Local attorneys see uptick in requests for estate planning documents

Baihly Warfield
Updated: April 08, 2020 10:47 PM

As many people seek to "control what they can control" during the uncertainty of a pandemic, local attorneys have seen an uptick in requests for estate planning documents.


"Nobody ever wants to think about estate planning, and so it's always at the bottom of the list," Yvonne Novak said. "And now with all the uncertainty, people are feeling that, you know what? I better get that thing done." 

Novak is an estate planning and bankruptcy attorney. She said she's been answering a lot of questions about wills, trusts, healthcare directives, power of attorney documents, and other estate planning items. 

"People are home and have time on their hands and are seeing the numbers of people who are dying and going oh, I better act now," she said. 

Many of her meetings are held over the phone or via Zoom, something Jake Baker with Hanft Fride is also doing to maintain physical distancing. 

"There's been this influx of new clients that have come in wanting to get things done but also existing clients who want to have their plans reviewed," Baker described. 

Both attorneys said people need to go into the office to sign and finalize their documents to ensure the proper witnesses are present. But they are trying to keep the in-person time to a minimum. 

"The main piece of advice right now is there's no reason to put it off," Baker said. 

Getting all of the important legal documents in order can be overwhelming. But Novak said there is one thing everyone over 18 should have in order right now. 

"Even if people aren't ready to do their will or their trust, they should be getting that healthcare document in place," she said, "because with the COVID-19, people are ending up on ventilators, and they're not able to communicate."

Having a clear health directive will tell the doctors what to do and take the decision-making burden from the family. 

Here are some resources to help you get started: 


Baihly Warfield

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