Legal Resources for Seniors


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Legal issues—like writing a will, establishing a power of attorney, or filing for bankruptcy—are complex. The resources found here can connect you with trusted agencies to help with these issues.

Legal Assistance Programs

Many legal services providers offer free help for individuals who qualify. Assistance and advice are for civil matters, not criminal cases. Topics include employment related issues, health, disability and income maintenance, individual rights, etc. Learn more.

Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney allows you to choose a person who will be in control of your affairs—whether medical or financial—if you are unable to do so yourself. Visit the Directory of Legal Assistance sponsored by the Center for Elder Rights Advocacy to find a legal aid organization in your area that can help you create a durable power of attorney.

Wills

Writing a will is an important part of estate planning and not just for wealthy people. A will can help ensure that your belongings are distributed how you want, as well as provide direction should you become terminally ill. Upon death, an estate plan legally protects and distributes property based on your wishes and the needs of your family and/or survivors, with as little tax as possible.

Learn more:

  • Writing a Will: Nolo offers tips on writing a will and choosing an executor. Find out more at nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/wills.
  • Create Your Will for Free: Read this article from AARP on how nonprofit organizations can help you draft this crucial document for little or no cost. Find out more.

Bankruptcy Filing

Filing for personal bankruptcy is a difficult choice and should be considered carefully. Learn how to make the best decision and seek professional advice.

  • Directory of Legal Assistance Hotlines: Sponsored by the Center for Elder Rights Advocacy, this directory can help you find a legal aid organization in your area. Access the directory.
  • U.S. Department of Justice Trustee Program: This program maintains a list of approved debtor education course providers. Individuals filing for bankruptcy also must take credit counseling before filing. Find out more.
  • Federal Trade Commission: This agency provides basic information on debt and your rights when dealing with debt collectors. Learn more.