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Wills For Heroes Expands Its Impact

First responders reviewing end of life documents created by NCBF attorney volunteers.In 2021-22, 262 first responders and their families were served by 82 volunteers through Wills for Heroes.

The North Carolina Bar Association’s spirit of volunteerism, combined with the North Carolina Bar Foundation’s ability to adapt to changes and challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulted in a remarkable year for Wills for Heroes in 2021-22. Twelve clinics were held across the state, through which 262 first responders and their families were served by 82 volunteers, resulting in the preparation of 742 simple wills, health care power of attorney and financial power of attorney documents – for free.

“This year, I saw firsthand the impact that the Wills for Heroes program has on the communities we serve,” said NCBF Director of Programs Alex Rogers. “Meeting with first responders from across the state, I heard so many individual stories about how much this program meant to their families and the relief they felt through completing these documents and putting a plan in place.”

Ken Klos-Weller, Wellness Sergeant for the City of Raleigh Police Department, concurs. “The Wills for Heroes program provides so much more than free legal assistance in drafting wills and power of attorney documents for the employees of the Raleigh Police Department,” he said.

“The first responder families who participate experience an emotional and mental lift from knowing that their financial and health care decisions will be taken care of in the event of a crisis, and this, in turn, reduces the amount of daily anxiety and stress levels we all face. We can’t thank you enough for helping improve the overall wellness of not only our employees but their families as well.”

“Using the app allowed volunteer attorneys to serve any community from Asheville to Goldsboro from their home or office‭,‬”‭ ‬Rogers said‭. ‬“Through the NCBF’s network across the state‭, ‬we were able to identify volunteer notaries and witnesses to assist with executing documents‭. ‬We also harnessed the expertise of our Foundation Program Partners to expand our group of lead volunteers to assist with clinics and document review‭. ‬Expanding this group gave us the support we needed to offer multiple clinics per month‭. ‬I am beyond grateful for the time and dedication our volunteers have poured into this program this year‭.‬”

Support was also provided in a very big way by Lawyers Mutual‭, ‬which sponsors the Wills for Heroes program‭.‬

“Lawyers Mutual is proud to support the NCBF Wills for Heroes program serving first responders across North Carolina‭,‬”‭ ‬said Director of Client Services Julie Beavers‭.‬

“Through the NCBF‭, ‬we are able to mobilize NCBA members‭, ‬many of whom are our insureds‭, ‬to serve North Carolina hometown heroes which directly aligns with Lawyers‭ ‬Mutual’s commitment to serve the community‭. ‬We are‭ ‬thrilled our support allows the NCBF to expand the impact of Wills for Heroes‭, ‬bringing a sense of relief to those first‭ ‬responders who risk their lives every day in service to all North Carolinians‭.‬”‭

Stay tuned‭, ‬Rogers added‭, ‬for continued expansion of Wills for Heroes in 2022-23‭.‬

“We plan to continue the momentum and expand our document offerings to include a fourth document‭, ‬an‭ ‬advance directive‭.‬”

This article is part of the 2022 Impact Report. Access the 2022 Impact Report webpage.