The Legal Services for the Elderly Program is funded by the Office for Aging and services are provided by Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York. To be eligible for free legal services, you must be:
- 60 years of age and older
- A resident of Broome County
- Have an economic or social need for legal services
The program can assist seniors in the areas of:
- Simple wills – A will ensures that your estate goes to who you want and will be executed by whom you choose.
- Powers of Attorney – This document authorizes another person to act on your behalf and allows him/her to handle your daily affairs if you are absent or infirm. There are 15 different powers covering such diverse areas as insurance, taxes and pensions.
- Health Care Proxies – This document allows you to designate another person to make the health care decisions you would make if you are rendered incapable of making your own wishes known.
- Living wills – This document indicates what types of medical treatment you would want and gives your health care proxy support in making decisions.
- Simple real estate – An attorney can talk about your real property, offer advice on how to protect your interests and do simple property transfers between relatives.
- Consumer matters – An attorney can explain what your rights are as a debtor, help you cope with creditors and discuss bankruptcy.
- Income maintenance issues – An attorney can assist with problems that may arise with Social Security, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and other public benefits.
- For services that require an attorney to draft a document, such as a simple will, power of attorney, health care proxy, living will, or simple real estate matters, service is provided at the Legal Aid Society office located at 168 Water Street, Binghamton, NY 13901. Call 607.231-5900 to schedule an appointment Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.
- For consumer or income maintenance matters, please contact the Legal HelpLine to speak with an attorney. Call toll free at 1.877.777.6152 Monday through Thursday between the hours of 9:00 am and 3:30 pm.
- Home visits are possible if you are completely homebound or residing in a nursing home or hospital and no good alternative is available.
There are no fees for this service. Voluntary contributions are accepted and used to provide legal services to other seniors in the community. Information regarding your decision to contribute is strictly confidential and will not affect the services you receive in any way.
Legal Aid does not assist with: real estate transactions not between family members or requiring title searching and/or traditional closing; probate or administration of estates; sue creditors, medical providers or anyone else on your behalf; criminal cases or traffic tickets. Legal Aid does not advise anyone other than the actual client concerning any matters.
For additional legal resources, refer to the Elder Law Resource Guide.