Hide from Insights Page


Line with text

Senior Couple Reestablish Power Over Their Lives With Help From ‘Senior Law Program’

During a rehabilitation center stay in 2023, Bobby Banks found himself in need of legal support to help him and his wife, Izola, establish their authority over his life and the couple’s finances and home after attempted elder exploitation. When they discovered that a power of attorney was taken from Bobby and Izola just days before, they sought out emergency legal action from the Southern Nevada Senior Law Program (SLP).

Izola heard about SLP from a friend who also received legal assistance from the organization, and when estate planning became an urgent and immense task, she hoped SLP would be able to help.

Bobby Banks focuses on his health, knowing that his assets and wishes are legally protected after working with the legal team at Southern Nevada Senior Law Program.

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, SLP provides no-cost legal services to Southern Nevada residents 60 years of age and older, with no income restriction. It is funded by the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division and the Nevada Bar Foundation, along with community contributions from partners including Enterprise Bank & Trust.

SLP follows a rapid response model to swiftly support local seniors with urgent legal matters, such as those who have received an eviction notice or a serious health diagnosis, or those suspected to be a victim of elder abuse. These appointments are taken the same or next business day, and as the Bankses returned from the rehabilitation center to find the locks on their home changed by family members without their permission, their case was one of them.

Senior Staff Attorney Carol Kingman created new health care and financial powers of attorney for Bobby. Carol also helped the Bankses with other general estate planning, such as preparing a will and filing a Deed Upon Death, to ensure that Bobby’s wishes were properly documented.

Through these services, SLP helped Bobby stop those who were trying to access his assets and prevented the attempted elder exploitation from being successful. Bobby also left the SLP office with an action plan to communicate the necessary changes to his bank, Social Security office and pension administrators. “We were extremely grateful for the prompt assistance and guidance that the Senior Law Program provided us in this situation,” Bobby says.

SLP Executive Director Diane Fearon explains that approximately half of the client services the nonprofit has provided in recent years has been in the area of defensive guardianship, or basic estate planning — the centerpiece being the power of attorney for health care.

Southern Nevada Senior law Program, 2023 Community Impact Report

“This document has such tremendous economic impacts to society as a whole, as well as emotional and financial impacts to both the senior who would become ill and be at the end of life and, importantly, their loved ones,” she says.

Organizations like SLP are crucial to ensuring communities with the greatest economic and social need receive the necessary support. “By helping ensure access to legal resources, we are empowering the elderly population to protect their rights and uphold their dignity throughout their golden years,” says David Navarro, Nevada Regional President at Enterprise.

“We are very happy with the Senior Law Program,” Bobby says. “Carol really brought to our attention all of our options and guided us through the process to protect ourselves and our future.”

Diane emphasizes that her team’s dedication to helping people like Bobby and Izola is the final piece of what sets the nonprofit apart. “A lot of times, seniors are marginalized. Theyre ignored, theyre taken advantage of, and thats when they dont feel they have a voice or have their rights. Coming to Senior Law Program changes that.”

Southern Nevada Senior law program, 2023 community impact report