7 Sources of Free Legal Services for Seniors

free legal services for seniors

Get free legal help for seniors

As a caregiver, part of the job is to help your older adult take care of legal matters and make sure important documents are complete and up-to-date.

That could include setting up an estate plan or making sure that essential legal documents like a living will and power of attorney are in place.

It might also include figuring out how to pay for long-term care, qualifying for Medicaid, or dealing with housing problems and other disputes that require legal action.

But legal services can be costly, especially for seniors on a fixed income.

Fortunately, there are many nonprofit and community organizations that provide free and low-cost legal services to older adults.

Here, we’ve rounded up 7 sources of free legal help for seniors.

 

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7 sources of free legal services for seniors

1. Legal Aid
Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is the nonprofit organization that provides free legal services to low-income Americans. They fund 133 independent nonprofit legal aid organizations across the U.S.

Typically, LSC-funded programs help people who live in households with annual incomes at or below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines.

However, income qualifications and available legal services will vary depending on the location.
Find a Legal Aid program in your area 

 

2. Community legal services for seniors
Your county’s Area Agency on Aging provides community resources for seniors and caregivers. They’ll be able to connect you to local organizations that provide free and low-cost legal help for seniors.

To search online for community legal resources in your area:

  1. Visit the Eldercare Locator
  2. Enter zip code and click “Search”
  3. In the drop down menu, select “Legal Services”

To speak with someone at Eldercare Locator, call 1-800-677-1116.
Find your local Area Agency on Aging 

 

3. Pro Bono programs
Pro bono programs match low-income people with volunteer lawyers who agree to take their cases for free.

Find a Pro Bono program in your local area through the LawHelp.org directory.

 

4. LegalHotlines.org
A legal hotline allows seniors to ask legal questions over the phone.

If the question can’t be answered over the phone, the hotline can also help you find the necessary legal aid services in your area.
Find senior legal hotline programs in your state 

 

5. National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
This nonprofit organization provides legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.

On this page of their website, NDRN lists a variety of problems that someone with a disability may be facing. This list covers many of issues that seniors commonly face.

If your older adult is going through one of these problems, contact your state’s Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and/or Client Assistance Programs (CAP) to get legal help. To find it, click on your state in the list on the right side of the page.

Note: In the purple box in the middle of this page, there’s also a link to the printable version of the contact list of P&A and CAP agencies by state.
Find a Protection and Advocacy Agency in your state 

 

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6. Employer-sponsored legal services
Many companies, especially large corporations, offer free or discounted legal services through their Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Ask the Human Resources department to find out if legal services or legal insurance is provided as a company benefit.

 

7. Additional low-cost legal services for seniors
If timely help isn’t available from organizations that offer free legal services or your older adult isn’t eligible, you may want to find low-cost or discounted legal help. Here are a few options:

The American Bar Association also offers public-service oriented lawyer referral programs that will speak with you to understand the issue and provide a referral to a lawyer or a community organization that can help.
Find a public-service lawyer referral program 

Contact your state or local Bar Association to see if they can refer you to an attorney that charges reduced fees.
Find your state or local Bar Association 

Personal legal insurance isn’t well known in the United States, but it’s a legitimate service and can be a more affordable way to get needed legal services.

For a fixed monthly fee, you typically get free phone consultations and certain covered legal services. For legal services that aren’t covered, you may get discounted rates when using attorneys in the company’s network.

Legal insurance is offered by reputable companies like ARAG, LegalShield, and LegalZoom.

 

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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Alliance Property Consultancy

 

This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.


10 Comments

  • Reply February 23, 2022

    Marsha Vrba

    I am a senior getting disability and I need help writing a will

    • Reply February 23, 2022

      DailyCaring

      We’re not legal or financial professionals, so we aren’t able to offer any advice on your will. It’s best to speak with an attorney. We hope the links above can help you find an attorney in your area.

  • Reply February 8, 2022

    Darryl Tramonte

    I am concerned fir my in laws that are 92 years old. They have a reverse mortgage and want my wife who is their daughter to buy the house for what they owe on it. We are concerned that this could have a negative effect on them qualifying for Medicaid. After selling the house they will own no other assets. Can you explain the proper way to do this?

    • Reply February 8, 2022

      DailyCaring

      That’s a great question and good that you’re thinking ahead. However, since we’re not legal or financial professionals, we aren’t able to offer any advice. It’s best to speak with an attorney or a financial planner.

  • Reply December 8, 2021

    Lisa rash

    I live in a senior low housing apartment. This building is a HUD Building.
    There is a tenant here that has been harassing tenants and threatening people and housing will not do anything about him he has recently threatened to kill all of us. I’m trying to find out how to get some legal help or file a civil harassment suit against him people are scared in this building please tell me what to do

    • Reply December 8, 2021

      DailyCaring

      We’re so sorry this is happening. We’re not legal professionals, so unfortunately we’re not able to provide any legal advice. Hopefully, one of the organizations listed in the article above will be able to help. If you haven’t already, you might also want to call the local police to get some help as well.

  • Reply October 19, 2020

    BARBARA HAAKONSON

    i have a Living Trust. My Trustee quit me. Can I type my own Trust and have it notarized and recorded without a lawyer?

    • Reply October 19, 2020

      DailyCaring

      Since we’re not legal professionals, we’re not able to provide any legal advice. It would be best to contact an attorney in your area to find out if a trust created in this manner would be valid.

      • Reply February 2, 2021

        Liz Hawley

        What do Nursing Homes take as far as Assets go? Can they take Pension Checks, SS Checks Savings, House and Car?

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