A devastating earthquake followed by a tsunami struck Japan on March 11, 2011. Although more than 3,000 deaths have been confirmed, the number of people missing suggests that the death toll is likely to be greater than 10,000. In addition to the deaths, the earthquake and tsunami have affected millions of people in a variety of ways. Homes have been lost and irreparably damaged, people have been injured, and many have lost their livelihoods.
As a result of this natural disaster, several explosions occurred at a nuclear plant, which caused high levels of radiation to leak into the atmosphere, particularly along the northeastern coast. The majority of the radiation entered the air as steam from boiling water, which was caused by a fire in Unit 4. Those living in the Fukushima Dai-ichi district were cautioned to remain indoors and to keep their windows and doors closed to minimize radiation exposure. When radioactive material leaks, there is a potential for fatalities depending upon the amount that escapes. While the Japanese government does not currently anticipate fatalities from the radiation leak, there has been cause for concern and radiation levels are being monitored.
The nuclear plant explosions, the earthquake, and the tsunami emphasize the importance of having your affairs in order before an unexpected disaster occurs. Floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters can happen anywhere in the world at any time. Even when people are ill and death is imminent, it is impossible to know precisely when they will lose their lives. Preparing for your demise by creating a will or trust is essential to help ensure that your loved ones are taken care of. It is important not only to think about the distribution of your assets, but also to designate guardians or other care for your children, pets, and other dependents. Life is filled with tragedies, both expected and unexpected, but being prepared can make it easier for those left behind. The Law Office of Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates has experienced attorneys who can help you with your estate planning and probate needs. Start thinking about your future and the futures of your loved ones. Contact us today.