Just wanted to drop you a quick note this morning to let you know that we've still got your back with the expiration of Florida's Safer at Home order.
Even with the easing of sheltering restrictions, we must remain vigilant in our actions to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, such as maintaining social distancing when possible, wearing a face mask when in public, frequent hand washing and disinfecting of "high touch" areas, and limiting the places you visit.
Whenever possible, our office will continue to limit our appointments to virtual consultations, such as telephone and video calls, which is easily doable for discussions about your estate plan--strategizing a new one or updating an existing one.
Unfortunately, Florida still does not yet authorize the digital or virtual execution of your estate planning documents, such as your Will, Trust, Durable Power of Attorney, or Medical Directives. Signing these documents must be done in person.
Therefore, we will set aside limited days each week for in-person signing of documents in our office. In order to help keep you and our staff safe, we have implemented the following safety protocols whenever someone visits our office for a signing appointment:
- Clients are asked not to arrive more than five minutes prior to their scheduled appointment. Our front door remains locked. Ring the doorbell to let us know you've arrived or call us.
- If someone accompanied you to your appointment, they are asked to remain outside or in your vehicle during the appointment so we can limit the folks coming into our office.
- All signing appointments will take place in our conference room which is located just off of our lobby when you walk in. Only staff will be allowed in the rest of the building.
- Social distancing will be maintained as much as possible at all times. This means we won't be greeting you with our traditional handshake or hug. A warm smile will have to suffice.
- Speaking of smiles, both clients and staff will need to wear a face mask and vinyl gloves inside our building at all times. There are plenty of how-to videos online on how to make your own cloth face mask. We will have extra disposable face masks and gloves available for you if you do not have them, as well as plenty of hand sanitizer.
- A new pen will be given to you to sign your documents. You will leave with the pen as your "parting gift." [Take your "cootie" pen with you, my friend! ha ha] Pens will not be reused for multiple signing appointments.
- The seating in our conference room has been rearranged to maintain social distancing.
- As soon as clients leave the office, all areas they have come into contact with will promptly be disinfected using a combination of disinfectant wipes, diluted Clorox solution and Lysol spray, if available. Rest assured that when you arrive for YOUR signing appointment, that the office will have been freshly disinfected.
- Even wearing disposable gloves (which are disposed of after each client signing appointment), staff will also promptly wash their hands thoroughly after each client leaves the office.
- Of course, our staff and clients are asked to stay home if they are experiencing any flu or cold-like symptoms, such as a fever, cough, body aches, difficulty breathing, etc.
The only additional safety measure that we are not implementing at this time is taking your temperature when you arrive.
So, please, if you are experiencing any flu or cold symptoms, or just plain feeling a little "punky" (my mom's technical term for not feeling well), please call our office to reschedule your signing appointment. We promise to do the same if we have staff staying home because they are ill.
If we all do our part (and yes, that requires a small sacrifice by each of us) and remain socially and morally responsible to others by socially distancing, limiting our travels outside of our home, limiting our contact with people outside of our immediate household, and wearing face masks while in public, we will limit the spread of this highly contagious virus.
Thanks for understanding and doing your part.
Kristen "Navigating a New Era in Estate Planning" Marks