EFFINGHAM, S.C. — Oct. 3, 2018, is a day Carrie Fox will not soon forget.
Her husband was among the law enforcement personnel who rushed to the scene of a shooting in the Vintage Place subdivision that killed two officers and wounded five others.
One of the things she remembers is the law enforcement agencies that responded: the city Police Department, the county Sheriff’s Office, Darlington County and several state agencies.
After learning that some 80% or 90% of law enforcement personnel lack even the most basic estate-planning arrangements, she persuaded her law partners at Aiken Bridges to organize a Wills for Heroes event at the Florence County Law Enforcement Complex.
“We wanted to bring this program to Florence to say thank you to the people who survived the Vintage Place shooting” Fox said. “Their lives are on the line every day. I was included. My husband was out at Vintage Place.”
Aiken Bridges attorneys worked with responders with assistance from Nelson Mullins staff, who provided training to 15 local attorneys and paralegals to provide this pro bono day of service to the community.
After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Nelson Mullins created the first Wills for Heroes Program and the Wills for Heroes Foundation. Since its inception, it has grown into a national effort and has been adopted by law firms and corporations throughout the United States. Thousands of wills have been created for the people who protect the public daily.
A simple will allows the testator, the person who died, to name someone to serve as executor, the person divvying up the estate, and direct how children are to be taken care of and provided for.
Fox said getting a will was essential for those with children and to those who want to make sure a certain piece of property goes to a specific person.
Those getting their wills drafted could also have a medical power of attorney made.
These documents allow people to determine who makes health care decisions when they are incapacitated or nearing the end of life.
Fox said the medical power of attorney was probably the most important to her because it helps people to make the difficult end-of-life decisions.