A year ago, triathlete Maria Korcsmaros of Corona was attacked by a 9-foot great white shark, only 150 yards off the coast of Corona del Mar State Beach. On this one-year anniversary, Korcsmaros returned to the beach, along with one of the lifeguards who was responsible for saving her life on that fateful day. Though her scars are fading, the fact remains that she barely escaped death. This horrible twist of fate should remind us all that Orange County estate planning must never be overlooked.
A horrific shark attack
Korcsmaros still has scars along nearly the entire right side of her body from her shoulder to her buttocks. She had the 161 staples that were used to hold her wounds together made into a necklace. According to reports from that day, “[t]he shark chomped through her right arm and tore away a good bit of her tricep. The massive pressure of its jaw broke two ribs, punctured her lung and liver, and fractured her pelvis.”
A miraculous save
Korcsmaros remembers that she didn’t realize how badly she was injured after the attack, but she knew it was crucial that she get to the lifeguard boat, which was 100 yards away. In addition to being a triathlete, she was a “sergeant” at her fitness boot camp, so she used her loudest sergeant voice and screamed for help. Luckily, they heard her.
The lifeguards were stopped in the area to conduct an impromptu training exercise when they heard her. At first, they were not sure what was happening. No one wanted to accept that it was a possible shark attack. But, once Korcsmaros was turned over to the paramedics, it became clear that she had indeed been attacked by a Great White.
Facing her fears
Returning to the beach and being brave enough to go back into the water is a huge step forward for Korcsmaros. Yet, she still respects the risk of a shark attack that is ever present. According to experts, a great white can target a swimmer from 30-feet under the water and attack at 20 to 30 miles an hour.
Korcsmaros says she is lucky that she doesn’t have nightmares, reliving what happened, amazingly, because she didn’t see the attack coming. She said, “I’m grateful I didn’t see it. I’d have this visual of a monster coming at me. But I don’t. That’s one thing.”
A reunion was held at Corona del Mar, where many others who were at the scene on that fateful day gathered to marvel at how well she was doing only one year after the terrifying attack.
Why you need Orange County estate planning
Estate planning is meant to prepare you and your family for the chance of incapacity and for death. There are a variety of estate planning tools that can be used, depending on the specific goals for your Orange County estate planning.
One purpose is to plan for possible incapacity
Incapacity can be caused by either a physical or mental condition. The notion of incapacity, in a legal sense, refers to the ability to understand the nature of consequences of legal proceedings. However, when you are dealing with estate planning issues, incapacity refers to a person’s ability to manage their own affairs and make decisions on their own. Therefore, incapacity could also be physical in nature, if you are no longer able to take care of your own affairs. Without Orange County estate planning that addresses incapacity, you may end up being appointed a court-supervised conservator or guardian.
Another purpose is to plan for your death
The other purpose of Orange County estate planning is to plan for how your estate will be handled after your death. One of the primary estate planning instruments that addresses what should be done after your death is the Last Will and Testament. A Will is basically written instructions on how you want your estate to be distributed after you die. A Will can also allow you to nominate a guardian for your children, should you pass away while they are still minors. One disadvantage of a will, however, is that the property will need to go through probate before your assets can be distributed.
Download our FREE estate planning worksheet today! If you have questions regarding Orange County estate planning, please contact the Schomer Law Group for a consultation, either online or by calling us at (310) 337-7696.