|Wills For Heroes|
|Wills For Heroes|
|Written by Mark Nichols|
The "Wills for Heroes" program offers estate planning free of charge for first responders throughout the state, including police officers, firefighters, paramedics and EMTs.
It was created by the State Bar of Wisconsin's pro bono program, in partnership with Foley & Lardner LLP, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, LexisNexis and the State Bar Young Lawyers Division.
A pilot legal clinic was held in Milwaukee last month where members of the Milwaukee Police and Fire Departments and their spouses and partners received assistance in creating wills, financial powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney and living wills.
"Our police and firefighters are always serving the community and doing good things for them; this program allows the community to do something for our public servants," said Mike Tobin, executive director of the City of Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission. "The pilot program was very successful and we are proud to help make this a statewide program for all first responders," he added.
Trained volunteer attorneys and support personnel will go to locations across Wisconsin at the request of a first responder organization and set up a clinic, at which time the volunteer attorneys will draft basic wills, living wills, health care powers of attorney, and financial powers of attorney for eligible first responders and their spouses or domestic partners.
First responders and their spouses or domestic partners must complete an estate planning questionnaire before their clinic appointments.
Estate planning education is also provided to first responders at the clinic.
The national Wills for Heroes program was created by the Wills for Heroes Foundation after the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and is designed to assist emergency personnel in preparing basic estate planning documents to protect themselves and their families.
The program was launched in Wisconsin in the Fall of 2009. For more information on implementing a similar program in your state, go to www.wisbar.org/heroes.
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