Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Teachers drafting wills – even obits – along with lesson plans

TeacherWhitney Reddick, 33, posted her own obituary on Facebook, however, she did not intend for it to go viral. 

Reddick, a special education teacher in Florida, was posted all over national headlines when her plea to Jacksonville's Duval County Public Schools and state officials to keep public education virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic was continuously shared around the country. 

“It is crazy,” Reddick said. “I’m seeing my name in publications I’ve never even heard of. Hands down, this is not my first vocal stance, or the first activism that I’ve taken on the issue. ... I had no expectation of that whatsoever.”

Reddick’s obituary of herself said things like “she left us while alone in isolation and on a ventilator at a Duval county hospital in Jacksonville, Florida”; and “even though she shouted from the rooftops ... she succumbed to the ignorance of those in power (and) returned to work.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people, especially teachers, are having to think about their own mortality. Many of the teachers are beginning to draw up wills despite their young age. “I’m writing my will and I haven’t even paid off my student loans yet,” one tweet said. Another teacher tweeted: “Been feeling really off this week because I’m working on writing my will. I turned 27 last week, but I’m a teacher and I’m scared.”

Duval Teachers United in Jacksonville offers legal services including drafting wills at no cost. Teachers in Duval County have had conversations in private Facebook groups to make appointments to have wills drafted. 

See Emily Boch, Teachers drafting wills – even obits – along with lesson plans, USA Today, August 13, 2020.


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