By Laura Thomas, Director of Aging Well at Prairie Five Community Action Council
I’ve received a couple emails recently with information I made notes on and thought – I need to share this! The first was from the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF.) We are lucky to have them in our area as they support a variety of initiatives which make a huge positive impact in our communities.
They are one of the funders for my position at Prairie Five, so I am particularly grateful! The email I received from them explained how August is “Make a Will” month and was a reminder of their partnership with FreeWill which is an online tool to write a legal will at no personal cost.
In the email, they explain that they “believe all people and families deserve opportunities to thrive including building financial security. Planning ahead is critical to protecting who you love and what you care about, and increasing access to estate planning breaks down barriers that might stand in the way of this important task.” It goes on to say, “this resource helps you protect your families and friends, plan beneficiaries for your assets, and support the causes and communities you love. With FreeWill, you can get peace of mind and leave a lasting legacy in just 20 minutes.”
The FreeWill web site is found at www.freewill.com and is very user friendly.
In fact, when I was walking through the site, I decided to go ahead and create my own will. It’s easy to think that we will always have time later but in truth none of us knows what tomorrow may hold. If you would prefer to finalize your will with an attorney, the site can still be used to as a preparation tool to create a list of documented wishes beforehand.
As a reminder, all Legal Aid services are free to people age 60 and older and can be reached at 320-235-9600. FreeWill also provides a couple documents that are very helpful along the process. The first is a “Getting Started” planning guide for writing the will and the other is a “Next Steps” for what to do after completion. I would be happy to email or mail you those!
The second email explained the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, who is eligible and the benefits.
The program provides an internet service discount of up to $30 per month and a device discount of up to $100 per qualifying device for anyone who is eligible. Anyone who is enrolled in a government program such as SNAP or WIC is eligible as are people with a qualifying household income.
As a reminder, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has income requirements only (assets are not considered.) The income eligibility for a one person household is a monthly gross income of $2265 and for a two person household it’s $3052.
To apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program, the first step is to go to GetInternet.gov and complete a brief application. They will let you know if you are eligible right away. The second step is to go to your internet provider at cnm.universalservice.org and fill out their application with your eligibility number generated in the first step.
If it would be easier for us to meet and complete the application together if you live in the Praire Five service area, I’d be happy to do so. If you have questions about applying for the SNAP program or believe you’d meet the eligibility criteria, I’d love to get you connected with that program. I can be reached at email@example.com or 320-226-8861.