Surge on wills: Fearing death by COVID-19, people ask lawyers to write their last wishes

The Miami Herold is reporting the there is a surge in people asking for wills to be written.


The article states:

Lawyers are being bombarded with requests to write wills, update estate plans and prepare health surrogate or “pull the plug” documents as people are confronted by the realization that they could be diagnosed with COVID-19 and dead within days.

“Estate planning is a fairly morbid topic. Nobody wants to do it. But it’s not an if proposition; it’s a when proposition,” said Joshua Rosenberg, partner at Kelley Kronenberg who specializes in estate planning, elder law and probate and guardianship litigation. “Because of coronavirus, people have come to the abrupt conclusion that they cannot procrastinate. You could be infected and very quickly find yourself in a life or death situation.”

A will is a relatively inexpensive and quick way to document how you want your estate to be handled if you die.  I have seen several wills in the last week that people creat,e which will not accomplish their goals.  Today, I reviewed a will that was signed incorrectly, and a second will that had a specific bequest that was invalid.  We also reviewed a will from another state that did not take Florida law into consideration and would not have done what the will desired.

Over the weekend, I read an article on a life insurance company giving away a free will template that permits Florida residents to create invalid provisions in their wills.

The other problem right now is how to notarize your self proving affidavit so that the will can be used easily and inexpensively without the need to prove the will in court.  It is becoming hard to find a notary and even if you can find one, many people are high risk and cannot or do not want to leave their home and risk exposure to COVID-19. For those not wanting to leave their home, we have a solution.  While Florida does not permit a Florida online notary to notarize a will until later this year, Virginia’s statute permits it now.  We have a VA online notary on staff who can act as a notary if needed.

If you need help with a Florida Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Will, Revocable Trust, Asset Protection or Elder Law contact a Florida Estate Planning attorney or call us at 904-990-8000

Contact Information