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IndyBar: Volunteers Deliver Free Wills, Peace of Mind at Pro Bono Clinic

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Low-income individuals are more likely to die younger and without wills or advance directives in place, but an Indianapolis Bar Association program on Wednesday, May 10 provided qualified community members with these vital documents for free in just one day.

During the Free Wills Clinic, volunteer attorneys drafted free wills as a service to the community. Individuals who met the financial criteria (based on income, home equity and liquid assets) met privately with an attorney who drafted a last will and testament and advanced directives for them, at no cost. The program plays an important role in making tough end-of-life decisions, particularly involving the care of children.

free-wills-photo-2-15col.jpg Community members and IndyBar volunteers gather at the John H. Boner Neighborhood Center during the Free Wills Clinic on May 10.)

The Free Wills Clinic was offered in a one-stop-shop workshop format at both the John H. Boner Neighborhood Center and 37 Place. Members of the public visited a site where they completed a financial application to qualify for the program, met with an attorney who prepared the documents and got their documents signed and witnessed.

The Free Wills Clinic program is sponsored by the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Pro Bono Standing Committee and the Estate Planning and Administration Section. Funding for the program is made possible through the Indianapolis Bar Foundation, which also funds a variety of other legal advice and assistance programs offered throughout the year by the Indianapolis Bar Association. For more information on these programs, visit indybar.org/legaladvice.

free-wills-photo-1-15col.jpgDrafting wills presents a lot of questions for those who aren’t familiar with the process. Here, IndyBar volunteer Nicole Makris of Lamb Makris & Associates LLP explains exactly what all the legal terms mean.

Thank you to the 28 IndyBar members who volunteered their time to complete intake and prepare these important documents. Interested in getting involved? The Free Wills Clinic will be offered again in fall 2017. Contact Caren Chopp at cchopp@indybar.org for more information.•

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