Legal Law: Pandemic has Elder Law Attorneys on speed-dial

Lawyers Weekly (April 13, 2020)

The coronavirus outbreak has elder law attorneys working overtime to help clients navigate issues ranging from the mundane updating of a will to the relocation of a loved one barred from returning to the nursing home where he or she used to live.

When the pandemic first hit, Springfield attorney Gina Barry was swamped with work drafting wills, trusts, powers of attorneys and health care proxies for the many health care workers she has as clients.

"I was at the computer drafting from 6 o'clock in the morning to 11 o'clock at night," Barry said.

Barry continues to see an increased demand for estate planning services.

"People who haven't planned at all want to plan. People who were taking their time are feeling more urgency to finish their plans. And people who have plans in place are making sure they're updated," Barry said.

She added that she's seen a demand for specific COVID-19 language in living wills to address end-of-life concerns.

In order to best serve their clients, members of the elder law bar say they need the Legislature to pass a bill immediately that would allow for the remote notarization of documents to avoid the close personal interractions that risk the spread of COVID-19.

"What's difficult for everyone is reaching our clients that are in nursing homes and assisted living," said Lenox practitioner Paula Almgren, president of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

PLEASE CALL ALEX MATULEWICZ at 508-660-0331. It's a free consultation. If you need help or guidance, please call him ASAP. Don't wait!