Florida Lawyers Offering Free Living Wills To Teachers Returning To School
Multiple Florida lawyers are offering free or discounted living wills to teachers who will be forced to return to work during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an NBC report.
- Charles Gallagher of the St. Petersburg law firm Gallagher & Associates is offering free living wills to Florida teachers after reading a story out of Arizona wherein three teachers went back to school to work on a project and contracted COVID-19; one teacher died. He said he was “taken aback by the story.”
- The largest teachers’ union in Florida is currently suing Governor Ron DeSantis (R) to push back the reopening of schools.
According to the NBC report,
Since advertising the free living wills, a document that provides legal instructions for a person's choice of medical care should they be unable to communicate them directly to a doctor themselves, he has received inquiries from some 600 teachers and others school employees.
- Another lawyer, Jen Englert, a managing partner at The Orlando Law Group, received 800 requests after posting a radio ad. The firm was already providing discounted living wills to first responders and medical staff during the pandemic.
- An advocate of estate planning, Englert said, “I think the coronavirus has made people realize that you can't take it for granted that you'll have a spouse, parent or somebody else be able to communicate your desires for your care, especially since the coronavirus calls for people to be isolated in hospitals.”
- Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an emergency order that all Florida schools will open not just for educational and social purposes but to help Florida hit “its full economic stride.” He is being sued by the Florida Education Association as well.
- Though children make up less than 7 percent of those who contracted the virus and about 0.1 percent of deaths, the risk could be very high for the immunocompromised and teachers, administrators, and general staff at schools, like cafeteria workers and janitors.
- “You have to weigh the opportunity costs. Opening schools means sick and dead children and delaying opening means inconvenience," Gallagher said. "There's just no logic behind the first option."