Watch CBS News

Families Work To Plan Living Trusts, Wills Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow, so do concerns about the future.

Christa Moorehouse from Camarillo says she and her husband know they want their kids to go to her parents in the event they both pass away but they haven't put it in writing.

"We really need to buckle down now and come up with a solid plan," Moorehouse said.

Trust and estate attorney Karla Berentson from Hahn and Hahn in Pasadena is working from home, helping clients get their legal documents in order.

"So COVID-19 has definitely lit a fire under many of my existing clients and new potential clients," said Berentson.

"The worst thing is when I get that call and someone is sick and  its too late for me to prepare documents for them because they're unable to make their own decisions."

Berentsen advises that before drawing up a living trust, consider the following:

"The two most important documents that I want everyone to have 18 and older are your advanced health care directive and your durable power of attorney," she said

Berentson explained an advance health care directive saying, "So if I hit my head really hard, and I haven't filled out my health care directive or I get really sick with COVID-19 and am unable to make my own decisions, if I don't have that health care directive in place, my family could be forced to file conservatorship over me."

As for a durable power of attorney, Berentsen said, "The durable power of attorney is the document where you pick people to make the financial decisions for you. if you can't make those kind of decisions for yourself."

When it comes to a living trust, Berentsen said to make sure you have your wishes in writing including who and how your children should be cared for and who you want in charge of your assets.

"I want to help them get this done, bc we have enough to worry about with COVID-19 . This would be one less thing on their plates," she said.

Berentson is currently drawing up the documents needed from her home for new clients, then she travels to their homes to get them signed while practicing safe social distancing practices.

For more information visit

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.