Bar News - July 15, 2011
Bar Association Pitches in to Help Navy Reservists With Estate Plans
NH Bar Association volunteers conducted an estate-planning clinic on Sunday, June 5, for Navy reservists preparing for an overseas deployment.
Pro Bono Program Volunteers
Attorneys and Legal Professionals
Daniel Joseph Connolly
Anna Barbara Hantz with assistant Linda Hooper
Jenny L. Milana, with paralegal Tammy Siekmann
Diana K. Wieland
NHBA Staff and Friends
Irene L. Merrill
Kathleen St. Louis
Paul St. Louis
Chantell B. Wheeler
The effort, which took place at the US Navy Reserve Office in Londonderry, was the second time the NH Pro Bono Referral Program has organized a military pro bono estate-planning clinic for deploying service members this year. Nearly 50 New Hampshire lawyers and paralegals volunteered in January to assist 123 Marine reservists preparing for imminent deployment to Afghanistan.
In June, four members of the NH Bar gave up their Sunday to counsel and prepare wills and trust instruments for 11 Navy reservists heading overseas.
As with the earlier clinic, also held in Londonderry, the attorneys brought their own computers, forms and printers to the training facility. These clinics enabled the service members to expeditiously prepare wills and powers of attorney to arrange their affairs before they begin combat duty.
The civilian volunteers treat their pro bono clients as they would their private clients, providing individualized service in one-on-counseling, said Virginia A. Martin, assistant executive director of legal services. Many of the service members do not have wills or other documents and havenít even thought about these issues. The advice the lawyers typically provide in these clinics include helping their clients decide who they should entrust with their powers of attorney.
"We were asked to help and we gladly stepped up to the challenge. Itís the least we can do for the members of our armed services that sacrifice so much," said Pro Bono Referral Program Assistant Coordinator Chantell Wheeler.