Critter Corner: Are Teachers and Other Frontline Workers Rushing to Do Estate Planning?

Dear Ernie and Jannette,

I recently saw in many publications, including CNN and Newsweek, that teachers and other frontline workers (including dental hygienists, flight attendants, and others) are rushing to do estate planning. Have you found this to be the case? I am a first-grade teacher who may have to go back soon (maybe not first quarter, but probably after) and am concerned how things will be then. Yet, I’m also only 32 and never considered estate planning at such a young age. Does the Farr Law Firm offer a discount for frontline workers such as me? Thanks for your help!

Ella Mentri

Dear Ella,

The website Visual Capitalist scored occupations based on their risk for contracting COVID-19. Dental hygienists, for example, had the highest risk with 99; flight attendants 76; and elementary school teachers scored a 54. So, it’s rightfully so that many teachers and other front-line workers have expressed concerns about planning in advance, due to their exposure to coronavirus. In fact, lawyers across the country are saying they are seeing a rise in calls from educators and other frontline workers about preparing wills and revocable trusts.

Many teachers CNN spoke with said they are preparing for the worst. All of the interviewed teachers shared a similar sentiment: They miss their students and in person teaching, but they worry about their health should they return to classrooms amid the pandemic.

Louise, a special education teacher in a state where Covid-19 is surging, told CNN that she is preparing a will and a living will. She is also looking into supplementary life insurance as she gets ready to go back into the classroom next month. “It’s probably time that I have something in place,” Louise said of her will, “and there’s nothing like a pandemic to make you do all that.” According to Louise, teachers have been posting comments in groups across social media about preparing their wills and enrolling in supplemental life insurance as local Covid-19 cases keep rising.

Eleeza, a high school teacher in the same district as Louise, told CNN she is updating her will, and putting a Special Needs Trust in place for her disabled, high-risk 19-year-old son. She’s also struggling with a living will for her son, for whom she has legal guardianship, along with her husband and another person outside the household.

Amy Forehand, who similar to yourself is a first-grade teacher, said figuring out how much supplemental life insurance to sign up for is a priority for this weekend. “How are we in the middle of a pandemic, and I’m going into this germ factory, and we don’t have a will?” she said, speaking of herself and her husband.

Some teachers feel more vulnerable to the coronavirus because they are older or have health conditions. Although her age doesn’t put her in a high-risk group, Forehand said she has moderate to severe asthma. “I’m not a risk taker,” she said. “It’s not something I want to gamble with.”

Are you a teacher or a member of the frontline? If so, the Farr Law Firm would love to offer you much needed peace of mind and do your estate planning for you. As a bonus, the Farr Law Firm is offering a 20% discount to all frontline workers until the end of August. Please contact the firm at 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for an initial consultation.

Hop this helps,

Ernie and Jannette

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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.

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