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Legal service providers

Nonprofit legal service providers offer free or low-cost legal advice and services to targets and victims of elder financial exploitation.

There are programs throughout the country that provide legal services specifically for older adults. These legal services include:

  • Revoking a power of attorney
  • Filing a temporary restraining order
  • Making or revising a will or trust
  • Evicting an unwanted person from the home

Most legal service providers operate on a county or state level and usually have elder law programs or staff members dedicated to serving older adults.

How they can contribute to working groups

Community education and outreach

Legal service providers can give presentations on elder financial exploitation regarding:

  • Abuse by a person with fiduciary authority
  • Matters involving real estate and estate planning, such as wills and trusts, or advance directives

Case review and resolution

Legal service providers are experts who can provide legal consultation to a case review team. Conversely, legal services may bring their own cases to a case review team for consultation.

Legal action

Legal service agencies may have access to attorneys on their board of directors or in the community who will contribute short-term legal services on a low-cost or pro bono basis.

Policy development

Some legal service providers can help guide the network’s advocacy efforts. Make sure to check if they're prohibited from legislative or policy advocacy as a condition of their funding.

Potential challenges

Legal service providers may be affected by multiple issues that prevent them from contributing to the network:

  • Staffing limitations and funding may affect agency ability to accept cases referred by the network
  • Funding restrictions may affect complexity of cases they can take
  • Providers may be prohibited from legislative or policy advocacy as a condition of their funding

Additionally, legal service providers may not be able to represent clients who:

  • Are outside of their service area
  • Are unable to provide documentation
  • Are incoherent and do not have an appointed guardian or other legal representative

Types of contacts to include in your network

  • Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) attorneys
  • Elder law attorneys
  • Legal aid attorneys
  • Wills/Trusts/Estate attorneys
  • Guardianship attorneys
  • Policy directors
  • Outreach coordinators