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Here's why many are rushing to get their wills drawn up amid the coronavirus pandemic

Anna M. Tinsley, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Parenting News

Documents such as powers of attorney need to be notarized, but Texas Gov. Greg Abbott suspended some statutes that let people appear before a notary public by videoconference. So some of these documents can be finalized in "virtual" signings.

"These temporary suspensions provide flexibility in the notarization process for certain documents and ensure Texans are able to stay home as much as possible to protect themselves and others from this virus," Abbott said.

But wills need to be signed in front of witnesses, which means the last step to finalize those documents may need to be done in person.

In the worst case scenario, where you need a will but can't go online or have the time to talk to an attorney, you can make a handwritten will.

If you do, make it short, such as leaving everything to your spouse or to your children. And the entire document must be written by hand and signed.

"If you sign it, there doesn't have to be witnesses or a notary," Jamieson said. "It's a little more difficult to probate, but it's not as bad as dying without a will."

Ending uncertainty

Many people are reluctant to have wills drawn up.

And COVID-19 makes some people feel vulnerable and unable to control their own life and destiny.


"When this potentially deadly illness is around us, it makes us anxious about our deaths," said Cathy Cox, an associate psychology professor at TCU.

But drawing up a will does two things.

It lets people reach out to loved ones to talk about what they want to happen at the end of their lives and it makes them feel as though they've done everything they can to help loved ones.

"It can be comforting to them to make sure their friends and loved ones are taken care of," Cox said. "There's not any more uncertainty."

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