(Springfield, MA) – Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) announced today a collaboration with the Massachusetts Justice Project and the Hampden County Bar Association’s Legal Clinic to provide free legal assistance to low-income seniors who are looking to prepare simple wills, powers of attorney or similar planning documents.
Since 2011, the Mass Justice Project, in partnership with the Legal Advocacy and Resource Center of Boston, has operated the Massachusetts Senior Legal Helpline (1-866-778-0939) providing legal information, advice and referrals for Massachusetts residents 60 years of age or older. Through this program, it was identified that many seniors need help preparing advance directives like wills, powers of attorney and healthcare proxies.
“These types of documents are extremely important for seniors as they help provide guidance to family members should a person pass away or become incapacitated later in life,” according to Gordon Shaw, Mass Justice Project Executive Director.
To help remedy the issue, lawyers from MassMutual and the Hampden County Bar Association have teamed up with the Mass Justice Project to provide free services to seniors who are unable to afford a lawyer to obtain these important legal planning documents.
“MassMutual has long been committed to making the communities where we live and work a better place, and part of this involves donating our own talent and expertise in areas where we can make a positive difference,” said Mark Roellig, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, MassMutual. “Our collaboration with the Mass Justice Project and the HCBA Legal Clinic will enable our attorneys and legal professionals to provide an important service to seniors who are in need of basic planning documents.”
MassMutual’s participation in this program is in addition to a variety of pro bono legal services that the company already provides to the community including providing free legal counsel to income eligible tenants and landlords in Hampden County Housing Court.
In order to obtain free legal assistance, the senior’s household income cannot exceed 175% of federal poverty guidelines – approximately $27,000 of annual income for a household of two. To apply for help, seniors can call the Massachusetts Senior Legal Helpline at 1-866-778-0939. Applications can also be submitted online at www.majp.org.
Seniors whose household income fall above 175% but under 225% of federal poverty guidelines may be able to obtain a referral to a lawyer willing to prepare such documents at a reduced fee by calling the Lawyer Referral Service of the Hampden County Bar Association, 413-732-4648.
Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyowners consistently since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company’s strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.
MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.
About the Massachusetts Justice Project
Massachusetts Justice Project (www.majp.org) is a federally funded civil legal services program that functions as part of an integrated legal services delivery system in central and western Massachusetts. MJP is supported almost entirely by a Legal Services Corporation grant. Its mission is to assist low income clients in acquiring and preserving the basic necessities of life and to advance the rights of these otherwise unrepresented people by improving their access to the justice system and their ability to represent themselves.
About the Hampden County Bar Association
Founded in 1864, the Hampden County Bar Association is a non-profit organization representing the interests of lawyers, the justice system, and the public in Hampden County in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It provides professional support, education and networking opportunities to its members, and advocacy on behalf of lawyers, the judiciary, and the public. The HCBA provides several programs to assist members of the public with access to the justice system. For more information, visit www.hcbar.org.