EUGENE, Ore. – Preparing a will isn’t something many people like talking about.
But lawyers volunteered their time Friday afternoon to meet with first responders to do just that.
“We’re here to participate in the Wills for Heroes event,” said Eugene Fire Instructor Mike Caven. “It’s the first time for me to address the will; first time to address the advance directive.”
Eugene Attorney Dan Prince organized the second Wills for Heroes event in Oregon as an opportunity for lawyers to help heroes who respond to everyday emergencies within the community.
“First responders – police officers, firefighters, EMTs – risk their lives to keep the rest of us safe,” Prince said. “Every day when they report to work, their families can’t be sure they’ll come home.”
The documents are full of legal terms, and once they are filled out, they need to get notarized.
“Looking at it for the first time is definitely overwhelming,” said Springfield firefighter and paramedic John Hoagland.
Caven says it is difficult for anyone to start planning what comes after one’s death. But he says it’s necessary.
“Dying is not something I think we think about every day,” Caven said. “Nobody expects to have an unfortunate accident. But you know, we live with that reality. But we typically don’t address it. It’s a hard conversation to have.”
Wills For Heroes is a national program, when volunteer attorneys meet one-on-one with first responders to prepare their wills to be notarized.
“I have a young son,” Caven said. “What happens in the event that I’m not around? How will he be taken care of?”
Hoagland says he has a family too, and he wants to make sure they are taken care of. Just in case he doesn’t come home one day.
“I have a wife and two boys,” he said. “I just really want to make sure that everything’s in line for them in the worst case scenario.”
Hoagland says the Fire Department told him about the opportunity to meet with lawyers about preparing his will. He, like many other first responders, decided it was time to answer the question: what if?
You look around the room and there’s guys who’ve just began their career in the last couple years, and folks who are nearing retirement,” Caven said.
They have realized it’s never too late or too soon to start thinking about their wills.
“I just want to say thank you to the lawyers who are coming down to help because it is very confusing and it is very nice that they’re able to spend the time to come help a bunch of us.”
For more information about the program, anyone can e-mail Dan Price at: WillsForHeroes.Eugene@gmail.com