Estates and Disabilities Program Update

The new year has brought change to SALSA’s Estates and Disabilities Program.  After 3 years of service as SALSA’s first Staff Attorney, Kat Doucette is leaving SALSA to join the staff of Probate Court 1. Over the last three years, SALSA volunteers and clients benefited tremendously from Kat’s expertise in estate planning, probate, guardianship, and real estate. We look forward to formally recognizing her leadership in building out a robust Estates and Disabilities Program at SALSA’s Justice Luncheon on April 5th, where Kat will be presented with the SALSA Board President’s Award.

Fortunately, SALSA has some exciting new staff editions that will ensure that SALSA’s Estates & Disability Programs continue to serve those in need. Roxie Parker, a long-time SALSA volunteer, mother to a child with disabilities, and practitioner in special needs estate planning, guardianship, and probate will be joining SALSA as a Staff Attorney in our Estates and Disability Program. We are excited to continue working with Roxie in this new role! We are also thrilled to be welcoming back Alison McConnon as the Pro Bono Coordinator for the Estates and Disabilities Program. Alison’s two prior years of service as a SALSA Pro Bono Coordinator include assistance with the 2020 COVID Wills Program, where she was responsible for overseeing case management for hundreds of front-line healthcare workers.  

In 2023, SALSA’s Estates & Disability Team will partner with our Veterans Team to host the beloved Wills Clinic every other month, a frequency increase from the quarterly cadence of prior years. The Estates & Disability team will also continue to host the Small Estate Clinic outside the Probate Courts every other Thursday afternoon. SALSA expects to continue limited services to Multi-Assistance Center at Morgan’s Wonderland families by hosting Wednesday Office Hours where a volunteer attorney provides advice and counsel on a myriad of legal issues. Outreach at the MAC will also include Know Your Rights trainings about guardianship with Probate Judges Kazen and Vasquez, as well as Know Your Rights trainings about ABLE Accounts, SSI, and SSDI with our volunteer experts Alison Packard and attorneys from Heard & Smith.

We expect BIG changes at the MAC in September, when SALSA will welcome our new Equal Justice Works (“EJW”) Fellow, Monica Palma. During her two-year fellowship, Monica will focus on expanding legal services available to MAC families. Monica is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst turned lawyer with a passion for serving families with special needs. With Monica’s help, SALSA looks forward to launching increased opportunities for volunteers to be trained to assist MAC families.

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