Started in South Carolina after the 9/11 terrorists attacks, Wills for Heroes is a volunteer program by lawyers around the country to help serve first responders with wills and other important legal documents. Mississippi held its first Wills for Heroes event in 2010 along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and local Meridian lawyers served Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department officials Tuesday morning.
Amanda Glover Evans, president of the Lauderdale County Young Lawyers, tells us, "It's just a way for our attorneys to use their skills to give back to the community because our officers protect us everyday, and wills are a way for them to plan for the future because they are in a dangerous line of work."
To help make potential end of life decisions easier on family members, and to have the wishes met by the officers, free wills, powers of attorney, and advanced healthcare directives were filled out by attorneys and notarized.
Victoria Rundlett, the public relations committee chair for the Young Lawyer's Division of the Mississippi Bar, says, "People are excited to be able to take care of their families, and unfortunately, it's things that we don't like to think about on a daily basis, but in the nature of the business that these men and women are in, it is an obvious fact of life that needs to be considered, so we just give them that opportunity, it takes about an hour, provide them with these legal documents so that they can take care of their families should a tragedy occur."
The documents provided by the lawyers are more for the families than the officers, which is why one deputy took the time to speak to an attorney.
Deputy Chris McFarland tells us, "Take care of some business while you're still alive. Nobody wants to die, but it takes a burden off my family if it does happen."
The Lauderdale County and Mississippi Bar also partnered with this project.