In his 11 years with Wills for Heroes, a nonprofit that partners with law firms around the U.S. to provide free estate planning to police officers, EMTs, military servicepeople and other first responders, President Dan McKenna has heard from those who have seen a lot.

They’ve delivered babies and saved lives. But, they say, they’ve never felt as much gratitude as when they receive estate planning through Wills for Heroes.

One story stands out to McKenna the most. At a clinic Wills for Heroes put on in Washington, D.C., a notary volunteer burst into tears. She recognized a police officer at the event who had pulled her daughter out of a car a year before.

“We can’t protect them, but we can protect their families,” McKenna said at a clinic Thursday in Aurora. “I’m not going to run into that burning building, I’m not going to stop them from doing it, but God forbid the worst can happen. I can’t save them, (but) I can save their families.”

In addition to serving as president of Wills for Heroes, McKenna is a partner at Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia, the firm hosting Thursday’s clinic. Ballard Spahr, which has over a dozen offices across the U.S., adopted Wills for Heroes as a signature public service project in 2007. As host, the firm takes on the whole planning process for the clinics.

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