Wills for Heroes: 
COVID-19 Essential Healthcare Workers

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, The Chicago Bar Association's Wills for Heroes Program will now offer FREE estate planning assistance to COVID-19 essential healthcare workers who are bravely putting their own safety at risk to serve the public during the health crisis. The Program will consist of virtual clinics offered in partnership between the CBA and participating law firms or corporate law departments. Volunteer attorneys will execute simple wills and powers of attorney for healthcare and property at no cost to eligible essential healthcare workers and their spouses or partners.

For Healthcare Workers

Am I eligible for the program? To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a licensed healthcare provider in the State of Illinois that is directly tending to confirmed or suspected coronavirus patients (may include, but is not limited to respiratory therapists, pharmacists, doctors (M.D.’s, D.O.’s), residents/interns/medical students, RNs, LPNs, PAs, CNAs, or technicians)
  • Be a resident of the State of Illinois
  • 18 years of age
  • Have never been declared legally incompetent
  • Be an appropriate candidate for a simple will and/or power of attorney for healthcare or property, as determined through the intake process. Please note that individuals with an estimated net worth in excess of one million dollars may want to consult with a professional estate planner to discuss the tax ramifications of their estate plan. 

How do I sign up?
Please contact The Chicago Bar Association by calling 312-554-2130 or by emailing wills@chicagobar.org.  After an initial intake to determine if you are eligible for the program, you will be connected with a volunteer attorney via email for further scheduling.

How does the program work?
After initial intake, you will be connected with a volunteer attorney via email, and from there, will schedule an appointment at mutually convenient time. You will receive a questionnaire to complete in preparation for the appointment. During the appointment, the attorney will walk you through the execution of your estate plan documents. Please note: to comply with Illinois law, you must sign your estate plan documents in front of a Notary Public and witnesses via audio-visual communication technology (e.g. Zoom, Skype, Facetime) with the assistance of the attorney.

Information for Hospitals
Inquiries about this program from hospital administrators should be directed to Jennifer Byrne at jbyrne@chicagobar.org.

For Volunteer Attorneys

Participating Law Firms and Corporate Law Departments
Thank you to the following firms and organizations for hosting virtual Wills for Heroes Clinics for essential healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic:

Volunteer Need
You do not need to have estate planning experience to volunteer. Licensed Illinois attorneys without estate planning experience are needed to perform client intake, draft wills and powers of attorney using HotDocs document automation software, and act as witnesses (virtually) during the execution of the documents. Experienced estate planning attorneys are needed to review completed estate plans.

How do I volunteer?
Due to public safety concerns, all clinics must be conducted virtually and by attorneys from the above participating law firms and corporate law departments that have met the CBA Wills for Heroes Committee's criteria to host virtual clinics. Please email Jennifer Byrne at jbyrne@chicagobar.org for further information on how to become a participating law firm or law department. Attorneys from participating firms / law departments should contact their pro bono coordinator to volunteer.

Program Training 
It is recommended that all first-time Wills for Heroes volunteers complete the training session. An archived version of the training session for the program is available by clicking here.