By Darlynn Morgan, Orange County Probate Lawyer

As an Orange County probate lawyer, I’ve literally been bursting at the seams to write this blog post after receiving an email that absolutely rocked my week.

Basically, an acquaintance of mine who was in her 40’s suddenly passed away last week.  I had talked with her repeatedly about making a will and getting her affairs in order, but she thought she was too young and just wasn’t ready to take that next step.

I’m not ready yet”.   Have you also uttered those words as it relates to making sure your family, assets and wishes are protected should something happen to you?

Anyway, to make a long story short, her 20-year-old son contacted me for help after finding one of my e-zines in her inbox (if you’d like to get on that list, simply fill out the form at the top of the page).  Of course my heart immediately sank knowing that he’ll be stuck cleaning up a legal and financial mess, when he should be taking it easy and going through the natural grieving process for his mother.

Not to mention, I’ve been there. As you may know, I lost my first husband to cancer at 36 years old.  We also thought we were too young to plan (mind you—I was still a business lawyer at this time and didn’t realize the importance of estate planning until this happened), and by the time we attempted to get our affairs in order, it was too late.

So like this young boy, at a time when I should have been grieving for my husband, I was also stuck cleaning up a legal and financial mess as I became the  owner of his business–much to mine and his partner’s dismay!

Fortunately, all of this is so preventable just by planning ahead.  Yes, there is a small investment to get your will, trust or other estate planning documents done, but it will save your family THOUSANDS of dollars and YEARS of headaches in the long-run should the unexpected happen.

And if you have kids, own any assets or you are currently in an alternative relationship (life partnership, same-sex relationship, etc), the words “I’m not ready yet” should not even be in your vocabulary.  Too much is at stake if you should suddenly die or become incapacitated without a plan in place.

Fortunately, we’ve made the process of getting your affairs in order easier than ever by offering 10 free Family Wealth Planning Sessions each month to California residents.   During this session, we’ll review your assets, wishes and current financial situation to determine EXACTLY what would happen to your family if you were incapacitated or suddenly passed away.  You can schedule that appointment with me now, your Orange County probate lawyer, by calling (949) 260-1400.  Remember, these sessions are limited to 10 per month, so call today!