The San Diego County Bar Association and Wills for Heroes Program

A graduate of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California, Terry Chucas has operated his local practice since 1990. In the past 14 years, he has focused on representing families in dependency court appeals. Terry Chucas also holds membership in professional organizations, such as the San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA).

Since its establishment in 1899, the SDCBA has grown to become the largest law-related organization supporting legal professionals in the region. It offers its members multiple volunteering options and various educational and career advancement opportunities. One of them is the Wills for Heroes program, taking place every fall for one month.

In September 2022, the SDCBA announced its recurring participation in the Wills for Heroes Foundation’s eponymous program. The program provides free estate planning legal services to first responders (emergency medical technicians, firefighters, paramedics, and police officers) and licensed frontline healthcare workers (doctors, registered nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, residents, and medical students), as well as their spouses or domestic partners.

For 10 consecutive years, through the Wills for Heroes program, the SDCBA has assisted eligible first responders and health care professionals in the greater San Diego area with preparing wills and other estate planning documentation, such as durable powers of attorney and advance health care directives, at no cost.

To qualify, participants must meet specific eligibility criteria. For example, their estate and net worth should be at most $500,000. Net worth encompasses cash, savings, stock and bonds, personal property, and retirement assets. The SDCBA matches each qualified participant with a volunteer licensed California attorney. The latter works individually with their matched participant to prepare the documents via conference calls or video meetings.


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