First Wills for Heroes Clinic Hosted in Sheboygan County
Business attorneys from Johnsonville, Kohler and Sargento coordinated free clinic
Business attorneys from three Sheboygan County employers teamed up to host the first Wills for Heroes clinic in the county.
About 12 attorneys from Johnsonville, Kohler Co., and Sargento Foods prepared more than 36 estate plans for first responders and their spouses from the law enforcement departments in Kohler, Sheboygan Falls, Plymouth and Sheboygan County. The pro-bono clinic was held Dec. 4 at Johnsonville’s main campus in Sheboygan Falls, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Johnsonville attorney Nate Ganfield reached out to his peers at Sargento and Kohler about collaborating on a clinic locally, adding that both organizations showed no hesitation and were thrilled to partner on this. “It’s obvious we all share the same values and approach to helping our communities,” said Ganfield.
The legal teams from all three companies contacted the police departments in Kohler, Plymouth, Sheboygan Falls and the Sheboygan County sheriff’s department, notifying them of the clinic and inviting signups. All available openings were filled quickly, said Ganfield and Kris Havlik, a business lawyer with Foley and Lardner LLP in Milwaukee and a founding volunteer who is assisting with the Dec. 4 clinic. Several other employees from all three companies will be at the clinic to volunteer as witnesses and notaries. A similar clinic for the local fire departments is also in the works for Spring 2020, said Havlik.
Wills for Heroes is a nonprofit program that began after the 9/11 attacks, designed to provide free, basic estate planning documents in a clinic setting for emergency personnel to protect themselves and their families. The Wisconsin Wills for Heroes program launched in 2009 and is sponsored through the State Bar of Wisconsin. Since its inception, the Wisconsin Wills for Heroes program has completed over 400 clinics and provided free basic estate plans to thousands of Wisconsin-based first responders, according to Havlik. She said the Sheboygan County effort is also the first clinic to be held at a corporate headquarters, as most clinics are held at police departments or fire stations.
“What inspires me to continue coordinating these Wills for Heroes clinics, are the first responders who we’re able to reach and provide them with piece of mind that their estate planning documents are in place should the unthinkable happen,” said Havlik. “It’s also a wonderful way to thank our first responders for putting their lives on the line every day, and for the spouses and domestic partners who support them at home.”