Creating a Will Or Trust In The Age Of Coronavirus

March 27, 2020
Last Will and Testament

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Coronavirus has many Americans thinking about what happens if they become victim to the virus.  That has led to a slew of people creating wills and trusts. Online will company Gentreo has seen a 143% increase in business.  Unfortunately, the act of making a will isn’t enough. You also need to ensure your will is legally binding, especially if you use an online will service instead of working one-on-one with a lawyer. You do not need to notarize your will in Florida. However you will need to make your Will "self-proving," which is a notarized affidavit with witness that proves who you are and that each of you knew you were signing the will.  All of this becomes a little more difficult while you’re physically distancing or sheltering in place—but not impossible, if you’re willing to get a little creative. You can set up your Will, print it out and ask friends or neighbors to serve as witnesses while simultaneously standing at least six feet away. What if you don’t have anyone whom you can ask to witness your will from a distance? What if you or a family member are experiencing coronavirus symptoms and don’t want to invite a neighbor to come within even six feet of you? Is it possible to create a will on your own, either through an online service or literally written down on a piece of paper, sign it without any witnesses, and have it hold up after your death? Sorta. Essentially, a probate court can use an invalid will as “evidence of intent,” but they won’t treat it as a legally binding document—and your heirs and the court might disagree on whether to distribute your assets the way you intended. So do everything you can to make your will as valid as possible. Call a lawyer who’s working from home to ask about the legal requirements and what you can do about the notary issue if that’s going to be a problem. Ask two friends to meet you in a public park to get the signatures done. Create a will that counts, because otherwise you’ll be leaving your loved ones with a hassle instead of a gift.

SOURCE: Lifehacker

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