Free legal clinics for veterans begin next week

newspaperAttorney General Mark R. Herring, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) and the Virginia State Bar (VSB), will hold the first ever pro bono Veterans Legal Services Clinics  to provide estate planning services to low-income veterans throughout the Commonwealth.

Volunteer attorneys from the Office of the Attorney General and the VSB will serve low-income veterans by drafting wills, powers of attorney and advance medical directives in:

  • Hampton Roads on March 1
  • Richmond on March 2
  • Roanoke on March 3
  • Northern Virginia on March 4

Qualified veterans can sign up on Attorney General Herring’s website, at their local DVS Benefits Services Field Office, or by completing and mailing an application to the Attorney General’s office.

“We’ve had a great response already, but we want to make sure we serve as many Virginia veterans as possible in this first round of legal clinics,” said Attorney General Herring. “Wills, powers of attorney, and advance medical directives are really important documents that can provide veterans, their partners, and families with peace of mind and planning for the future. I’m proud to partner with DVS and the State Bar to serve these brave Virginians, and we encourage everyone to spread the word about this important opportunity.”

Attorney General Herring’s clinics will provide qualified veterans and their spouses with simple wills, powers of attorneys, and advance medical directives, including notary services, during the one hour time slots which will be filled on a “first-come, first-served basis.” In order to be eligible for services,veterans and their spouses must fill out an intake questionnaire on Attorney General Herring’s website or at their local Virginia Department of Veterans Services Benefits Center. The first series of pro bono legal services clinics in March hopes to serve more than 100 veterans across the Commonwealth.

  • HAMPTON ROADS: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at – Tidewater Community College – 1428 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322
  • RICHMOND: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at – J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College – Parham Road Campus, 1651 E Parham Road, Richmond, VA 23228
  • ROANOKE: Thursday, March 3, 2016 at – Virginia Western Community College – 3094 Colonial Avenue, Roanoke, Virginia 24015
  • NORTHERN VIRGINIA: Friday, March 4, 2016 at – Northern Virginia Community College – 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003

With more than 750,000 veterans and their families, the Pentagon, and the largest Naval base in the world, Virginia is home to many military members and veterans with unique financial and consumer needs. A Harris Interactive survey found that more than half of Americans do not have wills and estate planning documents like the items offered through the clinic, and with some estimates putting the cost of these documents and services between $500-$1,500, some veterans might be unable to afford these documents.

“I am very pleased that Attorney General Herring and his team have taken this on, and the Department of Veterans Services is very proud to partner with him and the Virginia State Bar on this important project,” said Secretary John C. Harvey, Jr., Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs. “This unique partnership will result in the combination of much needed resources to assist Veterans and their current spouses who otherwise do not have access to readily available attorney representation for estate planning.”

“The Military Law Section of the State Bar of Virginia is proud to support and participate, through the Veterans Legal Services Clinics, in giving back in some small measure to those who have given so much; those who have so courageously, and often repeatedly, placed themselves directly in harm’s way in the defense of this great nation and its people,” said Donna Price, Chair of the Virginia State Bar Military Law Section.

Additional details including qualifications and sign up links can be found here: ag.virginia.gov/index.php/veteranslegalservices.


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