Americans are Focused on Estate Planning During the COVID-19 Pandemic

There has been an explosion in the numbers of Americans rushing to make their will online. Understandably, the coronavirus pandemic has created the scramble to set up wills and end-of-life-directives. However, online do it yourself (DIY) wills are often deemed invalid as they do not comply with all of the legal requirements of your state.

So, who needs a will? Ask yourself if you care who gets your property or money if you die? If you have minor children, do you care who will act as their legal guardian? The answer is anyone who is at least 18 years of age should have a properly executed will. Wills are governed by state law. Your will should reflect your wishes in the language and format required by the state in which you live for it to be valid.

Many law offices are turning to teleconferences with their clients to address social distancing protocols while still providing legal services such as writing a will. The importance of an attorney guiding you through the process of creating a will cannot be understated as they understand the nuances of how things need to be written. Once your will is complete, it must be correctly notarized as mistakes made in the will-signing process can potentially invalidate your will.  Your attorney will guide you through the signing process, which could involve signing during a video conference.

Beyond the creation of a will, many Americans are increasingly concerned about their powers of attorneys, health care surrogates, living wills, and end of life directives. These “life documents,” are equally as important as your will.

According to research in a recent New York Times report, health care workers are more likely to contract COVID 19 than the average person. During this pandemic, many doctors and other medical professionals are rushing to have their wills drawn up. In addition to doctors, anyone on the front lines in the fight against COVID 19, from hospital custodians to nurses to EMS responders, should either make a will or review and possibly update their existing one. However, the truth is no matter what your profession or likelihood of contracting this virus, you should have a properly executed will during this time of considerable uncertainty.

There are few things you can act on during the COVID 19 pandemic that can bring you assurance and a sense of relief. The legal creation of your will and documents are actions you can take that protects you and your family. To get this important process started,  contact our office at 314-872-3333 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

 

 

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