Americans are rushing to make online wills with 143% uptake during coronavirus outbreak – but lawyers warn some might be invalid
Americans are rushing to make online wills with some companies reporting a 143 per cent uptake in business amid the rising death toll as a result of coronavirus.
A total of 823 people have died in the United States from the disease as of Wednesday. There are more than 60,000 confirmed cases.
Online will company Gentreo told CNBC they have seen a 143 per cent week on week increase in business; Trust & Will has seen a 50 per cent rise. Around 40 per cent of Americans are thought to currently have wills place.
New figures released on Wednesday show that New York, which is the epicenter of the US outbreak, now has 50 percent of the country’s total confirmed coronavirus cases.
Armed military personnel and NYC Medical Examiner’s Office set up white tents and refrigeration trucks outside Bellevue hospital as health officials warned the city’s morgues were nearing capacity
The World Health Organization this week revealed a grim outlook for the United States, saying that the country could quickly become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic given the ‘very large acceleration’ of confirmed infections
There are now more than 30,800 confirmed cases in New York and more than 17,800 in New York City alone. There are 285 deaths in New York, including 192 in the city.
Washington state, which was initially the epicenter following an outbreak at a Seattle nursing home, now has 2,472 confirmed cases and 125 deaths.
California is reporting 2,675 cases and 59 deaths, including the first child after a 17-year-old boy with no known pre-existing conditions died.
Texas has 1,150 cases and 14 deaths, while Florida is reporting 1,682 cases and 23 fatalities.
Attorney Alain Roman, who helps with estate planning, told Barrons: ‘Seeing in the news that so many people are passing away worldwide and here in the U.S., people are getting a little scared.
‘It’s getting them thinking about having a plan in place in case something happens to them.’
A priest wearing a face mask checks a book of funeral rites as he gives the last blessing by a coffin during a funeral ceremony outside the cemetery of Bolgare, Lombardy
American Morgan Hopkins told CNBC she is ‘willing to think about the worst case scenario’ and ‘wanted to be prepared’ after getting an online will.
She added: ‘I started seeing stories of young people who are in otherwise perfectly good health in the hospital or in critical condition with the coronavirus.’
But experts have warned those signing wills online to be wary of their legality.
Leslie Tayne, founder of Tayne Law Group said the will will be valid if it ‘meets all of the legal requirements of your state’.
Tayne added: ‘However, since the vast majority of DIY wills are created and executed without any oversight from an attorney, a larger number of wills (may not be) executed in compliance with the proper will formalities, and that could end up making the will invalid.’
The US remains third behind China and Italy with the number of confirmed coronavirus cases.
The infection has killed nearly 20,000 people worldwide since the outbreak began in China in December.
The World Health Organization this week revealed a grim outlook for the United States, saying that the country could quickly become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic given the ‘very large acceleration’ of confirmed infections.
Armed military personnel and NYC Medical Examiner’s Office set up white tents and refrigeration trucks outside the hospital as health officials warned the city’s morgues were nearing capacity.