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Rudy's Story

Rudy* and Greta,* his loving wife of 60 years, had kept their finances apart for the entire length of their marriage. However, when Rudy became ill with terminal cancer, he and Greta were faced with some imminent end-of-life decisions. Rudy was particularly concerned about Greta receiving access to everything she would need to navigate the difficult days ahead, so he contacted Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) for assistance.

Rudy qualified for LAWO’s “Plan Ahead and Protect Yourself Legal Series for Seniors,” a free service for low-income older adults to help them understand their legal rights, avoid abuse and victimization, and protect their safety, assets, income, and independence. The program includes legal classes, clinics, cases, and other services—with an emphasis on prevention, individual empowerment, and multi-disciplinary collaboration. Rudy participated in a one-on-one legal clinic by telephone.

During the phone appointment, Rudy’s LAWO attorney explained in detail all the planning options that were available and answered Rudy's questions with empathy and support. By the end of the call, Rudy identified several documents he wanted to have completed, including a Living Will, a Health Care Power of Attorney, and a Financial Power of Attorney.

Rudy’s lawyer prepared the documents and planned a home visit to supervise their execution. Rudy was able to enter hospice care with the peace of mind that his affairs were in order and Greta had what she needed to be able to access their finances and make decisions. 

*Names changed for privacy

About the author

Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc.

Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc.

Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) is a non-profit regional law firm that provide high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.