For the second year in a row, I had the honor and privilege of serving with the Young Lawyers Section of the Orange County Bar Association in the Wills For Heroes Event. For those of you that are unfamiliar, this event is geared towards assisting our brave men and women who serve the community as employees of our fire departments, sheriff’s offices and local police departments with the preparation of a last will and testament and other estate planning documents. For the over 150 service men and women that attended the event, each left with a complete estate plan. This estate plan was provided to them at no charge because one of the key goals of the Wills For Heroes Event is to give back to those that serve our community with valor and courage.
For the men and women that risk their lives for us every day, this is the least we can do to show our gratitude and appreciation for their courage, bravery and sacrifice. What surprised me again this year about our participants is the sheer number of these individuals that did not have any estate planning documents executed prior to their participation in the event.
Let’s face it, death is something we refrain from discussing and are often reluctant to even think about. This is unfortunate because it is an absolute certainty that one day our number will be called and it will be our time to go.
One of the toughest emotional times for us in life is enduring the loss of a loved one. The difficulty of reconciling and coping with said loss is only exacerbated when we, as the surviving loved ones, have to sort out the wishes of the deceased; especially, when we have no document to offer us the guidance we require.
A surprising number of individuals, including our brave first responders, have never properly executed a will and even fewer have a well-reasoned estate plan. The importance of leaving a clear plan of action for your loved ones after your death cannot be understated. It is paramount to ensuring that your wishes survive you and that your family is spared the troubles in determining your wishes based solely upon their recollection.
For those of you that are first responders, I trust that you will attend our event next year and get your estate planning documents in order; however, waiting until next April may not be in your best interest because circumstances can change every second. Please consider allowing us to assist you in planning for your family’s future. Let us help you leave the proper legacy to those you love.