Providing a Terminally Ill Veteran Peace of Mind
Prairie State Legal Services, an IEJF grantee and member of the IL Armed Forces Legal Aid Network (IL-AFLAN), was contacted by the director of a local Veterans Center regarding a Vietnam combat veteran. The veteran had recently been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and given just a few weeks to live.
He had not made any arrangements in anticipation of his death and wanted to be sure his long-term partner as well as his adult daughter were taken care of after he passed.
Prairie State staff were able to draft six legal documents for him, including a will, a healthcare and a property power of attorney, a living will, a social security release and a Transfer of Death Instrument (TODI) for his home.
Two days after the initial meeting, Prairie State staffers traveled to the veteran’s home to witness and notarize the execution of the documents with the client. He passed away shortly thereafter, but with the peace and knowledge that his loved ones would be taken care of.
During critical times, legal aid is able to make a difference in the lives of veterans and their families.
The mission of Prairie State Legal Services is to ensure equal access to justice and fair treatment under the law by providing legal advice and representation, advocacy, education, and outreach that serve to protect basic human needs and enforce or uphold rights. Prairie State Legal Services is a nonprofit organization that offers free legal services for low income persons and those age 60 and over who have serious civil legal problems and need legal help to solve them. There are 12 office locations serving 36 counties in northern Illinois. PSLS has been an IEJF grantee since 2001 and an inaugural IL-AFLAN member.