Estate Planning in the Time of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Social distancing makes witnessing a will difficult but not impossible

by Kerry Hannon, AARP, Updated April 29, 2020 

In the past few weeks, an escalating number of clients have hurried to meet by videoconference and phone with Daniel S. Rubin, a partner at the New York City law firm of Moses & Singer, who is working from home.

“Mortality is on the front of their minds,” Rubin said. “Spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, clients who I haven’t heard from in 10 or 15 years, as well as prospective new clients, have been reaching out to update their existing estate planning documents, or write new ones. It’s been pretty unusual to get this many requests. And they want to move quickly.”

Little wonder that fear of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has scores of people writing wills and making critical estate planning decisions about who will be in charge of their medical care and finances if they’re ill and incapacitated.

Some 52 percent of people age 55-plus don’t have a will or the other key estate planning documents that you might need during the pandemic, according to

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