On February 2nd, I was grateful for the opportunity to volunteer with the North Carolina Bar Foundation’s Wills for Heroes Clinic hosted by Wake Forest School of Law. Wills for Heroes provides first responders in our community with essential estate planning legal documents for free, such as Wills, Health Care Powers of Attorney, and General Powers of Attorney.
The Wills for Heroes program was launched by a pair of South Carolina attorneys in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Since its inception, the program has provided more than 7,000 free estate planning documents for first responders. In addition, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division has been working to take the program national and similar clinics to the one held in Winston-Salem are available in thirty states.
According to the Wills for Heroes website, despite the inherently dangerous nature of their job, an overwhelming number of first responders (approximately 80-90%) lack even a simple will. Compare this to the general population, where 55-60% of people lack a will.
Qualified first responders include firefighters, police officers, paramedics, corrections and probation officers from federal, state, county, city and town departments and agencies. Retired, volunteer first responders, and spouses of first responders are also included in the North Carolina Bar Foundation’s Wills for Heroes Program.
If you know a first responder who qualifies for the program, please help get the word out. The North Carolina Bar Foundation is holding additional clinics throughout the state on the following dates:
Saturday, February 23, 2019 – Durham
Saturday, March 9, 2019 – Durham
Saturday, March 16, 2019 – Raleigh
First responders can sign up on the NC Bar Foundation Website here. Also, if you want to volunteer for the clinic or host a clinic you can find more information here. I cannot recommend this program enough. Getting to serve those who serve us every day was an honor, and made me even more appreciative of their service.