Wisconsin's Wills for Heroes program, sponsored by the State Bar of Wisconsin, began in 2009 and is modeled on the national 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.
To support Wisconsin’s first responders who are prepared to pay the ultimate price in the line of duty, the Wisconsin Wills for Heroes program provides those who are eligible with the peace of mind of knowing that their affairs are in order should the unthinkable occur. This program is designed to provide free preparation of basic estate planning documents to eligible first responders. First responders are defined as publicly employed or volunteer: police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and the spouses/domestic partners of such personnel.
Trained volunteer attorneys and support personnel will go to locations across Wisconsin at the request of a first responder organization and set up a clinic, at which time the volunteer attorneys will draft basic Wills, Living Wills, Health Care Powers of Attorney, and Financial Powers of Attorney for eligible first responders and their spouses or domestic partners. First responders and their spouses or domestic partners must complete an estate planning questionnaire before their clinic appointments. Estate planning education is also provided to first responders at the clinic.
To schedule a clinic, first check with your employer or local first responder organization. As of the start of 2024, we have a waitlist for departments who are requesting clinics and are scheduling into the Fall of 2024. To request to be placed on the waitlist, please email email@example.com.
Only Wisconsin “first responders” who meet the program's asset limits are eligible for this free service. Events are coordinated through first responder agencies and organizations. Those eligible include Wisconsin publicly employed or volunteer:
- Police officers
- Spouses or domestic partners of such personnel
First responders with assets in excess of $2,000,000 ($4,000,000 for a couple) are not eligible to participate in this program.
Your estate (for Wills for Heroes purposes) consists of your cash, tangible personal property, stocks and bonds, real estate (equity only), savings, life insurance (anticipated death benefit) and retirement assets (such as a 401(k) or an IRA).
If you have a large (greater than the asset limit above) or complicated estate or desire complex trust arrangements, this program is not available to you. You should instead contact a lawyer who focuses in the area of estate planning. Referrals to Wisconsin attorneys for such estate planning issues are available through the State Bar’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service (800) 362-9082.
Attorneys and individuals interested in acting as witnesses or notaries can find information about volunteering on our For Members page.