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Financial help in estate planning for low-income seniors

Michigan residents who are concerned about how to pay for legal assistance in estate matters may be interested to hear of a service currently being offered in Florida. The Community Law Program is a service which offers low-income seniors assistance in legal matters such as estate planning, trusts, and establishing powers of attorney. Although the program is currently in Florida, it may encourage Michigan seniors to look for something similar in their area.

The Gulfport Multi-Purpose Senior Center has offered a monthly program to seniors with a limited income that offers free legal advice on elder law matters. The program has actually been in effect since 1990, but has only been available at the local senior center since 2009. The program is made possible due to a group of attorneys associated with the St. Petersburg Bar Association who have generously offered pro bono time at a number of legal clinics.

One lawyer who works in this capacity has said that most of her pro bono work includes the establishment of estate planning, living wills, and setting up powers of attorney. She says these documents are important for seniors, no matter how much money they do or do not have. To be eligible for services offered by the Community Law Program, seniors have to meet certain federal poverty guidelines.

Indeed, Michigan seniors who have questions about estate planning would do well to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney. He or she can provide in-depth analysis of an individual's or a couple's financial situation, offering key advice with respect to wills, trusts, and various estate planning options under Michigan and federal tax laws. No matter the amount of one's income, it is never too early or too late to consider an estate plan that ensures optimal benefits for all parties involved.

Source: gulfport.patch.com, "Free Legal Help for Low-Income Seniors," Dale Hutchings, Nov. 17, 2011

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