Wills for Heroes

On September 11, 2001, more than 400 firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical personnel lost their lives. That day's horrible toll, perhaps more than any event in history, illuminated the unstinting heroism of the nation's first responders. Every day in every city and town, emergency first responders risk their lives. Sadly, many of them inadvertently place their loved ones' financial well-being at risk by failing to make basic estate-planning decisions.

To honor and assist these men and women, Ballard Spahr has named Wills for Heroes its Public Service Project. Wills for Heroes programs provide free wills, living wills, and health care and financial powers of attorney to first responders and their spouses or domestic partners. Volunteer attorneys from Ballard Spahr and other firms have helped to prepare more than 20,000 estate-planning documents through the program. In 2009, Ballard Spahr bestowed its annual Alan J. Davis Award on the firm's Wills for Heroes team. The award recognizes exemplary legal representation in a matter involving the public good.

Our attorney volunteers meet emergency personnel and their families at Wills for Heroes events sponsored by local bar associations, where they generate estate-planning documents that are signed and notarized on the spot. The service is free. Ballard Spahr employees donate notarial, technical, and administrative support to Wills for Heroes Programs.

Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington have active programs. Ballard Spahr is working with the Wills for Heroes Foundation to expand the program to Colorado, Nevada, and Washington, D.C. The firm sponsors and supports programs in Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Utah. 

 Wills For Heroes

Daniel JT McKenna

To learn more about the Wills for Heroes Foundation and its programs, visit www.willsforheroes.org.