JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Several South Mississippi seniors got most of their pressing legal questions answered on Tuesday, free of charge. The Mississippi Center for Legal Services Corporation teamed up with the Jackson County Civic Action Committee to sponsor an educational workshop. Many civil legal matters were discussed at the Ocean Springs Senior Center.
"Our seniors are just taken advantage of day in and day out, and we just really want to help them on the front end," Education and Outreach Coordinator Tacarra Toles said.
This free legal workshop discussed several topics. One major subject was how to identify and avoid common crimes that target seniors such as email phishing. Phishing is an attempt to steal personal information.
"Basically, if the sender says Internet Revenue Service, that is our first problem because they don't email you. They know less about email than you do. Trust me," a legal expert said.
These legal experts helped the crowd with various Social Security and birth certificate issues. The seniors also learned about the value of creating a will.
"A lot of people in Mississippi do not have wills, and they do not understand the importance of having one. It kind of defines the lines of where you will have your property to go to the people in your family and how you will have it divided," Toles explained.
Patricia Meyers said free legal services help, especially when you are living on a fixed income.
"It makes you understand how you can get it and the why and all the ins and outs of the program," said Meyers.
This legal services team hopes the seniors soak up enough valuable information that they will be able to carry it back to their family and friends.
"It can be a ripple effect, so seniors could be more knowledgeable about their assets," said Toles.
The program is funded through a grant provided by the Department of Human Services, and 14 counties were assisted with the funding.