Published: September 26, 2013
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A local legal association has created a way to commemorate the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 while helping to protect those who put their lives on the line for the community.
The annual "Wills for Heroes" program, sponsored by the Lackawanna Bar Association was held this past Saturday in Clarks Summit. The event provides free estate planning to police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians in Lackawanna County.
The program welcomed approximately 35 first responders and spouses and provides approximately 100 estate planning documents to people ranging in age from senior citizens to those with young families.
Attorney Paul Keeler, who organized the event, explained the program's benefits.
"I have helped first responders and their spouses with estate planning through this event over the last four years and they are very appreciative," he said. "Many have not thought about a will until we present them with this program. Upon completion, most tell me that although the topics covered are difficult to think about, they are glad to have taken the steps necessary to protect their loved ones. It is rewarding to know that I have helped them and their families and to have given them some peace of mind."
The Wills for Heroes program is a part of the Wills for Heroes Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides the tools, knowledge and relationships with national first responder organizations to assist bar associations and other organizations with establishing Wills for Heroes programs in their individual states. Since 2010, the Lackawanna Bar Association has hosted Wills for Heroes Programs at the Greenwood Hose Co. in Moosic, the Pennsylvania State Police Barraks in Dunmore and at the Clarks Summit Fire Co.
"Our objective is to provide free estate planning to all first responders in Lackawanna County and we plan to expand to different sections of the county in the future," Keeler said. "We have a great, safe community for families, thanks in large part to the police, firefighters and EMTs we tried to honor and thank on Saturday."