Epilogue Partners With Community Legal Clinic To Offer Free Wills To Marginalized Clients
Every adult needs a will yet over half of Canadian adults still don’t have one. This happens in large part due to financial barriers limiting individuals’ access to justice, particularly for those living in marginalized and low-income communities.
Epilogue is on a mission to democratize estate planning for all Canadians. Co-Founders Daniel Goldgut and Arin Klug, firmly believe lack of financial resources should not be a limiting factor for something as important as estate planning.
“When you're talking about creating a will, or about creating a plan for incapacity, it's something that touches everybody's life. It doesn't matter whether you can afford a lawyer or cannot afford a lawyer. This is a fundamental thing that everybody needs to turn their minds to… To deny people the opportunity to do that, because they can't afford to go to a lawyer, is really an unacceptable result,” according to Arin Klug, COO, and Co-Founder of Epilogue.
Poverty prevents many people from completing an estate plan; which often causes a knock-on effect. If someone dies intestate (without a Will,) their next of kin could get burdened with legal fees. If the estate is quite small, those fees could very well add up to more than the entire estate, taking up legal resources and tax-payers dollars in the process.
According to Executive Director of the DCLC, Omar Ha-Redeye, “when a person dies intestate and no one emerges to make a claim on the estate, it is often absorbed by financial institutions. The money then vanishes instead of going to those around the deceased, which could help to alleviate poverty in that community.”
People who only need a basic Will can make estate planning documents online in 20 minutes. By partnering with Epilogue, the DCLC can now create Wills and Powers of Attorney (POAs) in a fraction of the time it took before.
“In the past, the process for wills and POAs would involve two appointments for clients and often took over several weeks to finalize,” Lisa Petit, support staff at the DCLC, says, “By using Epilogue's online platform, the clinic can complete wills and POAs for more clients, minimize time lost on appointments and continue to modernize service delivery for low-income clients in Durham Region.”
Read the original announcement in the Law Times here.