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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Life Can Change in an Instant

This post is a bit  more philosophical than what you are accustomed to reading on our blog.  But as I began to explore topics for our next entry, a news text alerted me to a shooting at the Fort Lauderdale Airport. A later notification revealed that 5 people were killed, and others are injured.  It happened in the Delta baggage claim area where, what seemed like just a very short time ago, I picked up my son and his fiance' after they flew on a Delta flight from Minnesota.  And while I do not personally know any of the victims, a tragedy so close to home, at a place I pass through frequently, is especially difficult to deal with.  The people in Terminal 2 were beginning or returning from vacation, meeting friends or loved ones, or simply spending what they thought would be another day at work.  They were living their lives.  And they had no idea that this would be their last day on this earth.

In the last couple of years we have mourned the passing of many of our most beloved celebrities, many dying suddenly, often too young.  We have also been horrified by many shocking world and national mass killings including Paris, Nice, Orlando, Istanbul, Newtown and Charleston.  All of the victims of these horrific attacks left behind devastated families, friends and communities.  They had no idea that their lives would end so suddenly.

We can all agree that life does not always follow a plan.  In the wink of an eye we might be gone.  All of those details we plan to take care of tomorrow, may never happen. 

As an attorney specializing in will and trusts, my practice focuses on helping clients prepare for taking care of their family and assets after they are gone.  I offer counsel regarding the best estate plan for their unique needs.  But there are other things that you, as a caring and responsible parent or spouse, can do.

Let's start with your minor children.  Have you thought about who will care for them if you are not around?  What about financial support?  Do you know if you have the right amount , and the right type, of life insurance for your particular family needs?  What about college?  How will that be paid for?  Do you help support or look after elderly parents?  What will happen to them should you not be around?

Now think for a moment about what your final wishes for your family might be.  How do you want to leave assets to your heirs? Are there charities you wish to contribute to? Who will inherit your business and real estate?  There are many other questions.

Perhaps the lesson to be learned from tragedy is to always try to live a good life full of kindness and gratitude, and to remember to love and cherish our families. The reality is that we do not know what the future holds.  

Life can change in an instant.  What are you waiting for?

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