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Law students helping writing wills  




(March 9, 2012)

Law Students Helping Writing Wills




From the Greenville Daily Reflector:


Law students helping write wills

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Students with the University of North Carolina School of Law will be in Winterville on Wednesday helping low-income residents and the elderly write wills and advance health care directives.

The clinic is being held in Rooms 139, 144 and 145 of the Raymond Reddick Building at Pitt Community College.

The first session will be held at 9 a.m., and the second will be held at 1:30 p.m. Individuals are encouraged to register because there is limited space.

Individuals can make an appointment by calling Legal Aid at 877-579-7562 and ask about the clinic. All clients will undergo a short telephone interview to determine if they meet Legal Aid income or age eligibility guidelines.

The free legal clinic is sponsored by the UNC Law Pro Bono Program, the UNC Center for Civil Rights, and Legal Aid of North Carolina.

The clinics were launched in 2008 to help address the issue of heirs property, a persistent problem with the state’s inheritance laws, said Adam Parker, an official with the law school.

Many black farm families are losing family land because when wills aren’t written, surviving children usually inherit equal shares of the property. The results can be that after several generations, dozens of people own small slivers of land, and they can be forced to sell the land so heirs can benefit equally, Parker said.

Along with wills, the students, who are supervised by attorneys from Legal Aid and the Center for Civil Rights, also will help people prepare powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, living wills, and federal and state tax returns.

All documents will be executed and notarized on site, Parker said. Clients also will be given directions for filing the documents with the court system, ensuring there is a record of the action.