A number of local attorneys have embarked on a journey to host a series of pro bono wills and estate planning clinics.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY at the first clinic, at the Western Light Church of the Nazarene, Oxnards, St James, on Saturday, attorney-at-law Fay Finisterre, of Finisterre Attorneys and Friends, said the decision was made to embark on the community outreach programme to sensitize ordinary Barbadians about the benefits of estate planning.
She said such an initiative is important considering that estate planning is considered as a tool to be only used by the rich and people who have multiple assets.
“So, the reality is in everyday society we see a lot of disputes about family land, about ownership of property, whether somebody has the right to property especially just because they are paying the land tax or they have been on the property for a little while or they have been taking care of mummy and daddy and therefore they feel as if they know what that person’s wishes were.
“So, we are trying to avoid expensive litigation, costly processes when people die and it brings some sort of predictability to honouring people’s last wishes by not only educating the community but also empowering them by providing free legal services,” Finisterre said.
The attorney-at-law said those who attend the clinics have the opportunity to be provided with free legal services, which includes their wills being prepared and lodged.
“Hopefully this is the first of many clinics that we can roll out and it would not have been possible without a number of individual volunteer attorneys who are not associated with my firm in any way but they decided to give their time to give advice and support to this initiative,” she said.
Member of the Western Light Church, Daniel Holder, who attended the session, applauded the lawyers for taking time out of their busy schedules to organise the clinics to help citizens who are in need of such assistance.
“The whole idea is that once you have something that you can leave for somebody, a house or so on, or sometimes it is just a matter of jewellry, then the idea is how best you make that will in terms of your best wishes and desire. And this is not just for the elderly, younger persons are in need of such advice too,” Holder said. (AH)