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As trite as it sounds, no one knows what the future will bring. Equally trite is the admonition to be prepared, as much as possible, for life's unanticipated events. Although simplistic, both statements ring true.

A local tragedy provides a dramatic example.

Who could have known prior to July 19 that lightning would strike and kill Richard and Lisa Goff, leaving their three young children orphaned! Sadly, according to news accounts, they left no will or formal directive for the care of the children in the event of their death.

Even sadder is the high-profile custody battle that has developed among well-intentioned and loving extended family members.

Let it be a lesson to all parents of minor children.

A legal will, of course, directs what will happen to one's monetary and real assets at the time of death. But another key reason for having a will, especially for parents of minor children, is the designation of a guardian – the person who'll raise the youngsters and care for them should the unthinkable happen. Without a will, the court may appoint a guardian whom the parents would not have chosen. Or it could lead to divisive custody battles among surviving loved ones.

KSL recalls the story of the Goff family as a reminder to those not normally inclined to prepare a will. As premature as the process may seem, plan for the future. Don't let fate unnecessarily take control.

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