As fears spread about the coronavirus, possible quarantines and the possible impacts it could have on clients raise questions in my mind about the use of fundamental estate planning tools such as powers of attorney and advance health care directives. In some instances in the past, delaying the effective date of powers until incapacity made sense. In recent years, that has become the exception rather than the norm for a number of reasons. The norm today, by all accounts, is to have powers of attorney and health care powers take effect immediately. Ensuring that those powers and any health directives are up to date, makes more sense than ever when a community is faced with a health concern. Simple steps, like washing your hands, having basic supplies available and having routine legal documents in place are common sense things to do to be prepared. Many hospitals make health care powers freely available. You don't have to use an attorney but some people do as part of a complete plan. If you do nothing else, consider obtaining and executing an advance healthcare directive yourself . Maine requires two witnesses to witness it and having it notarized is preferable. We encourage you to print, fill it out and please forward this to anyone you think would find this information useful.