The University of Nebraska’s College of Law is sending its students to help military veterans with matters related to estate planning, giving law students practical experience while helping a population in need. Over recent weeks, fourteen veterans have received free counseling on drafting wills and naming powers of attorney through the Veterans Advanced Directive Clinic.
This recent article in the Lincoln Journal Star was picked up by the Associated Press, which syndicated it around the world. In “University of Nebraska law students help veterans with estate planning, wills and more,” Ryan Sullivan, a professor at the law college who is involved with its clinics, explains that the Advanced Directive Clinic helps law students eager to put their studies to the test by matching them up with clients who need assistance, and helps veterans get free legal help with end-of-life documents.
These newly-created documents are immediately scanned into the Veterans Affairs’ database, so that they can be accessed by doctors across the United States.
Sullivan remarked that the vets have done so much for the country through their service. He thought this was a good way to teach law students about the sacrifices the veterans have made and to give them help that they need.
One of the law students in the Advanced Directive Clinic said that the veterans who were helped expressed relief to have this settled. They don’t have to worry about what might happen in the future if they didn’t have a will or other necessary documents.
The College of Law’s professor of clinical practice Kevin Ruser said the success of the first law clinic for veterans could mean more clinics in partnership with the VA. With ten veterans on a waiting list, the initial group of three students who worked at the clinic this summer could easily grow to five students later this year. Each law student would handle three clients.
These law students have been a great help to these veterans with the basics, but more complex issues need the expertise of practicing attorneys who specialize in estate planning. Contact an estate planning attorney to discuss your circumstances.
Reference: Associated Press (Lincoln Journal Star) (August 1, 2015) “University of Nebraska law students help veterans with estate planning, wills and more”
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