Will and estate planning on the rise amid pandemic, according to local lawyer

The Coble family are one of many who have decided now is the time to get their wills and estates in order.
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- During this pandemic people are thinking about their health and well being. But are you prepared in case there's a worst case scenario when it comes to your health and finances?

Geoffrey S. Kunkler, attorney at Carlile Patchen & Murphy, says he's seen more inquiries from people taking care of important documents including their wills and estate planning.

One of those couples is April and Dondrae Coble.

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The Coble family has been making the most of their time at home, with 5-year-old Kerrington. But the Westerville family has also been productive, by spending time planning out their final wills and estate.

"COVID hit and it's something we were already thinking about, even though it's not the happiest thing," explained Dondrae Coble.

To help figure that out, as well as their assets and finances, the couple sought the help of Geoff Kunkler, who says amid this pandemic, people are thinking about these types of decisions.

"In the case of the pandemic, if you're stuck in the hospital for a couple weeks, who pays your rent, your bills, who files your taxes," Kunkler asked, saying someone should be designated to make all of those decisions in case you're incapacitated.

That can be solved by drafting up healthcare and financial power of attorney documents, which makes things less stressful in emergency situations.

"I see time and time again people who chose not to get their affairs in order ahead of time cost their family time and money, paying more in legal fees, court fees, appraisal fees, all kinds of things that could have been avoided," Kunkler said.

And when it comes to estate planning, he says money doesn't matter.

"I have one lady who has a camera she's donating to a particular museum. It may not have monetary value, but to her she wants it to go to the right place. It doesn't matter if you have 10 bucks or a million bucks, you have to figure out who gets your kids, who gets your stuff and who should be in charge," Kunkler explained.

And now that the Cobles have done all that and named their executor, they feel at ease. "Hopefully you never have to use it. It's like car insurance or home insurance, when you really need it, you wish you had it," Dondrae said.