Community Service – Wills for Heroes
Through the “Wills for Heroes” Program (WHF), police officers, fire fighters, sheriff’s deputies and adult detention center officers are given the opportunity to have simple wills, advanced medical directives and durable powers of attorney prepared for them and their spouses, free of charge. The WFH Program was inspired by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks where 90% of the first responders who perished had no end of life planning documents in place.
The Program was developed by the Virginia Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, (VBA YLD) and the Virginia State Bar’s Young Lawyers Conference and has been implemented in many jurisdictions throughout the state with the help of local bar associations such as the Prince William County Bar.
To implement the WFH program, local attorneys are trained in how to prepare the documents and education sessions are held to educate first responders on the importance of having such documents in place.
During the PWC Bar WFH program, first responders had the opportunity to meet with their attorney for one hour to discuss their estate plan and complete their documents. In all, 351 first responders were educated on the importance of estate planning and 291 sets of documents were prepared, protecting these families in the event of tragedy. The program was repeated in 2015 to benefit an additional 240 first responders and spouses. The Bar expects to repeat this program every five years.
A grant from the Prince William County Bar Foundation, along with private contributions, covered the costs associated with running the local program.