Monday, May 20, 2013

Wills for Heroes

It is a topic that NONE of us want to think about or talk about, but in truth it is something that all of us should have in place in the event of our lives ending sooner than we think they should.  We should all have a will in place, regardless of occupation.  But, especially having our loved ones in the fire service, we should be extra vigilant in making sure we know their wishes are made known.  

Rest easy, sir.
I have written about this before.   I have stuff written down and put away in case J dies at work.  We lost a FF today in Dallas, a 28 year veteran of the department trapped when the floors of the building in the 6 alarm blaze collapsed.  Stanley Wilson, 51, left behind a wife and two boys.  It could be anyone of us standing in her shoes.  We all know that and we all try really hard NOT to think about it.  But it does need to be addressed, just for a peace of mind.  And I need to follow my own advice. 

Do you have a formal will in place?  Have you made it know where your kids go?  Who will take your dogs or cats?  Does your wedding ring stay with you or go with your oldest?  All silly questions in the grand scheme of things, but things that will indeed cause headaches for the loved ones you leave behind.  We, as wives, need to make sure our wishes are known, just as much as we need to know what our FF's wishes are .  

And that is where Wills for Heroes comes in. 
Through Wisconsin's Wills for Heroes program, volunteer attorneys and support personnel participate in clinics scheduled at the request of first responder organizations around the state. At these events, volunteer lawyers prepare simple wills and other basic estate planning documents at no charge for eligible first responders and their spouses or domestic partners.
The national Wills for Heroes program was created by the Wills for Heroes Foundation after September 11, 2001, and is designed to assist emergency personnel in preparing basic estate planning documents to protect themselves and their families. The program launched in Wisconsin in the Fall of 2009.
Wills for Heroes in Wisconsin is sponsored by the State Bar of Wisconsin with the generous support of Foley & Lardner LLP, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, LexisNexis and the State Bar's Young Lawyers Division.
If you see one of these events, take advantage of it.  Or, simply drop them a note to let them know you are interested.  It will take the stress off of you, a bit, to have all of that written down if your FF makes his last call unexpectedly and it will ease the stress of your loved ones if you leave them sooner than planned.

To the family of Stanley Wilson, please know you are not alone.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you.  To the Dallas Fire Department, we pray and stand with you in this most horrible of times.  Our love and prayers for healing go with you.  Know if there is anything we can do, an email is all that it takes.  

 Hug those FFs of yours tight today.  We had an injury yesterday with a roof collapsing, but everyone got out okay, aside from a shoulder.  Don't put things off until tomorrow, it is not guaranteed.  Get those wills in place, I will be. 

Peace and love to Dallas.  May God heal your broken hearts and fill the holes with the peace of His love.

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