Guardianship, medical directives changed in wills in face of COVID-19

If there is one business sector that’s seen an uptick in work, it’s for lawyers who specialize in wills. Even before COVID-19, creating a will was important. It’s for everybody.  A will lays out your wishes before your family gets into a stressful situation like death or illness.

But, in the age of COVID-19, some of those already made decisions aren’t the right fit going forward. Lots of children, in the event that both parents pass away, go to grandparents. Well, watching entire families come down with this emerging virus, and many parents have decided the younger relatives, for now, are a better idea.

Camelia H. Ruffin of The Ruffin Firm explained.

“It’s posing quite a stress factor for those parents because obviously, grandparents are the most preferred when it comes to raising their children. But I’ve seen clients defer to their siblings, their aunts and uncles who may be closer to their age than their own parents,  or even godparents or close family friends.

Ms. Ruffin, who heads her own firm, says ‘do not resuscitate’ orders are being reconsidered, too. Often that means a ventilator. With COVID-19 that can be a lifesaver. 

“I’ve had more calls than you can believe from my clients who’ve already completed their estate plans, who had previously said on their medical directives, that they did not, in any way, want a ventilator. All of them are calling to say, I need to change this. If I do for some reason, come down with COVID-19, I want to be placed on a ventilator. If it’s going to save my life, I need to change that,” she said.

Camelia H. Ruffin says the entire process takes anywhere from five to 10 days.