Q. I have recently been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and am facing a bilateral mastectomy in a couple of weeks. I'd like to set up a trust for my children. Are there any good legal resources you might recommend to get this done?
Many people diagnosed with cancer who have young children often wonder who will care for their children, and ask questions like “how can I ensure that my children are financially secure?” Setting up a trust is a great place to start, and I can recommend several organizations that can provide this service.
The Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) is a national, joint program of the Disability Rights Legal Center and Loyola Law School Los Angeles. The CLRC provides free information and resources on cancer-related legal issues to cancer survivors, caregivers, health care professionals, employers and others coping with cancer. They offer a toll-free Telephone Assistance Line (866-THE-CLRC, 866 843 2572) where callers can receive free and confidential information about relevant laws and resources for their particular situation.
LawHelp.org helps low and moderate income people find free legal aid programs in their communities and answers to questions about their legal rights. Use the state list on the website to find help related to housing, work, family, bankruptcy, disability, immigration and other topics.
The National Cancer Legal Services Network promotes increased availability of free legal services programs so that people affected by cancer may focus on medical care and their quality of life. Offers a network of over 40 programs nationwide.
National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership aims to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable individuals, children and families by integrating legal assistance into the medical setting. Search for local programs through their MLP Network.
The Samfund: Support for Young Adult Cancer Survivors provides support to young adults who are struggling financially due to cancer. Twice a year, The Samfund gives grants to survivors aged 21-39 to help with medical bills, living expenses, educational/professional development, graduate tuition, student loans, cosmetic or reconstructive procedures, family building options/procedures, health insurance supplementation, mental health, physical therapy, residual and current medical expenses, transportation-related expenses, legal expenses and rent/mortgage supplementation. You can reach The Samfund at 617-938-3484.