MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Writing a last will and testament or instructions on life ending care can be a bit morbid, but for the people who risk their lives everyday it needs to be done. A nationwide program called "Wills for Heroes" is helping first responders put together the important paperwork that usually gets pushed to the side.
A couple of signatures, a stamp, and the Ptak family has all of their end of life legal documents squared away.
"We have a six-year-old son and we've discussed it more times than few that we want to make sure that everything is in order for him," Amanda Ptak, a Baldwin County Sheriff's Office employee who works in the 911 Center said. "We have security to know what's going to happen with our son and our property in the event that we both pass away."
It is a morbid topic, but one that private attorney Kristen Quinton says every family needs to discuss.
"It helps let your loved ones know what your wishes are, it helps when your loved ones are in the midst of grief," Quinton, the co-facilitator of the "Wills for Heroes" program in Middle Georiga said. "One less thing they have to worry about is how do we take care of what's left behind."
This is where "Wills for Heroes" steps in. It is a nationwide program that helps first responders get their legal paperwork together.
"'Wills for Heroes' came about after the September 11th attacks when we came to learn so many first responders don't have life planning documents or end of life documents and there was so much left in disarray with their families," Quinton said.
Local attorneys volunteer their time and services for free to help first responders complete last will and testaments, powers of attorney, and an advanced health directive. Quinton says it is a way to give back to those who do so much for us.
"Many folks that work in service work to help everyone else," she said. They're so focused on that activity of service, so it's important for folks in this type of profession to sit down and take a moment and think about themselves and their family."
The Ptak family says it is one less thing they have to worry about.
"It's like a large weight that has been lifted," Amanda Ptak said.
"You never know what may happen and I just want to make sure that my family is taken care of in the event that something were to happen to me," Cameron Ptak, a Baldwin County Sheriff's deputy said.
"Wills for Heroes" has provided free legal help to more than 7,000 first responders across the country.
Quinton says Monday's session was the first time they have worked in Baldwin County. She adds they have also helped in Bibb and Jones counties and she hopes to have a session in Houston County soon.