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Taking Care of Our Families During Crisis

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Extended Families,

We are living through an unpredictable and increasingly frightening global moment. At Diana Adams Law & Mediation, we’re doing our best to take care of ourselves and each other, and to make sure that we are here for our clients to support them in doing the same.


Here are a few things that we’re prioritizing:
 

1. Social Distancing & Virtual Services: With our Owner Diana Adams in Germany, we’ve been practicing social distancing for several years now, as they support clients remotely in between quarterly trips to New York. Now, we’re doing all client meetings, negotiations, and consulting by Zoom video and telephone, and helping our clients strategize around the closures of the courts and other important social infrastructure. We’re still working and here for you.
 

2. Leaning into mutual care and aid: We support chosen family networks, and these times of crisis are when the family networks we’ve been building can activate and really shine. Now’s the time to trust our networks to distribute resources and care, so physical isolation does not become total isolation. If you have resources to contribute to larger community need, we need support and are still taking donations for our marginalized low-income LGBTQIA clients through our partner nonprofit Chosen Family Law Center.

 

3. Safety planning Legal Support: Focus on what you can control. We don’t know what’s coming next. We don’t know what state resources we can count on, or what the institutions that affect our social landscape are going to do. When we do safety planning with our own families and with our clients, we focus on using the things that we know we can rely on to make contingency plans for the things that we can’t control.

We can help you create more legal security for your family that will give you peace of mind.

Do you have a health care proxy? Everyone needs a health care proxy to appoint a trusted person to make medical decisions for you if you are hospitalized and cannot speak for yourself, such as if you are on a respirator.

If you have a child under 18, you need an up to date Will to appoint a guardian if legal parents pass away.

If you have unmarried or poly partners, you need a Hospital Visitation Authorization to make it more likely (although not certain in the instance of coronavirus) that your partners could visit you in the hospital.

If your family relationships are ones that the state might not recognize, we can help! Agency documents like Powers of Attorney and Medical Advance Directives will protect your family in case of crisis, and we counsel clients through the creation of their Wills and any other estate documents necessary to ensure that their self-determination and family self-determination can survive illness and even death.

If you have a child under 18, or if you’re in an unmarried partnership, polyamorous family, or any other kind of family structure that may not be recognized by the state, now is the time to make sure you have these protections in place.
 

We’ve been doing this work for queer and nontraditional families for more than a decade. We’ve created a package of Advance Directive documents tailored to be most effective for LGBQ clients, for transgender and gender non-conforming clients, and for clients in polyamorous or otherwise non-traditional families, including:

  • Wills
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Comprehensive Medical Advance Directive and Living Will and Health Care Proxy
  • Testamentary Trusts
  • Assignment of Guardianship for minor children

We are offering a discount flat fee sale for this entire Wills and Estates Package of $1300 for a single person, $2500 for a couple, or $3500 for a triad. (*You must answer a few short questions about the complexity of your finances and sign your retainer by April 20 to qualify for this flat fee discount.).

There are many other areas of our practice that we can still do virtually as well while the courts are closed. These include:

  • Gamete (Sperm & Egg) Donor Agreements
  • Prenuptial, Postnuptial, Co-Parenting, Cohabitation, and other Family Agreements
  • Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice Facilitation
  • Collaborative Divorce & Divorce Mediation
  • Co-Parenting and Family Mediation: Read Andy's new Medium.com article "Ten Things to Know about Co-Parenting During COVID-19"

For the following, we can negotiate, draft, and prepare the substantial paperwork now and submit everything when the courts re-open:

  • Uncontested divorces
  • Name changes
  • Preparation of Second-Parent Adoption paperwork to protect the rights of non-biological parents
  • Immigration Adjustment of Status based on marriage


We are doing our best to make these services available and financially accessible to everyone during this difficult time. If you’re ready to take these steps to protect your family relationships, please get in touch with us.
 

In solidarity,
Diana, Andy, Bill and Amy
The Diana Adams Law & Mediation Team

 

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