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Program offers free wills, advanced directives to IU employees, students

Eligible Indiana University employees, students, retirees, and parents of students or employees can receive free preparation of a last will and testament or other advanced directives, including powers of attorney.

The IU Wills and Advanced Directives Program is coordinated by the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel in collaboration with the IU Maurer School of Law in Bloomington and the IU McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis.

The program provides pro bono legal services related to end-of-life planning for individuals who meet the eligibility requirements, which includes those with an annual income below $50,000 or who are a member of a household with an annual household income below $75,000. Trained IU law students assist with the preparation of legal documents under the supervision of licensed IU attorneys.

“The Indiana University Office of the Vice President and General Counsel’s End-of-Life Planning Program was an amazing pro bono opportunity I was able to be a part of,” McKinney student Whitney Grout said. “I was able to learn a lot about estate planning as well as interact with clients to meet their needs. The program was supportive, educational and one I highly recommend to any law student.”

The program was created to address the fact that more than 50 percent of American adults do not have a will and that as many as 70 percent have not designated a health care power of attorney. Since the program began in 2016, more than 200 wills and other directive documents have been prepared for the IU community, and many clients have expressed their appreciation of these free, confidential services.

One client of the program wrote, “While there are multiple important aspects to a will, knowing our children will be going to the person(s) we have chosen in the event of our passing, and that they are taken proper care of, is of utmost importance. This ensures that. The counsel are very understanding, listen to your needs/wants, and are very easy to work with. I 100 percent recommend using them for will preparation.”

The legal documents the program can assist with are:

  • Simple last will and testament.
  • Living will declaration.
  • Durable general power of attorney.
  • Special durable power of attorney for health care and appointment of a health care representative.
  • Funeral planning declaration.

Here are a few other details to know about the program:

  • Services are available to individuals at all IU campuses, although notary and witness services that may be necessary to execute documents are only available at Bloomington and Indianapolis.
  • To qualify for the program, individuals must reside in the state of Indiana.
  • Complex wills, tax planning, trusts, titling of assets, estate administration and other legal advice are not included in the program. The office can provide a referral to an outside attorney for clients who are in need of these services or who otherwise don’t qualify for the program.
  • Individuals who don’t have computer access can have materials mailed to them upon request.

To learn more about the program or sign up, visit the program website or contact the Office of the Vice President and General at 812-855-9739.