We residents of the Orange Coast have a privilege that I admit I often forget – the privilege of living near the beach.  I learned to swim in a pool, and it’s much more comfortable than swimming in the ocean.  No waves, no sand between your toes, and you can see to the bottom – you can see what’s swimming with you.

But swimming pools are artificial.  The ocean in our backyard is natural; and when you master the skills required to successfully swim there, swimming in the ocean, including body surfing and snorkeling, can be very satisfying and fun.

In today’s article, I want to compare life to the ocean.  We swim in it every day.  I believe we inherently know that sticking to the tide pools and the shallows isn’t best for us – we need to learn how to ride the waves, read the weather, and look below us –  even if it’s frightening.

Traditionally, probate lawyers like myself acted like lifeguards – when something goes wrong, the client calls on us, and we come out to them, get beside them, and rescue them when they are in over their head.  But for many years now, my firm has been dedicated to giving our clients the tools they need to navigate the ocean.  

The entire estate planning process is about examination and preparation.  We know what the waves might be like, because we have swum rough seas with our clients for almost thirty years.  We can show you the proper strokes to stay swimming above the rough waves and speeding through calm waters. We know what’s swimming below you, and we can look at it all together, so you can swim away from danger and put aside worry.  In other words, we need to examine your situation together with you, and determine your estate planning needs.  

Examination means reviewing your assets, your family situation, and your desires for the use and preservation of your wealth – both upon your incapacity prior to death, as well as the efficient disposal of your wealth after you die.  Preparation means creating those documents, including deeds, trusts, wills, and powers of attorney, to enable you to meet all the calms and storms of life with confidence rather than swimming in worry or fear.

Once you’ve been counseled by us who know rough seas, and you’ve learned the strokes and techniques for navigating the ocean waves, currents, sea creatures and all, you can enjoy the ocean’s beauty and the fun of swimming along.  We’ve been helping people swim the sea of life for 29 years.  Come have a dip in our pool!