Foundation to provide  legal work for officers

About 20 attorneys, notaries, and other volunteers will provide Ponchatoula Police officers with free wills and other estate planning materials.

The Wills for Heroes Foundation, Louisiana State Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Division, and Ponchatoula Rotary Club jointly hosted a Wills for Heroes event earlier this month at the Ponchatoula Police Department. Wills for Heroes is a statewide program to help police officers, firefighters and other first responders. Through the program, volunteer attorneys provide free wills and other estate planning documents for emergency first responders.

Lawyer Parker Layrisson organized the event with the help of his brother, Chief of Police Bry Layrisson, and many others.

“Growing up, Bry and I saw our dad’s sheriff’s department lose two brave deputies in the line of duty,” Layrisson said. “Police officers need wills more than average citizens because of the inherent dangers of their jobs. However, they are often unable to afford estate planning legal fees because they are underpaid. Thankfully, so many friends were willing to give up a Saturday with their families to solve that problem in Ponchatoula.”

Other volunteers were Nicole Dillon, Ernie Drake III, Summer Duhe, Samantha Dykes, Angela Elly, Patricia Hicks, Jeff LeSaicherre, Patrick Reso, and Erica Williams. Reso is certified as an expert in estate planning. An expert is required to complete a Wills for Heroes program. Two more attorneys who are LSBA officers, Shayna Sonnier, of Lake Charles, and Dylan Thriffiley, of New Orleans, traveled to Ponchatoula to provide training, equipment and oversight.

Notaries Susan Johnson and Angelique Richardson also participated, along with other volunteers Greg Crovetto, Celeste Layrisson, Meghan Notariano, Wil Richardson, Sparky Welles and Jeff Wright.

Sgt. Mark Perrin said, “Although it’s not fun preparing for the worst, I’m glad my family is protected. The lawyers were professional and efficient, and I appreciated that.”

Chief Bry Layrisson added, “My officers risk their lives to protect the public every time they put on a badge. It’s nice to see that their bravery is appreciated, and even better to know that their families are legally protected in case the unthinkable occurs. Our community should be proud of these thoughtful volunteers.”

The LSBA Young Lawyers’ Division Wills for Heroes program is designed and overseen by the Wills for Heroes Foundation, which has helped first responders by implementing these programs nationwide.

The Wills for Heroes Foundation works nationwide with affiliate organizations to provide free wills and other estate planning documents to America’s first responders, including police officers, firefighters and paramedics. Since November 2001, the Wills for Heroes program has provided more than 15,000 estate planning documents nationwide. Attorneys Anthony Hayes and Jeffrey Jacobson oversee the Wills for Heroes Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. To join them in “protecting those who protect us,”® donate athttp://www.willsforheroes.org . More information about the LSBA YLD Wills for Heroes program can be found on the web at http://www.lsba.org.