Parents – Did You Miss This Goal for 2015?

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This post today is written by Darlynn Morgan of Morgan Law Group, an OC estate planning lawyer.

OC Estate Planning Lawyer

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One HUGE Financial Resolution You Likely Missed For 2015

It’s a new year, which means like most parents, you’ve probably made a handful of resolutions to improve your life or set your family on a better course in 2015.

Perhaps you’re shooting for less TV time for the kids… or maybe a family-wide goal to eat healthier snacks.  In the area of finances, maybe you’ve resolved to get out of debt, take a fabulous vacation or use your money to benefit more charities making a difference in the local community or the world.

These are all great resolutions…but I can pretty much guarantee that there is still one important goal for 2015 that you missed…

…estate planning!

Did you know that setting your legal affairs in order is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your family, wishes and assets are protected if something unexpectedly happens to you and/or your spouse?

 So…Why Are You Putting It Off?

As a lawyer, it frightens me that 70% (!) of parents have not named guardians who could raise their kids if something happens to mom or dad and 55% of adults do not have basic planning documents in place such as a will or trust!

Now, I’m a mom of two young kids, too…and I realize that planning for death and incapacity is no fun. But, sticking your fingers in your ears or burying your head in the sand won’t make the need for estate planning magically go away, either.

That’s because the government already has an “estate plan” for your family that your loved ones will be stuck with if you fail to create your own!

The details and reality are pretty depressing and scary, but here is the GOOD news: creating your own plan, where you have a say in what happens in your family’s future is EASY!  With just a few simple estate planning documents, you can take back control and get empowered.

What an Estate Plan Does for Your Family

1. Allows YOU to handpick legal guardians who can raise your kids if the unthinkable happens

2. Appoints someone YOU trust to make medical or financial decisions if you are disabled, incapacitated or otherwise unable to speak for yourself

3. Shields YOUR assets from creditors, predators, divorce and lawsuits

4. Puts “speedbumps” around YOUR child’s inheritance so they don’t receive a lump sum of money before they are mature enough to handle it

5. Makes sure YOUR family is prepared for life without you

The Time To Plan Is Now

MLG Early 2015 is the time to think about these crucial issues and how they may relate to your own estate strategy. Don’t put planning off for another month or year…make it your New Year’s resolution today!

To help you get the ball rolling, I’d like to invite you to join me for a FREE Kids Protection Workshop this month at Pallette Station on January 24th, 2015 at 10am or My Gym-Tustin on the same day at 1:00pm.

Bring the kids to play and have fun with adult supervision while you are in the same room, learning everything you need to know about estate planning and protecting the people you love.  What could be better or easier than that?   Here’s what you’ll discover at our Workshops:

1. How to choose the RIGHT Guardians for your kids

2. How to keep your family out of probate (which is long, expensive, public and does not pass your assets in a responsible way!)

3. How to prevent a court from having to supervise your children’s inheritance and handing them money at 18!

4. How to leave your loved ones a gift far greater than all the money in the world if the unthinkable happens

5. Why naming guardians is just not enough to keep your children from spending time in foster care

It’s free, easy and fun!  If you have minor kids, you won’t want to miss it! To view all of the details and register now at no-charge, simply visit  www.KidsProtectionWorkshop.com.  Don’t forget about your friends and loved ones…they have families they need to protect, too!  Share this information and help them out.

Happy New Year!

-Darlynn

P.S.  If you belong to a moms club or group in need of a speaker in 2015, consider a workshop on naming guardians for minor kids and/or estate planning!  This is information every adult should have in their parenting arsenal.  Email amy @ morganlawgroup.com to schedule a workshop with a Morgan Law Group attorney!

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Free Estate Planning Workshops in July

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Who Will Get Stuck “Holding The Bag” For Your Family After You’re Gone?

by Darlynn Morgan,
Orange County Estate Planning Attorney

No, I’m not talking about your fabulous Gucci bag.

When I ask who will be stuck “holding the bag for your family,” I’m referring to an old saying of someone being left on the hook—or cleaning up a mess for someone else after their passing.

So, who will be stuck holding your family’s bag?

If you didn’t make it home from work today, who would raise your kids? What would happen to your spouse? Would they be financially provided for in your absence? What about the legal fees and the public records that make your children’s inheritance known to every con-artist in town?

We have seen time and again over our years in practice that when a family member dies, their loved ones suffer.  And they don’t just suffer because they miss the person who died.

They suffer because the person who died left things messy.

Messiness after your death (or in the event of your incapacity) means the people you love the most will be stuck cleaning things up, going to Court, struggling to get a handle on things, and taking time away from their lives and impact in the world to do so.

What would be the impact on their life of having to go to Court to get access to your assets, of having to figure things out because you didn’t leave clear guidance or instructions? Are you making decisions now by doing nothing that could lead to significant family conflict for the long-term?  It’s quite common.

Even among people who think they have nothing, it could cost a family hours upon hours and thousands in Court costs and legal fees simply to get access to an apartment, minimal bank account and a car so it can be handled properly.  If you have more than that, it becomes even more onerous.

But here’s the kicker…it doesn’t have to be this way!

Most parents wonder, but don’t actually know what they are supposed to be doing to prepare for the wellbeing of their family, should something “unexpected” happen to them.

Free Estate Planning Seminars

That’s why I feel it’s my personal responsibility each month to host a FREE seminar titled, “What Every Parent Needs to Know…9 Easy Steps To Make Sure Your Kids Are Protected No Matter What” so you know exactly how to protect your loved ones.

I’d like to invite you to join me for my next two free estate planning seminars in July where you can learn:

-> How to choose the right guardians for your kids and avoid making any of the 6 common mistakes

-> How to keep your family out of probate (which is long, expensive, public and does not pass your assets in a responsible way!)

-> How to prevent a court from having to supervise your children’s inheritance and then handing them money at 18!

-> How to leave your loved ones a gift far greater than all the money in the world if the unthinkable happens

Upcoming Seminar Dates:

July 10th, 2014 –  3pm @ Casey’s Cupcakes (Irvine Woodbury location)
July 12th, 2014 – 11am @ Granola Babies 

Just go to www.KidsProtectionWorkshop.com to reserve your space at the event date of your choice (classes book up – register ASAP).

It’s free, easy…so no excuses! Remember, it’s YOUR bag…so please take better care of it than the fabulous bag you likely wear around your arm each day.  Join us and learn what it takes to make the very best decisions for the people you love.

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A Sad Story + Empowerment for Parents

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Free Kids Protection Workshop for Parents

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A Sad Story + Empowerment for Parents

by Orange County Estate Planning Attorney, Darlynn Morgan of the Morgan Law Group

I walked into my office last week to see one of our attorneys, Brooke, visibly shaken over something that had happened to her.

It turned out that her neighbor, who was only in his 40’s and in seemingly good health, had suffered a heart attack.

He was on life support and they weren’t sure if he was going to make it.  The days of his incapacity were agony for his family. Life or death decisions needed to be made.  They were constantly on call.

The kids waited by his bedside, wondering what would happen to their daddy. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it.  Just a few days later he died, leaving his young family behind.

Now in the midst of her grief, his wife has to focus on providing for the family as a single mom without him.  She may also secretly wonder who would raise the kids if something now happens to her, too.

Young families don’t like to think about these issues.

I Know Because I’ve Been There.

I thought I was invincible in my 30’s…until my first husband was diagnosed with cancer and died of the disease.

I was a business lawyer at the time and realized just how unprepared I was for his death.  So much of the information I received was wrong, and by the time I learned what type of plans I should have had in place, it was too late.

From that day forward, I dedicated my entire career to helping young families avoid a similar fate.

Free Kids Protection Workshops

I started hosting FREE Kids Protection Workshops in the community to teach parents the 9 simple steps to getting their affairs in order.  These steps are SO easy to put in place.

You’ll be scratching your head wondering why you didn’t do it sooner!

*  Imagine the peace of mind going on a date with your spouse without worrying about what would happen to your kids if there was an accident.

*  Or, how about knowing without a shadow of a doubt that your hard earned money would be safely protected for your family in the event of death, incapacity or unfortunate situations like lawsuits?

*  And, wouldn’t you love reassurance that you are making smart decisions for the future such as saving for college, buying the right insurance policies and more?

At our free Kids Protection Workshops, you will walk away with a clear roadmap for creating a solid legal and financial future.   Plus, we host these workshops at kid-friendly locations so you can learn while your kids eat, play and enjoy supervised fun!

Upcoming Events in Orange County

We invite you to join us at one of our upcoming events in Orange County.  Events to give empowerment for parents in a simple way. They are FREE, fun and probably the most empowering 90 minutes you’ll ever spend as a parent:

Xpecting Maternity (Costa Mesa)
May 8 – 6:00 pm

My Gym (Tustin)
May 10 – 3:30 pm

To register, simply visit www.KidsProtectionWorkshop.com or call (949) 260-1400.  Spaces fill up fast, so don’t wait to reserve your spot!

I encourage you to do the right thing for your kids.  Take control of your legal future so you know, without question, that your loved ones would be taken care of and prepared for life without you.

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Free Wine & Cheese (Educational!) Date Night

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Estate Planning Workshop

Do you know the difference between a will and a trust? Do you know which legal documents every parent should have in place at the very least? Do you know how guardianship would work for your kids if something were to happen to you? Do you know what a health care directive is? Where would your money go if something happened to you? When?

Estate Planning Date Night Workshop

If you are a parent and have not taken the steps to find out the answers to the above and have not put legal documents in place to protect your kids, The Soto Law Group is holding a free educational date night for parents to come and learn more, with wine and cheese as an added bonus. 

Book a sitter and join DeDe Soto, an Orange County Estate Planning Attorney, on Friday, February 7th at 6:30pm at Anne’s Boutique Wines in Costa Mesa to sip on a little chard and find out the answers to all the above.

Click here to register to attend for free. Space is limited.

About The Soto Law Group

DeDe Soto has taken her passion for helping families and made a career out of educating parents on the protective legal documents they should have in place to make sure their family is taken care of under all circumstances.

How Does the Process Work?

DeDe meets with her clients at an initial consultation that takes approximately two hours.  At this consultation, she learns more about your unique circumstances.

Her family wealth inventory and assessment helps clients map out their property, assets, health care directives, and most importantly, decide on their choice of short term and long term guardians should something happen.

After the consultation, she will provide a legal recommendation that would work best for your family and circumstances.

She works on flat fees, so you never have to work about overtime or unexpected expenses.

Think About This…

It’s not just about who could care for your kids and who and when your money would be distributed to. In addition to the money aspect, there is also the importance of documenting your intellectual and spiritual values.

DeDe records an interview at the end of the process to document the intangible things like why you chose your guardians, how you met, how you feel about education, your views on religion, spirituality and other important questions about values important to your family.

The types of things that can’t be captured in a legal document, but one that would be appreciated and treasured by your children and guardians.

Learn More…

You can learn more about this topic and how DeDe can help your family next month. Again, click here to register.

www.TheSotoGroup.com

Follow The Soto Group on Twitter and Facebook for updates

R. DeDe Soto, Esq.
Soto Law Group
1101 Dove Street, Suite 200
Newport Beach, CA 92660
949.945.0056

dede@thesotolawgroup.com

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