Wills and Living Wills for First Responders and Police Officers

Wills and living wills protect and ensure your wishes for your estate are carried out based on your choices.

Stop the Fighting Before It Starts With a Will.

Nothing can cause fights within a family more than someone dying and there being money involved.  Let the kiddos know before you die what they get.  Don’t let it be a surprise to them.  This way there isn’t any fighting about who actually gets that 1969 Ford Mustang or mom’s wedding band.  It shouldn’t be like the movies where everyone gathers at the attorney’s office for the “reading of the will.”  Have that meeting while you are still around so there is no question what your intentions are!

Last Will & Testament

These documents detail how you want to disperse your assets and property, how you want your estate to be handled and divided once you pass away, how to preserve your wealth, and what your wishes are for that prized car/gun of yours, or who gets the house.

There are some key components and definitions of the will to cover:

  • Executors – the person you designate to fulfill your wishes, aka pay your bills and disperse your money and property
  • Guardian – the person who is going to raise any minor children in the event that your spouse has passed. You probably wouldn’t want the state to pick this one, which is what usually happens if you don’t have a will!

Living Will

A Living Will details how things should be treated while you are still alive.  The four components of a living will are:

  • Medical Power of Attorney – Someone you designate to make medical decisions on your behalf if you can’t make them. Imagine you are in a coma. Who tells the docs how to treat you?
  • Durable Power of Attorney – This one is a biggie and is also someone that you trust with everything in your life.  Why?  Because if you are medically incapacitated this person can access your financial accounts to help pay for bills and handle any other financial activity.  If you can’t do these things the bills still come due every month so you need to designate who you want to do those things for you during that time.
  • Medical Directive to Physicians – This document tells the physicians how you want to be treated in a life threatening situation. Do you want to be put on life support or have a feeding tube?  Do you want to donate your organs? Do you want to be resuscitated?  Sensitive issues, but important issues!
  • HIPPA Release – This document gives the person the ability to get into any of your medical records.

If you are married, your spouse is usually the de facto on all of these components, but it is important to name a back up as well.  Why?  Let’s play our favorite game in law enforcement.  What if scenarios!!!  What happens if you AND your spouse are in a wreck and you’re both in a coma.  Who makes the decisions now?  Without a backup……..Uh oh!!!!

For the single folks, you still need a backup just in case something happens to your primary on a Monday and you get into one of these situations on a Tuesday.  You have to plan for these scenarios.  As first responders we are taught very quickly to play those “what if” games with each scenario we may encounter.  Play those what if games with this topic as well! Not a fun what if game, but just like a deadly force situation, running through these scenarios in your head, and getting them on paper are just as crucial.

Reach out to your Police Association. Many police associations provide this as a free service for you. If they do not, consider organizations like

go bag

Get The Legacy Go-Bag Worksheet

Making healthy financial choices is essential to building a strong financial future. Our Legacy Go-Bag makes organizing and keeping track of your finances easy. A Legacy Go-Bag creates an organized place to have all important personal information and instructions to help your family locate items related to your personal finances and final wishes. A Legacy Go-Bag will help give them specific instructions, from you, about how you want things to occur in the event that you pass away or are seriously injured.

Organize your finances with the Legacy Go-Bag Worksheet.