of learning, teaching, and living. We want to help our educators in any way we can–that’s why we’re here to help in the estate planning process.

Call (570) 348-0776 and schedule an appointment with Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano. We can walk you through, step by step, all the legal options available to you.

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