WA Vets Will Clinic Expands to Provide Free Estate Planning Documents to Veterans and Spouses in Wenatchee

Aug 20, 2013, 17:00 ET from Army OneSource

WENATCHEE, Wash., Aug. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Marking its second year, the WA Vets Will Clinic will again provide free estate planning documents for veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, as well as their spouses in Washington.  For the first time the WA Vets Will Clinic will be holding an event in Wenatchee, WA on October 26, 2013. Veterans, National Guard and Reserve members and spouses who take part in this event will receive wills, power of attorney documents, health care directives, and health care power of attorney documents free of charge. All of this is made possible by the WA Vets Will Clinic, a collaboration of the Chelan/Douglas County Bar Association's Young Lawyers Committee, in cooperation with Army OneSource, the American Red Cross, the Wenatchee Vet Center, Wenatchee Community Center and the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.

According to a Harris Interactive survey, a little over half of Americans do not have estate planning documents. While the reasons for not having a will may be numerous, the primary reason is cost. Indeed, a complete estate planning package can cost between $500 and $1,500.

Another common misconception is that Washington State will distribute a person's assets in the most beneficial manner should that individual die without a will. However, the repercussions of the State providing you a "free will" are generally not beneficial. For instance, if you die without a will, your "free will" has a predetermined list of beneficiaries – those that are entitled to a portion of your estate under Washington law. As Washington is a community property state, meaning that your spouse owns 50% of your assets, dying without a will could have unintended consequences.  It may even result in some of your assets being distributed to an estranged sibling, parent or other relative.

The first annual WA Vets Will Clinic, designed to mitigate these negative aspects, was an unprecedented success due to the unique cooperation between local attorneys, notaries, and educational, government and community organizations. Jacob Brennan, Chair of the WA Vets Will Clinic noted that "the level of support the Clinic has received from the community, and the collaboration between our partner groups, has been astonishing. We've been blown away by the number of people who want to give back to our veterans." Taking advantage of the groundwork laid by the Jacob and his team, the Wenatchee WA Vets Will Clinic Organizing Committee has taken the baton and seeks to recreate and even exceed the level of success achieved in Spokane during their first annual event.  "The opportunity to give back to our local community, particularly to those who have given so much on behalf of all of us, is an easy proposition to accept.  The support from local volunteers has been nothing short of overwhelming and we are excited to serve as many veterans and their spouses as possible this year and, hopefully, for many years to come," said Jordan Miller, Member of the Wenatchee Organizing Committee.  

The Red Cross and WA Vets Will Clinic will be hosting a booth at the Wenatchee Veterans Stand Down on September 27th and 28th, an event bringing veterans and veterans oriented service organizations together annually in the Wenatchee Valley, as part of that broader approach to connecting veterans with services available in their local areas and hopes to have present at the Wenatchee Clinic members of those service organizations to interact with Clinic participants. Additionally, this year spouses will also be able to partake in the free services. "The Will Clinic is a great way for Washington's Military Veterans, National Guard/Reservists, and their spouses to obtain FREE assistance with estate planning documents such as a Will and at the same time connect with viable, reliable local resources also available to them at no cost," observed Angela Traina Community Support Coordinator for Army OneSource.

Veterans must make an appointment to participate in the WA Vets Will Clinic. Proof of Washington State residency and proof of military service are required. Spouses must present a copy of a valid marriage certificate. Appointments may be made by visiting the WA Vets Will Clinic at http://www.wavetswillclinic.com/sign-up, where those interested can complete an electronic enrollment form. Online enrollment is highly preferred; however, interested parties may visit the East Wenatchee Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts, Wenatchee Veterans Serving Veterans or Red Cross to complete a hardcopy enrollment form if they do not have computer access.

Volunteer opportunities are available for attorneys, notaries, and law students desiring to help. Attorney volunteers will receive a free Continuing Legal Education training class. Those wishing to volunteer must sign up at http://www.wavetswillclinic.com/volunteer.




SOURCE Army OneSource