Free legal clinic on for seniors

The B.C. Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support and Burnaby Community Services are teaming up to present a free legal clinic for low-income seniors in Burnaby.

The clinic is held on the third Tuesday of every month from 2 to 4 p.m., at the Brentwood Community Resource Centre, 2055 Rosser Ave., close to Brentwood Town Centre.

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A lawyer from the centre will be there to answer legal questions and draft advance planning documents such as wills, enduring powers of attorney and representation agreements for those who cannot otherwise afford legal assistance.

Many people know they should have a will, while many have never gotten around to ensuring this important document is done (or if done, is up-to-date).

An enduring power of attorney will ensure someone can deal with legal and financial matters when you are still alive but are no longer capable of managing your affairs for whatever reason.

A representation agreement is similar to a power of attorney, appointing someone to either help you speak or speak on your behalf on personal care and medical care matters when you cannot.

The lawyer can provide legal information and advice and may be able to provide full representation for lower-income seniors.

There will also be help available to deal with small claims court matters and complaints against service providers, professionals and government agencies.

The lawyer can also help with advice on elder abuse, including financial exploitation.

Besides outright fraud and theft, examples of financial exploitation includeloans from older adults to family members for things such as a down payment, to purchase a car or to start a business, but when the time comes to repay, that family member claims it was a gift, or an early inheritance.

Another example is when a person appointed as an attorney under a power of attorney abuses that power, and may try to misappropriate money or property.

The centre’s lawyers are unable to advise with respect to real estate conveyancing, family law or criminal matters.  

The clinic is a joint project of BCCEAS and Burnaby Community Services. The first hour of each clinic will be for appointments, and the second hour will be drop-ins.

To make an appointment at the clinic, please call M.J. Buck of Burnaby Community Services at 604-292-3902 and ask to see a lawyer at the seniors’ legal clinic.  

– submitted by Burnaby Community Services

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