What kind of lawyers make house calls? Wills and estates lawyers.

I received a call recently from a friend of a friend whose mother was in the hospital and had a grave new diagnosis. She wanted her estate plan done as fast as possible. I visited her at the hosptial that very afternoon to learn about her family and last wishes. Two days later I returned to the hospital with my assistant to serve as notary public, and the family brought two friends to serve as disinterested witnesses. Because of the danger of infection, we all wore surgical masks.

I explained the documents prepared: the will, the durable power of financial attorney, and the “living will” (which is not truly a will but it is more properly called an “advance healthcare directive”, a “medical power of attorney”, or a “healthcare proxy”). I listened carefully to make sure she was lucid enough to execute the documents, and at one point I asked the family members to leave the room so that I could question her to make sure that the will truly reflected her wishes. She signed the documents, and I could feel the burden lifting in the room as she did so.

Her children and friends told me that she is a is not very trusting and had postponed these decisions for years. They were very pleased that she had trusted me and completed her estate plan.