A lawsuit alleging negligence and wrongful death against a Studio City Fitness gym, on Ventura Boulevard has been settled. In a tragic turn of events, the father of the plaintiffs was working out at the gym with his personal trainer when he had a heart attack. The problem is, as the case alleged, the trainer failed to take proper action to save him. Furthermore, the gym may not have had an AED (automatic external defibrillator) as required by law. These types of unexpected deaths shine light on the importance of creating your estate plan.
Negligence leading to wrongful death
The lawsuit states that the decedent was exercising when he had a minor heart attack. However, the gym allegedly lacked an AED device or the personnel were untrained in how to use it. Ultimately, he did not receive defibrillation until the first responders arrived. As a result, his minor heart attack was fatal. The manager of the gym stated that there was an AED on site, but the personal trainer involved was an independent contractor, so the gym was not responsible for training. The gym also claimed that it should not be held liable because the decedent had signed a waiver of liability when he contracted to use the facilities.
Don’t forget to start your estate plan
If you want your estate to pass on to your loved ones, as most people do, then you need to have an estate plan in place before you die. Without estate planning, your family can quite possibly face overwhelming tax burdens, as well as other undesirable consequences. Without an estate plan, you will likely be leaving many of the decisions regarding your estate for the court to make instead of making them yourself.
What does estate planning involve?
Estate planning consists of different strategies to use in order to prepare yourself and your family for what happens after your death. Estate planning also you to plan for unexpected incapacity, as well. Planning for the future is important for everyone, regardless of the value of your estate or the nature of your family. Planning ahead also gives you the chance to identify who will inherit your property after your death, while seeking to reduce the taxes your estate will be required to pay. If you become incapacitated, temporarily or permanently, your estate plan can provide the instruction your family will need if you become unable to make decisions for yourself.
Estate planning is not only for the rich
One mistaken belief about estate planning is that is only necessary for the rich. This is not at all the case. An estate plan can protect anyone who has anything they want to leave for their loved ones. Even the smallest estate should have a plan in order to protect the assets themselves, as well as the beneficiaries. These days, most middle class families need an estate plan just in case the family’s main source of income is no longer around to provide. Certainly, you don’t have to be wealthy to make wise and profitable investments.
Ensure your assets go to your intended beneficiaries
The most basic reason for creating an estate plan is to keep your assets from ending up with someone you don’t want to have them. The truth is, if you don’t make the decision now the court will ultimately make that decision for you. If the court has to make these decisions for you, it can take much longer to complete and could likely lead to unnecessary family disputes.
Estate planning also protects families with young children
Although no one wants to think about the possibility of dying while our children are still minors, but it can happen. Therefore, you need to be prepare just in case, for the sake of your children. This is why your will is an important component of every estate plan. Most parents would want to make all the decisions regarding their child’s care, now and in the future. In order to ensure that your children will be taken care of, in the way you see fit, you need to designate a guardian or guardians to care for them, in the event both parents die before the children turn 18. Otherwise, once again, the court will make that decision for you.
Download our FREE estate planning worksheet! If you have questions about starting your estate plan, or any other estate planning needs, please contact the Schomer Law Group for a consultation, either online or by calling us at (310) 337-7696.
Latest posts by Scott Schomer, Estate Planning Attorney (see all)
- What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Living Trust? - January 15, 2019
- Why Avoid Probate? - January 10, 2019
- When Do I Need a Tax ID Number for a Trust? - January 9, 2019