Many senior citizens may think that drafting or updating their last will and testament is not a big priority. This can be especially true if you do not have a large estate with lots of land or money to be divided. But, the truth is that you do need one, no matter the size of your estate.
Even if you don’t have that many assets, a will can help to avoid confusion and arguments over who gets what. In addition, a will can ensure that your last wishes and decisions are followed out as you desired. If you pass away without a legal will, you run the risk of having personal issues settled by a stranger, usually a third party administrator appointed by the court system.
While getting a will drafted can be expensive, there are also some free resources available to save you money. These can help you to draft a new will or even update an existing one.
AARP’s Legal Counsel for the Elderly program is made up of volunteer lawyers who provide free will services and other legal services for low-income residents of the District of Columbia. The organization and its volunteers help more than 5,000 seniors every year.
The Serving Our Seniors program offers free wills and living wills for older adults. They also offer power of attorney for healthcare and property to thousands of seniors in 25 states. The project chairman, Justin Heather, recently developed a website in order to grow and expand the Serving Our Seniors project to older Americans in all 50 states.
There are thousands of pro bono programs available to seniors around the country. Be aware that some, if not most, of the pro bono programs have age and income limits you must meet in order to qualify for the programs. You can find out which programs are available in your area by doing a simple online search. Type in “pro bono will” followed by the state you live in and see which programs interest you.