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Americans are rushing to make their wills as deaths rise alarmingly with US set to become epicenter of outbreak

Certain will-making companies have registered a 143 percent uptake in their business as the death toll linked to Covid-19 rose to above 1,000 in the US
UPDATED MAR 26, 2020
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Americans are reportedly rushing to make their wills online amid the rising death toll in the wake of a rapid transmission of the deadly coronavirus in the country. Certain will-making companies have even registered a 143 percent uptake in their business as the death toll linked to Covid-19 rose to above 1,000 in the US.

Gentreo, an online will company, while talking to CNBC, said that they have witnessed a whopping 143 percent week on week increase in their business, while another similar company Trust & Will saw a 50 percent increase in theirs. Reports state that nearly 40 percent of Americans are believed to currently have their wills placed.

Latest figures, released on Wednesday, showed that New York, which is considered the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the US, now has at least 50 percent of the total confirmed coronavirus cases in the nation - 30,800 confirmed cases in the state and 366 deaths. Meanwhile, Washington, which was initially considered the epicenter of the outbreak, now has 2,588 confirmed cases and 132 deaths. While California has reported 3,158 cases and 67 deaths, Texas has 1,155 cases and 15 deaths, and Florida is reporting 1,977 cases and 23 fatalities.

"Seeing in the news that so many people are passing away worldwide and here in the U.S., people are getting a little scared," an estate planning attorney, Alain Roman, while talking to Barrons said. "It’s getting them thinking about having a plan in place in case something happens to them."

People speak near a makeshift morgue outside of Bellevue Hospital on March 25, 2020 in New York City, New York. Across the country schools, businesses and places of work have either been shut down or are restricting hours of operation as health officials try to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Getty Images)

While American resident Morgan Hopkins told CNBC that she is "willing to think about the worst-case scenario" as deaths in the country are rising and "wants to be prepared" after getting an online will made. "I started seeing stories of young people who are in otherwise perfectly good health in the hospital or in critical condition with the coronavirus," she told the outlet. 

However, as many hanker to get their wills made, several experts have warned against the phenomenon. Founder of Tanye Law Group, Leslie Tanye, said that their wills will only be valid if it "meets all the legal requirements of your state."

"Since the vast majority of DIY wills are created and executed without any oversight from an attorney, a larger number of wills (may not be) executed in compliance with the proper will formalities, and that could end up making the will invalid," Tanye said.

The US currently ranks third behind Italy and China with the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country. Covid-19 has claimed nearly 20,000 lives across the world ever since the outbreak began in China in late December last year. 

The World Health Organization, earlier this week, said that the US could soon become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic considering the "very large acceleration" of confirmed infections in the region. Currently, Italy has the most number of increasing cases and deaths emerging in the world. New York and a few other states were declared disaster zones by President Donald Trump last week, with armed military personnel moving into these states to create make space for hospitals and morgues as the institutions are reaching their capacity.