Wills for Heroes: Virtual Estate Planning Program
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, The Chicago Bar Association's Wills for Heroes Program now offers virtual estate planning services (simple wills and powers of attorney for healthcare and property) at NO COST to qualifying military veterans, first responders and COVID-19 essential healthcare workers and their spouses or partners.
The Wills for Heroes Program is accepting clients to our Virtual Program waitlist. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our waitlist.
If you are an attorney who would like to volunteer for the virtual program, please email email@example.com to learn about the program requirements.
Am I eligible for the program? To be eligible, you must:
- Be a first responder (police officer, firefighter, paramedic), military veteran or an Illinois licensed healthcare provider 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. After an initial intake to determine if you are eligible for the program, you will be connected with a volunteer attorney via email as soon as an attorney becomes available for further scheduling. The Wills for Heroes Committee cannot guarantee the availability of an attorney.
How does the program work?
Clients are paired with an attorney via email as soon as an attorney becomes available. 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.
For Volunteer Attorneys
How do I volunteer?
Due to public safety concerns, all client meetings must be conducted virtually. Attorney volunteers must facilitate the notarization and execution of the client's estate plan virtually in accordance with current Illinois law, and must meet the CBA Wills for Heroes Committee's criteria to accept clients through the program. Please email Lindsay Wunrow at email@example.com
for more information.
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 to act as witnesses (virtually) during the execution of the documents. Experienced estate planning attorneys are needed to review completed estate plans. Clients are assigned to available attorneys on a monthly basis with the expectation that the client matter will be completed within a month-long time frame. Attorneys without the ability to review or notarize documents may be paired with a licensed paralegal through the Chicago Paralegals Association.
It is required that all first-time Wills for Heroes volunteers complete the training session. Click here to view our most recent training video, created by the Wills for Heroes committee chairs on October 12. Please note that you can only receive one Wills for Heroes CLE credit per calendar year.