Coronavirus Pandemic: Medical professionals draft wills and trusts 'just in case'

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The shelter-in-place order has many getting their house in order --- that could include cleaning out the garage, but it could also mean setting up a will or a trust.

Medical professionals especially are scrambling to get their documents assembled.

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Life on the front lines is leading many to make sure their affairs are in order. Dr. Matt Malkin in Sacramento says both he and his wife are anesthesiologists. He said, "As an anesthesiologist, part of our job is to do intubations, which is one of the high-risk procedures for contracting the coronavirus. We did the whole power of attorney. We did the trust and the well combined."

Estate planning Attorney Lauren Smykowski said she's been getting a lot of calls. "People are worried about their futures. It's an uncertain time. They want to get these documents in place. Of course they are concerned about COVID-19 and potentially passing away from the illness. They are concerned about their family knowing what they want, their wishes as far as being on a ventilator."

Some businesses are offering drive-by notarizations. One Walnut Creek estate planning attorney is also a notary and he made a house call for an East Bay doctor just two days ago.

Matthew Talbot with the Talbot Law Group said, "They have been working directly with coronavirus patients and are very concerned about their own safety and well-being and they have small children. So I personally went to their house and went to their yard to ensure all the appropriate notarizations. I stayed as far away as possible, we worked in their backyard on their picnic table."

So estate planning attorneys are finding a way to get the paperwork done to help healthcare professionals have some peace of mind knowing their healthcare directive or a will or trust are in place.

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