Ponchatoula Police Officers to Receive Free Wills
Nov. 26, 2012 – At the Ponchatula Rotary meeting in November, club president and local attorney Parker Layrisson announced a public service innitiative that will provide free wills to all Ponchatoula Police Department officers and their spouses.
To accomplish this goal, Layrisson has enlisted the support of his brother, Chief of Police Bry Layrisson, who joined him for the announcement, the Ponchatoula Rotary Club, the Louisiana State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and the Wills for Heroes Foundation.
“We’ve assembled a volunteer team of Rotarians and lawyers to complete a Wills for Heroes program that will provide essential estate planning documents to our local police officers absolutely free of charge,” stated Parker Layrisson. “By helping the brave officers who risk their lives on our behalf to create wills, living wills and powers of attorney before tragedy hits, we are protecting those who protect us.”
Parker Layrisson said that police officers need wills more than average citizens because of the inherent dangers of their jobs. Moreover, because Ponchatoula police officers are among the lowest paid in the area, they are often unable to afford legal fees, which can cost thousands for similar services. Based on national statistics, he estimates that 80-90% of police officers do not even have simple wills to provide child custody and property planning.
In addition to Ponchatoula Rotary members, local lawyers Patricia Hicks, Erica Williams, Angela Elly, Summer Duhe, Jeff LeSaicherre, Nicole Dillon, and Ernie Drake III have volunteered. New Orleans attorney Dylan Thiffiley will coordinate the volunteer training. The program is scheduled for completion by January 2013.
“My officers risk their lives every time they put on a badge,” said Chief Bry Layrisson. “As sheriff, my father lost two courageous deputies in the line of duty, so my family knows how important it is to provide legal protection to police officers’ families in case the unthinkable should occur. Although this is uncomfortable to think and talk about, it’s an extremely worthy cause that I support 100%.”