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Seniors invited to free legal clinics

The Schenectady County Department of Senior and Long Term Care Services will be sponsoring free legal clinics for seniors from Monday, Nov. 10, through Friday, Nov. 21, at various locations throughout Schenectady County. The clinics, which will provide legal counsel from the state bar association, will be held in conjunction with senior lunches provided by Catholic Charities.

We're very happy to be partnering with Marty Finn [D-Niskayuna], the New York State Bar Association, and Catholic Charities to share this information with senior citizens, said Cathryn Bern-Smith, manager of the Schenectady County Department of Senior and Long Term Care Services. "There's a great need for senior citizens in this county to have access to this legal information."

Courses are open to the public, and lunch is available if a reservation is made in advance. There is a suggested donation $3.25 for those over 65 and $6 for their guests, as well as a registration form to fill out.

"These are sponsored by the New York State Bar Association's Elder Law Section. The section holds pro-bono clinics each fall and each spring in every judicial district throughout New York state," Lisa Bataille, chief section liaison for the New York State Bar Association.

Bataille said she is pleased with the number of sessions that will be offered locally.

"Marty Finn is the 4th District judicial representative, and he set up these five dates for programs," said Bataille. "He kind of exceeded most of the other districts because they each provided only one date."

Each presentation will last 10 to 15 minutes and will cover topics such as the essential aspects of a will, power of attorney, and health-care proxy. Afterwards, attendees will have time to ask questions.

"The plan is we do these twice a year, so we're hoping to be able to do this again around March," said Finn.

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