(reposted from: Gonzaga News Service)
Up to 65 Percent of Americans Lack Basic Estate Plans
SPOKANE, Wash. – An effort by the Spokane County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, in cooperation with Army OneSource, the Gonzaga University School of Law, the American Red Cross, the Spokane Vet Center, and the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, will provide free estate planning for local veterans, starting Oct. 13.
A 2009 survey by Harris Interactive found that 65 percent of Americans lack even the most basic estate planning documents. At a base cost starting at $500-$1,000, these important legal directives have been out of reach for many people.
Jacob Brennan, chair of the WA Vets Will Clinic, said unprecedented collaboration between the local legal community and educational, government, and civic organizations have made it possible to provide free estate planning documents to U.S. military veterans.
“The first event of its kind in Washington, the clinic is aimed at providing wills, power of attorneys, and health care directives to those that would otherwise not have access to this type of free legal aid,” Brennan said. In addition to the completely free estate planning services, numerous veterans’ organizations will be available at the clinic to offer services.
“We will be at the WA Vets Will Clinic as a ready resource for vets who would like to talk to us there, or at any time,” said Eliseo Dumlao, a counselor for the Spokane Veterans Center who will be available along with four other veterans’ service agencies.
Veterans must make an appointment to participate in the WA Vets Will Clinic. Proof of Washington state residency and proof of military service (a DD214 form) are required. Appointments may be made by visiting the following website: or by calling (509) 326-3330 ext. 202.
Volunteer opportunities are available for both attorneys and non-attorneys wishing to help. Attorney volunteers will receive a free Continuing Legal Education training class. Those wishing to volunteer may register with the WA Vets Will Clinic online.