Since Californians have started to shelter-in-place my office has seen an uptick in telephone calls requesting information about divorce, custody, wills and trusts.  With the loss of employment, the pressure created by social distancing and everyone at home, the cracks that may have already existed in the foundation of your relationship have almost certainly increased in size.  The reality of your relationship, and who is on your team and who is not, will or has become plain to see.

During moments like this we reveal ourselves and find out who has our back and who does not.  The bright side is that this is also a time that brings people together.  This is a chance to find strength together and build a new future that can and will arise out of the ruins of the present.  In my job, I help people plan for a future that may not be like the past.

The reality is that tens of thousands of Americans will die from COVID19 and we have no guarantees about when and how this pandemic will end.  Millions have been thrown out of work.  This is a time of great uncertainty.  The courts are not even open for most issues and there is no guarantee when they will open. Now is a chance to plan.

Instead of calling or messaging an attorney like me while having an emotional response, plan for the future.  First, you should have a trust and a plan for the worst case scenario.

The grim reality is that Americans of all ages are dying of COVID19.  In one month, 6,000 people have died. 1,000 people died only yesterday.  The coronavirus has a fatality rate ten times greater than the flu, which kills tens of thousands of vaccinated Americans each year and for which many people have immunity. Nobody is immune to the Coronavirus and there is no vaccine. Do not believe anybody who thinks this is not a big deal. 

I grew up in a family of physicians.  My father was a doctor and his father was a doctor.  My mother was a nurse and my sister is a nurse.  My sister is the head of infection control in a hospital in Santa Clara.  I am not a doctor, but I am familiar with the science.  I am certain if my dad were alive today he would be telling people that this is unlike any threat you have ever faced in your entire life.  The virus is out there, twice as infectious as the flu and far deadlier.  Don’t be stupid.

I have a family as well and I also need to survive during this difficult time.  If you are calling me for advice, please make the phone appointment and keep it.  Please be willing to pay a nominal fee for my advice.  Please do not contact me if you have no intention of following up.  I am generous with my time and advice. I only ask that you respect me as a fellow human being who is also navigating this crisis.

As I have stated before, I offer free trusts for any health care worker who is exposed to COVID19 patients.  I am doing my part. Please do yours.

-Wallace Francis