Obiorah Fields, LLC - May 2020

OBIORAHFIELDS.COM | 404-994-6218 | MAY 2020

KEEP WHAT’S ESSENTIAL IN MIND A SHOUTOUT TO MOMS AND A WORD ON THIS PANDEMIC

Mother’s Day is probably going to look a lot different for many people this year, including me. My mom is one of the most important people in my life, and while I want nothing more than to spend time with her in person on Mother’s Day, I won’t be able to do that. I have to listen to the experts telling us to shelter in place and stay away from people for whom the coronavirus could potentially be life threatening — namely, the elderly and people with existing health conditions. I love my parents, and right now the best way I can show that I love them is by staying away from them, and that’s really hard. This won’t be the first time I’ve missed out on celebrating my mom since this pandemic started. On April 4, we would have celebrated her birthday by going out to eat and then taking a walk along the beltline, but obviously, that didn’t happen. Not being able to be with the people you love is discouraging, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still celebrate our moms this Mother’s Day. If you’re a mom and you’re reading this, I just want to send love your way. We haven’t forgotten everything you do. The connections we share with the people we love are so incredibly important, and if anything, I think the coronavirus has shone a light on the things that are really important to all of us. First and foremost, it’s

important that we do everything in our power to help people and keep them safe — pandemic or not. That’s why our firm, since we’re still open and operational, will be drafting free advance health care directives for medical professionals.

“EVERY EXPERT IN THE MEDIA RIGHT NOW IS TELLING US TO ONLY STOCK UP ON ESSENTIAL GROCERIES AND SUPPLIES. BUT NOW IS ALSO A TIME TO LOOK AT WHAT’S ESSENTIAL IN OUR MINDS, WHAT CONSUMES US, AND THEN DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT THESE THOUGHTS REALLY DESERVE ALL THE HEADSPACE WE GIVE THEM.”

presidential election every day. It was almost an obsession. Now, however, it’s been a long time since I paid it much attention, and I’ve been doing just fine. This pandemic, and the season of uncertainty that surrounds it, won’t last forever. Someday (hopefully soon) we’ll get to the other side of this, and soon after that, it will just be a memory. That being said, I don’t think anyone will be quite the same after this experience. That’s not supposed to mean anything ominous. I just think we’ll learn some things about ourselves from all this, and that new knowledge will drive us forward in a new direction in our lives. I can definitely say I am forever changed because of this experience. I hope that it’s for the better.

Conversely, I think the coronavirus has also shown us that the things we thought were incredibly important are actually not very much so. Every expert in the media right now is telling us to only stock up on essential groceries and supplies. But now is also a time to look at what’s essential in our minds, what consumes us, and then decide whether or not these thoughts really deserve all the headspace we give them. Before COVID-19 struck in earnest, I thought about the upcoming

–Teri Fields

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In the wake of the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, now is a more important time than ever to create an estate plan or make sure your existing estate plan is up to date. Because of the nature of the coronavirus, however, we want to make sure you’re aware of one important aspect of the estate planning process: the advance medical directive. An advance medical directive — also sometimes referred to as an advance health care directive or a living will — stipulates the actions that medical professionals should take in the event that you lose the ability to direct them by yourself. You can also establish a health care proxy in this document. A health care proxy is usually a trusted family member who can ensure the wishes in your advance medical directive are carried out. The coronavirus is a respiratory virus, meaning it dwells in the throat and lungs. Many people who are 60 or older, or those who have other existing health problems who also contract COVID-19 (the disease resulting from the coronavirus), end up on ventilators unable to breathe, much less communicate with doctors and nurses. That’s why having your advance medical directive ready to go, especially if you’re in one of the aforementioned at-risk groups, is crucial right now. You don’t want to end up in a situation where your health care professionals have no way of knowing your wishes for medical care. It’s not our intent to try and scare you with this information, but there is a very distinct possibility that many people who fall victim to this disease will be unable to directly communicate with doctors and nurses at the hospital. We want our clients to be as prepared as they can be for any scenario. That’s why at Obiorah Fields, we are helping clients craft advance medical directives free of charge for the foreseeable future. If you have any questions about advance medical directives or estate planning in general, give our office a call at 404-994-6218. ADVANCE MEDICAL DIRECTIVES AND WHY YOU SHOULD SERIOUSLY THINK ABOUT MAKING ONE

THE BENEFITS OF MINIMALISM A PERFECT LIFESTYLE FOR SENIORS As we get older, we tend to hang on to mementos that brought some type of meaning to our lives, even after time has diminished their value. Though we may be emotionally attached, this clutter can eventually overwhelm us, especially as seniors. If you find yourself drowning in items you no longer need or want, consider a minimalist lifestyle to free up your space — and your mind. MINIMALISM Before taking on a minimalist lifestyle, it’s important to understand what it entails. When someone hears the word “minimalism,” they might think it means getting rid of their possessions one by one, but that’s not entirely true. Instead, minimalist living focuses on having less clutter in our lives but still keeping the things we truly value and enjoy. The idea is to get rid of things we no longer use or need. MINIMALIST LIVING To embark on a minimalist lifestyle, focus more on the present and consider the value your personal belongings have in your life now . Sorting through hundreds of items with thousands of memories is a daunting task, so it is best to start by removing things that might not require emotional or physical strain, like old magazines, broken items, or clutter in the junk drawer. Once you’ve taken this first step, move on to something bigger. Soon, you’ll find yourself making steady and rewarding progress throughout the rest of your home. In the process, pay attention to what you want to keep. Carefully select which objects mean the most to you and which ones are still useful. These are the belongings you should surround yourself with. THE BENEFIT OF MINIMALISM Minimalism will help you feel more comfortable in your home and open up other possibilities. You will have more room to invite guests and family over, and you’ll have a sense of space and freedom. Additionally, this lifestyle can also help with your finances. You’ll be less tempted to buy what you don’t need, and you may even rearrange spending priorities or downsize your living space (less rent!). If you surround yourself with meaningful and useful items, you will feel more at peace. Ultimately, minimalism encourages us to free ourselves from the many things that own us as much as we own them. Don’t allow accumulated objects to clutter up your home and life. Take the leap and start living a carefree, minimalist lifestyle.

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ALL ABOUT THE FMLA WHAT IT DOES FOR EMPLOYEES EVERYWHERE

HOW DO EMPLOYERS DENY EMPLOYEES THEIR FMLA RIGHTS? Even though the FMLA has been a law for nearly 27 years, employers still repeatedly try to deny employees their rights. Firing employees once they become pregnant, sick, or injured; cutting off their health benefits; failing to restore the employee to their same responsibilities and pay upon their return; and outright refusing to give employees leave for legitimate reasons are all ways that employers can violate the FMLA. If your workplace is denying you leave for a legitimate family or medical emergency, Danielle Obiorah and Teri Fields can help. Give their office a call today at (404) 994-6218. And Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

Being a parent, while rewarding, is incredibly challenging. The first few months after a baby is born, it is crucial for a parent to be available to take care of them every part of the day, which would be impossible for any working parent without the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA is an incredibly important piece of employee rights legislation that, unfortunately, is still violated on a regular basis. WHAT IS THE FMLA? The FMLA was signed into law in 1993 with sweeping bipartisan support in Congress. In case you’re not familiar with the law, it entitles workers to up to 12 weeks off work for certain family events (such as the birth or adoption of a child) or medical emergencies. After that time, employers legally must reinstate

the employee without any changes to their position, as if they never left. The FMLA applies to all workers at businesses that employ 50 people or more, as well as anyone who works at a primary or secondary school.

WHEN CAN EMPLOYEES UTILIZE THEIR FMLA RIGHTS? The most common reason for an

employee to use their FMLA rights is if they become pregnant and need time after the birth to take care of the baby. However, employees who need to take care of a sick or injured family member, or who become sick or injured themselves, can also use their FMLA rights. New foster or adoptive parents are also eligible to use their FMLA rights to take time off to care for their child.

At Obiorah Fields, LLC, we’re not your standard, run-of-the-mill law office. We don’t just do what’s required of us — we go the extra mile to make sure justice is served in every case we take on. If you’ve worked with us before and you know somebody who could benefit from taking us on as their legal team, please don’t hesitate to give them this newsletter and show them who we are! We want to help as many people as we can. We’re just one phone call away from new potential clients. If they contact us through our website and give us their name, contact info, and a brief description of their situation, we will give them a free case evaluation and report. Don’t hesitate to refer us! DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO NEEDS OUR HELP? GIVE THEM THIS NEWSLETTER!

NEED A SPEAKER? If you are interested in having Teri Fields speak to your organization about legal issues, please contact us at 404-994-6218.

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Keep What’s Essential in Mind

1 2

Minimalist Living for Seniors

All About Advance Medical Directives

All About the FMLA

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Do You Know Someone Who Needs Our Help?

Bird-Watching for Beginners

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BIRD-WATCHING FOR BEGINNERS WHY MAY IS THE BEST MONTH TO START

Bird-watching is like a lifelong scavenger hunt that you can play anywhere on Earth. The activity provides a mixture of science, travel, and beauty, and it’s a chance to get outside for feathered adventures and quiet reflection. The month of May is a great time of year to go birding because rising temperatures prompt spring migration. So if you’re eager to begin bird-watching, there’s no better time than now. Here are some tips to get started.

pair of binoculars. And they don’t have to be fancy. As long as they can zoom in on faraway trees and perches, they’ll work for now. You can always upgrade later.

EDUCATE YOURSELF

GO EXPLORING

Thousands of species of birds span all corners of the globe. That’s why finding them is an exciting prospect — there’s no end to the hunt! Start by researching birds that are native to your location. Purchase a field guide with pictures of each bird and maps of their range and use it to figure out where different birds live. From there, it’s easy to pick your first spotting goal. You can even get yourself extra excited by watching a few bird documentaries.

Your very first birding excursion is important because you don’t want to be overwhelmed or underwhelmed. So use your field guide to home in on a single bird and go find it. It may be local, or you can plan a trip to a specific bird’s natural habitat. Stay focused and don’t get distracted by other species. The thrill that comes with spotting your first bird will keep you coming back to find the rest. Bird-watching is a wonderful hobby because it’s easy to get started and can last a lifetime. As long as you can walk, drive, or look out a window, you can be a birder. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find some birds!

GEAR UP

One of the best things about birding is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to do it. As long as you’ve got your field guide and comfortable walking shoes, the only other thing you’ll need is a

4 | ObiorahFields.com | Your Rights, Our Fight

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