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Coronavirus causes surge in wills from people of all ages

Boca Raton firm sees 25-30 percent increase in demand
Florida Last Will and Testament
Posted at 2:15 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 17:22:14-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Amid the uncertainty of the coronavirus, many Americans have suddenly thought about what would happen if they caught the virus.

This has caused a surge in demand for people to get wills done in case they fall victim to the virus, which has now killed more than 60,000 people in the U.S.

Just a few weeks ago, Jill Budney talked to her 95-year-old father who had tested positive for COVID-19.

“He said, ‘I think I’m in trouble … this isn’t good, and I feel really awful,’” said Budney.

She traveled to South Florida in February because she knew her father’s health was declining and wanted to feel at ease that his living will and health care surrogate designation was completed.

“It was going to be just a mess … and we were lucky we did it just in the nick of time,” said Budney.

She said her father passed away this month.

WPTV reporter Michelle Quesada spoke Thursday with attorney Howard Krooks, a partner at Elder Law Associates in Boca Raton, who said it is something we all need to think about.

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"Everybody really needs to think about who would make health care decisions for them, if they themselves were no longer in a position to do so and became incapacitated," said Krooks.

He said his firm has seen about a 25 percent to 30 percent increase in the demand for people requesting wills and similar documents.

Krooks said filling out the proper documents is only one part of the equation. It is also imperative to have a discussion with your loved ones.

"It's important not only to do the documents but to have high-level discussions with the people that you appoint, so that they can better understand what your wishes would be in a given circumstance would you want to be kept alive," said Krooks.

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His firm is offering free living will and health care surrogate document preparation for frontline, health care workers. Contact Elder Law Associates at their Boca Raton office to make an appointment for more details.

"We all need to recognize that we are human. We are only here for a certain amount of time. We don’t get to know how long that's going to be," said Krooks.

Krooks said advance directives can be filled out sometimes in one day, costing about $200 to $300.