As depressing as it is, planning a will is just as necessary as purchasing life insurance, maintaining financial records, and planning for retirement, but first responders qualify for FREE will and estate planning.
For many, the business aspect of death, while vitally important, is something that we tend to put on the backburner. The more demanding one’s job is, the less time he or she may be able to find to handle this all too important matter. If one’s job is as critical as a first responder’s, the time may be even harder to find.
In a 2012 column entitled “Running to danger,” I wrote, “…when many people tend to run away from dangerous and potentially fatal situations, thankfully there are those that are trained to run to it.” Firefighters, police officers, EMS personnel, and other trained first responders speed to dangerous situations to save others while sacrificially risking their own lives.
The Wills For Heroes Foundation recognizes that, while saving others’ lives, first responders may be disabled or even killed in the process. According to their website, www.willsforheroes.org, “Anthony Hayes, a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough, LLP, in Columbia, South Carolina, started the Wills for Heroes program shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Anthony emailed the Columbia Fire Department asking what lawyers could do to help that department. During an impromptu focus group, it became clear that there was a glaring need for estate planning services.
Since then, Wills for Heroes programs in ten states have provided more than 7,000 free estate planning documents for first responders. Because of the tremendous success of these programs, attorneys and bar associations across the United States started requesting assistance with implementing Wills for Heroes programs in their communities. In response, Jeff Jacobson and Anthony Hayes created the Wills for Heroes Foundation to oversee the nationwide expansion of these programs and connect volunteer attorneys with local first responders.”
The contact information for free legal services for North Carolina’s first responders is: ATTN: Jake Epstein; McGuire Woods LLP; 2600 Two Hannover Square; 434 Fayetteville Street; Raleigh, NC 27601.
First responders, thank you all for sacrificing your lives to help save others.