Assistance with estate planning, advance directives and wills is among the core services that Access Justice Brooklyn has provided for over 20 years and remains a central component of our work today. In addition, we provide direct assistance with probate matters for small estates ($50,000 or less) – a service we began offering in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While life planning documents are essential to ensuring that wishes regarding personal assets and medical care are followed, an estimated 1 in 3 people do not have estate plans.

Our staff and pro bono volunteer attorneys provide accessible, free assistance with creating wills and designating power of attorney, emphasizing that a low income should not prevent individuals from the dignity of future arrangements. These important life planning documents allow individuals to choose the family members and/or friends they trust to manage their affairs and make important decisions on their behalf, giving Brooklynites and their families greater long-term stability and peace of mind.

If you need legal help, you can start an online intake here. If you prefer to speak with staff directly, our intake hours are Monday through Thursday between 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Please call (718) 624-3894 or email us at

COVID-19 Frontline Workers Initiative:

In collaboration with pro bono partnering law firm, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, our COVID-19 Frontline Workers Initiative recognizes the sacrifice and dedication of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East members during the COVID-19 crisis by offering the free preparation of life planning documents (wills, health care proxies, powers of attorney, parental designation forms, and other life planning documents).

As an extension to life planning document preparation, the initiative also offers pro bono services in probate matters should an 1199SEIU member pass away with or without a will. Volunteer legal assistance will be provided to families with member estates $50,000 or less.

If you are an 1199SEIU member living in New York City and need assistance with wills, healthy care proxies, power of attorney, standby guardianship forms, and/or parental designation forms, please call 718-624-3894 or begin an online intake here. Please be sure to identify yourself as an 1199SEIU member when speaking with staff.

Probate Initiative:

In response to the surge of coronavirus related estate cases, we launched our Probate Initiative in partnership with the Brooklyn Bar Association Trusts & Estates Section and Surrogate’s Court Committee to provide much-needed services to families who have been affected as a result of COVID-19. Following the launch of the initiative, to help further our reach, we welcomed the participation and expertise of pro bono attorneys from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

Volunteer attorneys provide pro bono legal assistance to qualifying individuals and families in completing applications for voluntary letters of administration for estates $50,000 or less and SCPA 1310 affidavits regarding payment of certain debts without administration.

If you are a Brooklyn resident in need of probate assistance for an estate $50,000 or less or a NYC resident who has lost a family member due to COVID-19 and in need of similar legal help, please call 718-624-3894 or begin an online intake here.

Additional Resources: