Small Estate Clinic
October 19, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pmFree
*** This registration is for volunteer attorneys only. If you are seeking services, please note that the clinic is a walk-in clinic on a first come, first served basis.***
Would you like to make an impact on the San Antonio community in a short time frame? When we as a legal community think of high-impact pro bono activities, very rarely does probate come to mind, but COVID-19 has impacted families and caused many tragic and unexpected deaths. It shined a light on the critical need pro se applicants have for probate assistance. People who are unable to afford a probate attorney are turning to the only pro se probate option available: a small estate affidavit (SEA). SEAs are problematic for many pro se applicants because either they do not understand how to properly complete the forms, or the estate doesn’t qualify for a SEA. In the Small Estate Clinic, volunteers meet with the client to review their small estate affidavits, make edits, or discuss alternative probate paths that are best suited for the client. Volunteers at SALSA’s Small Estate Clinic will meet with the client in a “help desk” setting at the Courthouse. SALSA will have a table set up in the hallway just outside the Probate Courts at 100 Dolorosa, San Antonio, Texas.
Once volunteer attorneys register with this clinic, you will be sent a confirmation email including a link to SALSA’s Small Estates Clinic resources page, which contains training materials, flow charts, and guides to use during the clinic.
At the clinic, prior to meeting with the client, volunteers will receive:
- A copy of the client’s completed small estate affidavit and any other pertinent case documents, as applicable;
- If the client has not yet completed or filed a SEA, a blank form, which we ask you to complete for the client;
- Affidavit of Inability to Pay Court Costs with accompanying Certificate
- SEA Completion Instructions and intestacy chart.
The volunteer attorney will meet with the client during the prescribed clinic hours. Mentors and SALSA staff members will be on stand-by to answer questions that may arise.
The volunteer and the client will discuss the assets and debts of the estate to determine whether the SEA or some other method, such as Affidavit of Heirship or Independent Administration, are better suited for the client’s needs. After helping the client correct their SEA, completing a new SEA, or making recommendations for an alternative probate path, the volunteer will then complete a closure form which will allow SALSA staff to determine whether any follow-up services are available for the client. If a SEA is not appropriate, and the client’s situation requires a more complex method to settle the estate, SALSA staff will assist with providing the client a referral for extended services after the volunteer’s assistance at the Small Estate Clinic has concluded.
We look forward to working with you at this clinic!