Department of Neighborhoods

Press Release

Will-A-Thon Serves Record Number of Houstonians

May 2, 2018 -- The Houston Bar Association (HBA) Elder Law Committee today conducted its second of a two-day Will-A-Thon clinic sponsored in partnership with the City of Houston (COH) Department of Neighborhoods (DON) and Complete Communities. The event was held at the Tidwell Community Center in northeast Houston, hosted by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.

Volunteer attorneys with HBA and the city’s Legal Department provided pro-bono will preparation services to a record number of eligible low-income Houstonians, including seniors, military veterans and persons with disabilities. Approximately 125 attorneys and 120 volunteer witnesses, translators and notaries met with 237 clients to execute their wills. Initial consultations between attorneys and clients took place on the first day of the Will-A-Thon on April 4.

"The HBA Elder Law Committee’s annual Will-A-Thon has provided free wills and other basic planning documents to low-income Houston residents for decades,” said Judge Clarinda Comstock, a longtime member and former chair of the committee. “Every year the number of people served increases, and this year record- breaking numbers were reached.  This program helps the elderly plan for late-life and end-of-life, and provides a roadmap to settle the estates of families who otherwise would be at risk of losing assets to property tax foreclosures and family disputes.”

"The HBA is grateful to the city, the community center and all of the volunteer attorneys, paralegals, notaries and witnesses that have come together today to execute a record 237 wills for low-income Houstonians,” said HBA president Alistair Dawson. “Together we have helped these individuals ensure that their property and assets are distributed exactly as they want to their family, friends and loved ones. We at the HBA are so pleased to offer this valuable service to our community and to the people of Houston."

“Many people don’t have a will because they don’t believe they have enough assets to protect or simply can’t afford to pay an attorney,” said TaKasha Francis, DON director.  “Today’s Will-A-Thon is a show of caring and generosity, Houstonians helping their neighbors to bring them peace of mind and assurance that their property and assets are protected and that their final wishes will be carried out. The City of Houston extends its gratitude to HBA’s Elder Law Committee, the many attorneys and other volunteers who took time out of their busy schedules to provide this vital service, and Department of Neighborhoods staff.”

The Houston Bar Association’s Elder Law Committee has sponsored Will-A-Thons since 2001. The city is partnering with HBA to sponsor additional Will-A-Thon clinics in the summer and fall, with dates and details to be announced. For more information, contact HBA at 713.759.1133.

Will-A-Thon Photo