Dozens attend free Ask-A-Lawyer grandparent rights seminar

Walk-in legal seminar targeted at grandparents raising grandchildren

By Pilar Arias - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A growing number of people in Bexar County are spending their golden years raising their grandchildren. On Thursday morning, a group of lawyers from Catholic Charities Archdiocese of San Antonio-Caritas Legal Services, counseled grandmas and grandpas with legal questions regarding their grandkids.

"I'm trying to get a will and last testament probated," said Ricky Cotton, a grandfather.

The 62-year-old is trying to get possession of the home his mother left him when she died three years ago, so he can live in it with his daughter and three grandchildren, ages 13, 9 and 2.

"(I) didn't have the proper resources when it first began, and so I found different places that I could apply for assistance and this is one of them," Cotton said.

The grandfather was given a number to call for help. He said he felt wonderful, like he'd finally get his legal issue resolved.

Statistics provided by San Antonio's Grandparents Raising Grandchildren showed that more than 22,000 grandchildren lived with grandparents in Bexar County from 2010-2014. Approximately 40 percent of grandchildren raised by grandparents with no parent present live in poverty, and 35 percent of grandparents raising grandchildren are disabled.

The target group Ask-A-Lawyer Grandparents Rights is a response to those increasing numbers.

"It was a need that was presented to us by some grandparents wanting to know their rights, wanting to know what they could do, what they couldn't do with their grandchildren," said Evelyn Huron, director of legal services for Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities hosts at least four to five Ask-A-Lawyer sessions each year.

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