Knoxville Bar Association Offers free Community Law School

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Topics like debt, mortgage foreclosures, and wills and advance directives are never easy to think about or discuss, but, with an aging population and the economic downturn, it is critical for every person, regardless of their age or financial security. 

The seminars offered through the Community Law School program will educate local residents about how to protect themselves against fraud, make sure their wishes are observed at important moments, and provide them with peace of mind regarding healthcare and financial decisions.  The Community Law School is a public education program sponsored by the Knoxville Bar Association that offers free seminars on areas of the law that concern every citizen.  This program, formerly known as the “People’s Law School”, has been a great success, with over 7,200 graduates over the last twenty-one years. 

The Community Law School will be held this year on Friday, April 1, 2016 at the O’Connor Senior Center (611 Winona Street) and Saturday, April 2, 2016 at Fellowship Church (8000 Middlebrook Pike).           

Persons interested in understanding the importance of basic estate planning so that their wishes will be observed should attend the “Wills & Estate Planning for Everyone” program from 9:00 – 10:45 a.m. Approximately half of senior citizens have neither a living will nor have discussed end-of-life decisions with their children.  Many Tennesseans think they've already made their plans known, but they don't know that because of recent changes in the law, their old living wills may not be adequate.  Many more Tennesseans haven't completed the necessary documentation in order that their wishes will be observed at important moments in their life.  Attendees will learn about the planning necessary to assure that in case of legal incapacity, their wishes regarding financial and health
care decisions will be followed.

A recent study by Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services reported that many in our community are facing critical economic and healthcare decisions and don’t know where to turn for basic legal information about their rights and responsibilities.  The Community Law School will offer a session from 11:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. entitled “Consumer Rights & Responsibilities: Protect Yourself and Your Assets."  Learn about legislation aimed to help vulnerable consumers avoid foreclosure and steer clear of rescue scams. Understand your rights if you have conflicts with a creditor and what to do if you are sued by a creditor.   Learn how to avoid identity theft and what to do if your identity is stolen.  This course will review how these issues impact you and your personal financial situation.   The more information people have about these topics, the better they will be able to plan and implement decisions for themselves and their loved ones.

Good advance planning for financial and health care decisions is, in reality, a continuing conversation--about values, priorities, the meaning of one's life, and quality of life. The Community Law School is intended to provide unbiased information on the topics presented, including draft forms to aid in planning. Both sessions will be offered on Friday and Saturday by attorneys who are volunteers with the Knoxville Bar Association. 

For more information, please call the Knoxville Bar Association at 522-6522 or register and view directions at www.knoxbar.org.