FORT SILL, Okla. -- Fort Sill Staff Judge advocates will again offer estate planning legal assistance to retired service members and their spouses attending the 35th Retiree Appreciation Days Sept. 19-20.

To help ensure they can be seen by an attorney, retirees are urged to schedule legal assistance appointments in advance the event.

To provide the best services, each spouse will see a separate attorney and will require individual appointments. The Legal Assistance Office is in the Welcome Center, Building 4700 Mow-Way Road, fourth floor.

Attorneys will prepare wills, advance directives, and medical and durable powers of attorney, to help customers put their legal affairs in order. Retirees may call 442-5058/5059 to schedule individual appointments and request a packet that will need to be completed before their appointments.

An advance directive, or living will, is a valuable document informing family members and health care providers of the life-sustaining treatment one wants to receive or decline if terminally ill, persistently unconscious or suffering from the end stage of a progressive, deteriorating disease. Organ donation may also be elected if desired.

A power of attorney legally empowers an individual to act on behalf of another. A durable power of attorney remains effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated or incompetent. It allows the person named to make decisions and act during periods of incapacity. This may help avoid what could otherwise be an expensive guardianship or conservatorship proceeding for an incapacitated or incompetent adult.

Preparing an estate plan includes making advance decisions about end-of-life treatment and appointing who will act for you if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. This can provide personal peace of mind and relieve family members of making difficult decisions at times of great stress.

There is no charge to retirees for these services.