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IU to offer free will preparation services to employees, students and parents

Aug. 31, 2016

The IU Office of the Vice President and General Counsel and the Maurer School of Law will offer will preparation services at no charge to university employees, students and parents. The program addresses the fact that more than 50 percent of American adults do not have a will and that as many as 70 percent have not designated a health care power of attorney.

jacqueline simmons

Jacqueline Simmons, IU vice president and general counsel | Photo By INDIANA UNIVERSITY

“We are delighted to partner with the Maurer School of Law to offer this benefit to IU employees,” said Jacqueline Simmons, university vice president and general counsel and a 1979 graduate of the Maurer School of Law. “People who die without a will have their estates distributed according to Indiana statutory law, which may not reflect their wishes. People who don’t designate a health care power of attorney deprive family members of the right to make important end-of-life decisions on their behalf. This program will help IU employees clarify their intentions and ease the burden on their families in times of stress.”

“We are pleased to be a part of this program,” said Austen L. Parrish, dean and James H. Rudy Professor of Law at the Maurer School of Law. “We ask our students to complete at least 60 hours of pro bono service during their time in law school, and the program gives them another way to do so while providing a valuable service to the university community.”

Parrish cited immigration, inmate assistance, tax return preparation and protective orders as other avenues for pro bono service at the school.

Beginning Aug. 22, any university employee with an annual income of $50,000 or less will be entitled to receive a simple will and health care power of attorney at no charge. The documents will be drafted by one of six second- or third-year students at the Maurer School of Law and reviewed by one of the 11 staff attorneys in the university’s Office of the Vice President and General Counsel.

The law students and staff attorneys have been trained by Kristine J. Bouaichi and Daniel D. Meiklejohn of Indianapolis-based law firm Ice Miller. Bouaichi is chair of the trusts and estates group and Meiklejohn is an associate at the firm.

Simmons said the free services are available not only to IU employees and students but also to their parents, as long as the $50,000 annual income threshold is met. She added that the program is available to employees at any of the university’s eight campuses.

Employees interested in participating in the program should call the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel to schedule an appointment, which can be taken in person or via Skype, at 812-855-9739.

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