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Legal Planning

Free Guardianship Planning Workshops

Free Guardianship Planning Workshops


DeDe Soto of The Soto Law Group is hosting two free guardianship planning workshops next month at newly opened (and amazing) The Dailey Method Newport Beach barre studio.

Here three reasons why you should sign up today:

1. Choosing the right guardians for your kids is one of the most important decisions you can make as a parent. DeDe will teach you how to avoid making any of the six common mistakes families make when naming legal guardians for their minor children.

2. Have you ever wondered what exactly an estate plan is? Or if you need one? DeDe will tell you exactly what is entailed in putting one together and how to get started.

3. These two guardianship planning workshops are free to attend and offer free childcare! Essentially, you have nothing to lose by going and everything to gain.

Here’s the info!

Date Night for Parents

Friday, April 4th, 2014 at 6:30pm
Couples can attend together, enjoy some much deserved Friday night drinks and apps

Light Brunch

Thursday, April 10th at 10:30am
Light brunch will be served

Free childcare is available both events at The Dailey Method. Registration for attendance and childcare is required due to limited space.

There will also be raffles and other fun prizes.

Reserve your spot by calling 888-735-7686 or click here to sign up online.

Free Wine & Cheese (Educational!) Date Night


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.

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

Bringing Sexy Back To Parenting

Orange County Family Lawyer

I had a little chuckle when I saw our Sponsor, Orange County family lawyer, Darlynn Morgan‘s guest post title today and I was intrigued to find out how family estate planning could bring sexy back to parenting. But I have to say, she makes a very compelling argument. Make sure to read to the end of the post to get the info on her three free workshops this month.

Read on…

Bringing Sexy Back to Parenting 

“I’ll admit it. I was never a huge Ashton Kutcher fan until I watched his acceptance speech from the Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards.

If you haven’t watched the clip yet, take the 4 minutes to do it. You won’t regret it. (This is Jen talking now – seriously – WATCH IT! I got the chills. Amazing message.)

Revealing that his real name is Chris, Ashton let his young fans in on the “secret sauce” to his success; namely that fame and fortune doesn’t just fall out of the sky, but is the result of a strong work ethic and opportunities that “look a lot like hard work.”

He also schools his ‘tween and teenage fans about the real meaning of “sexy”.

“Don’t buy it,” he said. “The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart, and being thoughtful, and being generous. Everything else is crap. I promise you.”

A powerful message for our kids indeed…but even more relevant for young, savvy parents who desire the very best for their kids.

Let’s face it. Every parent dreams of giving their children a beautiful home, nice clothes, top-of-the-line gear, luxurious vacations and even more opportunities than we may have enjoyed.

But living a truly fabulous and sexy lifestyle goes beyond just material things; it’s also about making SMART choices now to ensure your family is never robbed of those opportunities in the future.

No matter what your net worth or future goals are, every parent needs a crash course on how to protect their family from life’s risks such as lawsuits, divorce, financial problems or the death or incapacity of one or both parents.

These things can happen to anyone, but a there are a few easy, pro-active steps you can take to lessen the blow and enjoy the confidence knowing that your family would be prepared to ride out the storm.

Can confidently answer these questions about YOUR family?

~ I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my kids would be raised by the people I WANT if something happens to me or my spouse.

~ If I’m temporarily incapacitated (…in a car accident, for example), I’ve created the legal documents necessary that would allow police or first responders to leave my kids with loved ones, and not place them in the care of social services until a judge shows up to make that decision (this is what they MUST do under the law!).

~ If something happens to me, I’ve put “speed bumps” around my children’s inheritance so they can’t blow their money at the vulnerable age of 18.

~ If I’m remarried, I know how to properly hold title to my house and “blend” our assets in a way that protects my kids from a previous relationship and my interests if I unexpectedly pass away or the marriage ends.

~ I have the RIGHT insurance and other financial protections in place to ensure my kids always enjoy the lifestyle I want for them if the unthinkable happens.

~ If you can’t confidently answer YES to any of these questions, NOW is the time to take back control of your financial future and learn how to get your legal house in order once and for all.

You may be scared to face your own mortality, or maybe you’ve never handled financial issues for your family… but learning how is empowering!

There is no greater peace of mind than knowing that you can take a romantic date with your spouse or head off on vacation without worrying about what would happen to your kids if something happened to you.

And the best part? You can learn how to implement these savvy legal protections for your family in a way that’s easy to understand, FREE and at a fun place here in Orange County (…or from the comfort of your own home!).

I’m talking about my Kids Protection Planning seminars, which are happening THIS MONTH at Xpecting, Granola Babies and via teleseminar.  Hundreds of smart OC parents have gone through our workshops and left feeling totally in control, empowered and equipped with an action plan to make great legal and financial decisions for the future.

What real OC parents have to say…

We recently had two children and knew we had to get our custody and financial distribution in order… Darlynn was so generous with her wisdom, time, and personal experiences. She gave honest opinions only when asked with no judgments given. Everything was very professional, timely, and easy to follow. Thank you! – Leane and Alex H., Glendale

My wife and I were ‘first timers’ and had a lot of estate planning questions, especially relating to protecting our two young boys. There is nothing scarier than the thought of what would happen to your children if you were gone. Darlynn truly cares, and it comes through. — Michael S., Irvine

We have been wanting to do it for awhile, but a trip out of the country propelled us to do it and stop procrastinating…. this was a great, easy process because of your sincerity, kindness and organization.  I loved how personable you are, and family friendly.  The process was very smooth and almost effortless on our part. — Jeff & Faith F., Santa Ana

We appreciated your thoroughness, professional presentation using visual aids, friendly atmosphere [and] the warmth of hospitality expressed. — Monte & Darleen H., Yorba Linda

Or, check out this post from Tiny Orange’s very own Susanne Henderson who blogged about her entire experience firsthand.

Three free workshops this month

So what are you waiting for?  Choose from one of the following dates and times and visit to register.

Attendance is free but seating is ALWAYS limited.  Bring your spouse, grab a girlfriend…you can even bring your kids, but RSVP now to ensure you have a space.

Xpecting Maternity

September 12th at 6 pm

Granola Babies

September 17th at 1 pm

Teleseminar (call in with your hubby in your jammies!)

September 18th at 8 pm

Come learn how building a fabulous lifestyle on a solid foundation and making SMART choices for the future can be fun after all!  Set the example of what is really SEXY for your family. They will thank you for it if the unthinkable happens.

[Disclosure: Morgan Law Group is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor]

Not a Fun Topic ~ But an Important One

This post was written by long time Tiny Oranges sponsor, Orange County estate planning lawyer, Darlynn Morgan, about the importance of taking the steps to protect your children legally if something were to happen to you. Not a fun topic, but an important one. Darlynn is hosting two free workshops for OC parents this month, details below. Here is what she wrote:

As parents, we know that bad things can happen to our family and that’s why we take steps to minimize our child’s risk or exposure.

We invest in the very best car seats, cabinet locks, helmets and other equipment—all in the name of keeping our children safe.   It feels like that’s all I ever think about, keeping my 3 year old son safe!

Yet when it comes to making sure our kids are protected in the event of mom or dad’s sudden death or incapacity, most parents find security by sticking their heads in the sand, doing nothing and thinking positive thoughts.

For some parents, they are in such denial that they don’t even let it cross their mind.  I understand; it’s very very hard to think about this stuff.

I’m a mom and an Orange County estate planning lawyer, so I talk with a lot of parents each week. Whether I’m giving a Kids Protection Workshop or just hanging at the park or with my moms club, I hear a ton of “reasons” (excuses?) as to why parents have not legally documented guardians for their kids and why there’s no plan for their money if the unthinkable happens.

Common Reasons Parents Have Not Legally Named Guardians for Their Children:

• The chances of my spouse and I dying together are slim
• I’ve told my family my wishes, I know they’ll honor them if I’m not around
• I don’t have a ton of assets to leave to my kids, everything is pretty straightforward
• I still have plenty of time to take care of this
• I thought about naming guardians, but I just couldn’t decide on the best person (or hubby and I don’t agree on who to choose)

Thanks to these reasons above, over 69% of parents in our area have not created a will or trust to protect their children if tragedy strikes!

They are gambling on odds, hoping they won’t die at the same time as their spouse or that a judge will just go along with a family member who says they know your wishes, but they have nothing legally documented to back it up. (And that also assumes there’s no fighting relatives, or multiple family members who come forward).

Real Families Who Were Unprepared For Tragedy

In the past 24 months, there were real life stories that captured national attention and reminded parents just how vulnerable their kids are if an unexpected tragedy strikes. I wanted to share just a couple because it is a vivid reminder of why getting your legal affairs in order is so critically important.

It was just two summers ago that parents Josh and Robin Berry were instantly killed when a vehicle entered their lane and totaled the family car.

Their 3 small children survived, with two suffering serious spinal cord injuries that left them paralyzed from the waist down and needing millions of dollars of treatment. Josh’s brother and wife were appointed guardians of the children by a court and are now relying on public donations to help provide the children with a lifetime of medical and financial care.

In March of 2012, Marty and Elisa Wilcox were beaming as they drove home from the hospital with their 3-year-old and newborn son. The joyful moment quickly turned tragic when a car entered their lane and killed everyone except for the newborn boy, who was found unharmed in the bushes nearby. The child’s grandmother was appointed to raise the child, but considering her age, who will look out for him when she’s gone?

Will YOUR Kids Be Protected If Tragedy Strikes?

These stories are sobering reminders that none of us have a crystal ball and we can’t accurately predict when serious illness, disability, death or other tragedies of life will strike.

What we can do as parents, however, is legally document the people we trust to raise our kids if the unthinkable happens.

These are the people who would raise our kids as closely to the way we would and provide them with the love, guidance and support they deserve. We can also put a solid financial plan in place to ensure our children’s inheritance is never squandered or mismanage, and that there are plenty of resources available to support them in our absence.

It’s an investment that is just as critical as a car seat, baby-proofing or any other measure designed to protect our kids. It’s bad enough for a child to face the pain and grief of losing a parent—let alone being forced to live with relatives they don’t like or have the wrong people controlling the money you’ve worked so hard to leave them behind.

It’s Time To Get Your Affairs In Order

Fortunately, getting your legal house in order is EASY and it starts by being informed!  I understand how confusing it can be to plan for your family’s future when you don’t know where to start, what questions to ask or who to turn to for help.  But it’s time to get proactive and learn how to protect your children if the unthinkable happens.

A great first step is attending an informational  workshop that is geared toward parents.

It’s the best hour you’ll ever spend when it comes to the future security and protection of your minor kids. Grab your hubby or a friend and learn how to put a fortress of protection around your family—no matter what happens!

Two Upcoming Free OC Workshops

Friday, July 19th at 11:30am at Granola Babies in Costa Mesa


Saturday, July 20th at 3:30pm at My Gym in Newport Beach  (Kids of all ages welcome! The kids will play under the supervision of the My Gym caretakers while you learn, what could be easier than that?)

These workshops fill up fast and you must reserve your family’s spot.  Register today at or call Amy in our office at 949.260.1400.

Disclosure: Morgan Law Group is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor.

Setting Up Our Kids Protection Plan

Recently, my husband and I finally had our meeting with Darlynn Morgan, of Morgan Law Group, our focus: setting up our Kids Protection Plan.

I can’t wait to have a catch-all plan in place for the not so pleasant to think about “God forbid what if something happened to us” scenario.

I say finally because it is something we’ve had on our to-do list for a very long time. And actually, we had initially scheduled the meeting for January, but had to reschedule with Darlynn, because just days before my Mom tripped and broke her knee cap, and her emergency surgery was scheduled for that day.  My poor Momma.

Just a reminder that sometimes we get thrown curveballs we can’t plan for…

I know Darlynn, and what a nice woman she is, but I must admit, walking from my car to her office, the importance of what we were meeting to do had left me slightly anxious.Upon entering Darlynn’s office, I was greeted by her super friendly staff and the serene decor was instantly comforting.

To start the meeting Darlynn briefly shared her heart-wrenching story of having lost her husband at a young age. It was her experience working with a traditional law firm that was hard to get on the phone during an extremely difficult time that lead her to pursue Family Estate Planning Law.

She knew she could do a better job taking care of families, and built her firm based upon this premise.

Next, Darlynn walked us through how they like to do things differently, and quickly outlined their Kids Protection Plan.

Their plan makes sure that children are covered by naming short term guardians (who live within 20 mins of your home, who your children are very comfortable with) and long term guardians (taking care to name the specific individual in case of a future divorce).

The plan includes specific instructions for the babysitter if she were to get the horrible call that something had happened to you.  It also includes forms to give to your chosen short term guardians so they could step in and show the police, ensuring there is no confusion and your children wouldn’t end up in Child Protective Services.

Next Darlynn bridged the topic my husband had been waiting for: the fees. Being completely honest, before we left for the meeting, my husband said: “Susanne, I know you know Darlynn, but if it’s too expensive we’ll have to say no.”

What we really liked is she offers her services on a flat rate.  She doesn’t want her families to feel discouraged from calling her with a question by high hourly fees.

After going over everything with us, she offered us time to discuss our decision alone, and if we wanted to get started we could get our plan in motion today.

We were ready.

Darlynn’s calm and sweet nature with these difficult decisions put us at ease.  The plan is so organized she swiftly moved through the important topics and we answered what we could right there.

There were a few questions we needed more time with, which we took home as homework.

Before leaving we set up a signing date for early April.

What I really have loved about this whole experience is I honestly feel like I have someone in my corner.  And my husband really loves knowing that if something happened to him, I would have someone I trust and feel comfortable with to be there to help me work through that difficult time.

You can meet Darlynn and learn more at these three upcoming free workshops for parents. Please RSVP here; space is limited.

Kids Protection Planning Workshop, Legal Planning for Busy Parents

“9 Easy Steps To Make Sure Your Kids Are Protected No Matter What!”

April 13 at 2:00pm

Granola Babies

3315 Hyland Ave, Costa Mesa


April 20 at 1:00pm

My Gym

2040 Quail St, Newport Beach


April 25 at 6:00pm

Xpecting Boutique

369 E.17th Street #20, Costa Mesa

[Disclosure: Morgan Law Group is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor]