Legal Services for the Elderly

LSE Header 2

Legal Services for the Elderly Hotline: 704-334-0400

In 2011, an estimated 85,000 residents of Mecklenburg County were 65 or older, with 8% of this senior population living in poverty and 39% reporting difficulties finding services. Our attorneys are dedicated to improving the quality of life for Mecklenburg County’s elderly population by helping them protect themselves from exploitation and aiding them in critical legal matters.

LSSP’s Legal Services for the Elderly Program seeks to empower residents of Mecklenburg County who are 60 and older to make their own plans and decisions governing end of life issues; enable them to retain their property and assets unencumbered by debt; protect them from predatory lenders and other financing abuses; and assist them in obtaining government-sponsored benefits.

Our services focus on:

1. Empowering older persons in Mecklenburg County through education and legal representation, thus allowing them to remain self-sufficient, their property unencumbered and their finances protected

2. Preventing and protecting older persons from becoming victims of financial exploitation and abuses such as predatory lending and fraud

3. Improving quality of life for older persons

Case work

  • Simple wills, powers of attorney and advance directives
  • Guardianship of a disabled spouse
  • Uncontested grandchild custody
  • Consumer and housing issues, including home foreclosures, predatory lending practices, exploitation and unfair debt collection practices
  • Government benefits, including Medicaid and Medicare, Food Stamps, Social Security and SSI

Eligibility

The program represents residents of Mecklenburg County who are 60 years of age or older regardless of income and assets (with the exception of consumer, housing and benefits issues, which are subject to income eligibility). The program’s focus, however, is to protect the legal rights of low-income elderly persons who are unable to afford legal representation.

Community outreach

Legal Services for the Elderly conducts community outreach and provides community legal education, including presentations and speaking engagements, to senior citizens and to the staff of other agencies. The program works regularly with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Senior Centers, the Mecklenburg County Council on Aging, North Carolina’s Ombudsman Program and other agencies serving the elderly.

Volunteers and training

Legal Services for the Elderly relies extensively on volunteer attorneys to represent clients whose cases have been evaluated and accepted. It also provides continuing legal education and training programs for its volunteer attorneys and attorneys who volunteer with other low-income taxpayer clinics.

Client Stories

Beatrice – Consumer Protection

Dorothy – Identity Theft

Louise – Consumer Protection

Ruth – Simple Will

Self-Help Resources

Access Legal Services for the Elderly self-help resources here.