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Law firm offering Florida teachers free living wills prior to heading back to school

A St. Petersburg attorney is offering living wills free of charge for teachers returning to the classroom amid the coronavirus pandemic.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Charles Gallagher felt moved to do something.

He said it all started when he heard about a teacher in Arizona who died from the coronavirus after an outbreak in the school she was teaching at over the summer.

Then, the reaction from Florida teachers after the state ordered all schools to be open five days a week inspired him to help in some way.

"Seeing them say, maybe a bit tongue and cheek, but maybe not, one of the things they would need moving forward would be a living will going into this uncertain, risky scenario," said Gallagher who ultimately decided to offer that very service free of charge.

RELATED: 'Teachers are preparing lesson plans and living wills': Florida teachers union pushes for delayed start to school year

On Tuesday, Gallagher posted the following on his firm's Facebook page:

"G&A is happy to provide gratis living wills/advance directives for teachers involuntarily forced to return to the classroom. While we agree with medical experts that it is premature to reopen schools in this Tampa Bay hot zone, we want to do our part to help teachers that are forced to return. #COVID19 *Questions email: GallagherLaw@attorneyoffices.org"

By Thursday morning, Gallagher said he had received somewhere from 300-400 inquires from teachers interested in setting up their living wills, which is a legal document naming what actions should be taken for their health if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves because of illness or incapacity.

RELATED: Florida teacher: 'In wanting to save the kids, I got to make sure I save myself'

"To hear a teacher say, gosh I need a living will to go back to school now, that struck a chord and I wanted to help if we could and if we could provide that assistance to teachers and give them a little more security," Gallagher explained.

Some of the comments on the Facebook post are from teachers out-of-state however Gallagher can only help Florida teachers.

RELATED: Bus drivers, custodians and service workers worried about catching coronavirus on the job


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