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Volunteer Legal Services Conducts Wills Clinic

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

  • Organization: VLSP

Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys Helps To Staff First-Of-Its Kind Offering

Low income families may not have big concerns about estate taxes, but they often care deeply about who will inherit the few assets they have, or where their children will end up. To that end, the Volunteer Legal Services Project, Inc. has implemented a free "Wills Clinic" to provide simple wills, power of attorney, health care proxies and even standby guardianship designations.

The first VLSP Wills Clinic was held on Tuesday, June 22 at 80 St. Paul St. with several volunteers from the legal community providing the counseling and drafting services to seven local citizens who pre-registered for the service.

Ann Williams, staff attorney for VLSP, supervised the clinic and was pleased to have several attorneys from the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys signed up to meet with clients.

"Where a client has a straightforward plan, the whole process, from discussion to printing out the will, can probably take place in about an hour," explained Williams. "For someone who has more complex needs, we recommend a specific appointment with an attorney who will handle the matter pro bono."

Sandra Volta, chair of GRAWA's Trusts and Estates Committee, was one of the GRAWA attorneys who donated her time and expertise to meet with clients last Tuesday.

One of the clients, a single mother with two preschool children, expressed the relief she felt after completing her will and naming a guardian for the children.

"I'm grateful to have the opportunity to make my wishes known," she said.

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