Death does not operate on a schedule. It doesn’t matter what plans we have set forth for a particular day, week or month – death usually does not make an appointment. The same is true for people in Palm Beach and all over the United States, all over the world for that matter. A recent story highlighted the events of one fateful weekend that carried bittersweet emotion, along with a reminder that one never knows what tomorrow will hold.

This reality is just another reason estate planning is so important. Having an estate plan in place that includes a will or trust can make things just a little bit easier for those we leave behind.

The story highlights a former United States Marine and now government employee who is still fighting the war on terror on his country’s behalf. He got married earlier this month. In what reads like a fairytale, the happy couple had planned to pack a plethora of memorable moments into a fun filled wedding weekend. Unfortunately, tragedy struck the Friday morning prior to the wedding when the bride’s grandmother passed away. In what was surely a whirlwind of mixed emotions, the family of the bride had to deal with not only joy but pain — both gain and loss.

Guests to the wedding were hard-pressed for an appropriate reaction. Congratulations were quickly followed by condolences. The story itself is a reminder that life can be fragile. Planning ahead for one’s final breath can save family members heartache and stress after the fact. And while the subject of death and estate planning is something that many people in Palm Beach would rather avoid, advocates are in place to help make the estate planning process a bit easier to bear.