Experts urge caution as online wills see uptick in business amid pandemic

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In yet another surreal sign of the times we’re living in, websites offering people a free (or close to free) way to create a living will are seeing a surge in interest.

But as with most things, the devil is in the details.

“I think the first thing to think about is not to act out of panic,” said KC attorney E. E. Keenan with the Keenan & Bhatia firm.

“One thing that a lot of folks are tempted to do is to go online and use one of these online will services,” Keenan said. “I don’t think that’s a great idea, and there’s a few reasons for that.”

Keenan said many of the websites promise a low-cost service with hefty fees that can come into play later.

“Many of these services aren’t quite as free or low-cost as they would have you believe,” Keenan said. “They want to get you in there with the appearance of a low price, when actually there’s a lot more fees on the backend.”

Keenan also stresses the importance of working with a local professional that you can meet, eventually, in person.

“While it’s a very unfortunate time for our community, our nation and world, it is the right time to get with a lawyer, who probably has the time right now, to draw up a durable power of attorney and health care proxy, or other similar document,” he said. “And doing that can be very affordable and money well spent.”

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