Attorneys see increase in estate planning as pandemic continues

Posted at 8:30 PM, Apr 09, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Estate attorneys say they’re fielding more calls as families prepare in case a loved one gets sick.In many cases, these are younger families who just now are considering what happens when their gone.

In estate planning you deal with a lot of "what if’s" - conversations you may not want to have but know you probably should.

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t made it any easier.

"When we sit down with a client and we really start thinking about it, sometimes tears will come down their eyes and it can be a very difficult conversation," said Justin Gilbert, an estate planning attorney. "Now these younger families are calling in saying, 'what is it that I need to make sure my family is protected?'"

The answer is: start with a will. You can find templates online and essentially be your own attorney.

In the age of social distancing, Gilbert is seeing more of this.

The problem is, a computer may not tailor those "what if’s," to what matters for you.

"As an estate planning attorney, yes, we prepare legal documents and we’re also providing advice and guiding the clients through that process," Gilbert said. "So that when they pass away, their intentions are being carried out."

Which leads us to your executor, the person in charge of making financial and healthcare decisions, when you can’t.

"This way they have the peace of mind if they do end up in the hospital, or me and my spouse pass away, I know who is going to step in," Gilbert said.

The biggest misconception is in the very word estate.

People think they don’t have enough to bother with creating a will.

Gilbert says it doesn’t matter how much you have, as long as it’s clear where you want it to be.

Attorneys say many offices now offer remote conferencing for estate planning. They can also notarize online and complete the process remotely, saving you the trip to the office.