Free Trust & Estate Planning Workshops for Parents

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Kids Protection Workshop

[Sponsor] 

This Guest Post Written by Darlynn Morgan
of Morgan Law Group 

Orange County Trust and Estate Planning Attorney

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “What would happen to my minor kids if something happened to me and/or my spouse?”

It’s something I’ve talked about many times on this blog, but let’s be frank; most parents have a hard time imagining a scenario when they may unable to raise their own children, whether it’s due to a disability, sickness, incapacity… or worse.

As parents, we certainly have superpowers… but we’re not invincible.

A friend of mine recently made this same mistake. Just a few weeks before her death last month, a loved one was urging her to get serious about creating a will and a trust for the protection of her kids and assets.  Her response?

She told the friend, “I have some time to worry about all of that.  I’m not even sure where to start.  I’m too unorganized right now and just not ready yet.”

A few weeks later, she was unexpectedly killed in a car accident. She left behind a new spouse she married just six months prior and four children, one with autism and a host of other developmental delays.

Mom had no will or trust, and haphazardly named her two older boys as beneficiaries of her life insurance policy. She didn’t want to leave anything to her disabled son (out of fear it will jeopardize his ability to receive Medicaid and other benefits) and she hoped that they would all just evenly split their inheritance if something happened to her.

But now, the middle son is being stingy with the money. He’s into fast things and shiny objects.  Family members worry that he will spend all of his brother’s money on cars, trips and parties.  And legally, he doesn’t have to fork over a penny. A special needs trust, and a revocable trust for the other kids, would have made this a non-issue!

Oh, and new husband? Although he was the love of her life, mom never got around to updating her beneficiary designations to also include new hubby on her life insurance policy and retirement accounts should something happen to her.

He got stuck with all of the funeral costs and debt, but her kids from a previous marriage got everything else. He was completely disinherited and out of luck, all because of a blended family situation.

Here’s the lesson to be learned from this sad, but very true story: just because you talk about your wishes for your kids and your assets, doesn’t mean your family will honor them when you are gone!

When you leave behind assets, minor children, or you’re in a blended family, you MUST have a will or trust to ensure that your family is cared for exactly as you want if the unthinkable happens. When grief, emotions and money are involved, the honor system just doesn’t work!

So if you’ve been putting of your estate planning for any reason, please let this story inspire you to do the right thing for your family and those you would leave behind.

Here’s How To Take Action NOW, While It’s Fresh In Your Mind

Look, it’s vacation season. Chances are you’ll be traveling this spring or summer, either with or without the kids.  Now is the perfect time to think about estate planning for your own family to ensure you are protected, should something happen. Don’t put planning off for another month or year…make it your priority 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 where you’ll learn step-by-step how to put a fortress of protection around the things and people you love:

Pretend City

April 23, 2015 – 6:30pm 

No childcare available for this event – recommended for adults only 

Once Upon a Storybook

April 25 – 11:00 am 

Children Welcome!  Bring the kids while you learn!

This is the perfect opportunity to learn EXACTLY how to get your legal and financial affairs in order, at no-charge!  Children are even welcome at our Once Upon a Storybook event so that they can 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 just a taste of 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 just one hour of your time and one of the best investments you’ll make into the protection and well-being of your family.  Plus, our workshops are engaging, empowering and fun!  If you have minor kids, you won’t want to miss it! To view all of the details and register now for FREE, 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.

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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

[Sponsor]

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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Now is the Time

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I have written about this topic for years now because I feel passionate about sharing information on what parents need to do to make sure their kids would be taken care of if the worst were to happen to them.

It’s an awful thought, but better to get it done so you can move on with your life  with peace of mind.  If you haven’t already done this for your family yet, I hope now is the time.

Here is a guest post Darlynn Morgan from Morgan Law Group in Newport Beach wrote about this topic. Darlynn holds free workshops to educate parents on the steps to take to get your legal stuff in order, how to legally name guardians for your kids, etc.

There are two local OC workshops coming up at the end of the month to learn more. Details at the end of the post. Here is what Darlynn had to share about what she speaks on…

Today I’m going to share the secret to FINALLY getting your financial house in order, and I’m going to tell you up front that it has nothing to do with budgets, selling everything on Ebay or working longer hours! This is information you’ve probably never heard before from your financial advisor or CPA, but it’s going to shift your thinking and give you incredible peace of mind.

Before I get into it, if you’re a parent with minor kids at home, the very first thing you should do is visit www.kidsprotectionworkshop.com and register for one of our FREE fall Kids Protection Workshops happening on Saturday, September 29th, 2012.

We’re hosting one at Xpecting at 9:00 am and one at Granola Babies at 2 pm.  These workshops are fast, fun and will teach you everything you need to know about naming legal guardians for your minor kids, leaving a legacy for your loved ones and protecting your family’s wealth if the unthinkable happens.  I’ll touch on why this is so important in just a minute.

But in the meantime…

You’re young and smart —and working hard to build a solid financial foundation for the benefit of your family.  Financial freedom is starting to feel within reach and the future looks promising.

Or is it….?

The “typical” definition of financial freedom means no debt, 6 months savings in the bank, a paid off house and saving towards retirement so you can stop working. The pop culture “teachers” of personal finance tell us that this is when you’ll experience financial freedom …. and so we spend our lives working towards those goals.

But what if we look at it in a different way….

Because maybe you’re just starting out, and have lots of student loan debt, or bought a house that is now upside down. Or maybe you’re just starting a family and are overwhelmed by the reality of the costs of those little mouths to feed. Maybe you’ve even lost your job or your biggest client and you’re wondering where the money is going to come from.

Or, maybe you’ve got millions in the bank, but you’re afraid because you’ve just seen your accounts or your house lose a chunk of their value. Isn’t it funny to realize that sometimes financial freedom has nothing to do at all with the amount of money you have in the bank?

So how can you experience this financial freedom if you don’t have a big savings account, or you have loads of debt, or you’ve not saved enough for retirement, you don’t know how you’re going to pay for college, or if you feel fearful when you think about your financial situation? (Even though by the standards of most of the rest of the world you have plenty.) 

The first step is to get your financial house in order. Do you know with absolute and total certainty what would happen to all your stuff, your business, your kids ….if something happened to you? Or if something happened to your spouse? Do you have a plan in place to make sure that at the end of your life (whenever that may be) you leave the world a better place? That you improve the lot of your family not just financially but emotionally and that you don’t leave behind a big mess?

Now a lot of people think “oh that’s too scary to think about” but it’s not. It’s actually very empowering. Because right now, everything is just fine and you have a clear head and you can start to think about why are you here. How will you leave the world a better place?

You start by knowing that your financial house is in order and that your family, the people who love you and who you love are going to have an easy time of it when you’re gone.

So that is your first step to financial freedom! It’s not about 6 months of savings and getting out of debt and paying off your house, although all those things are great…. but you could do all of those things and still not experience the freedom you’re looking for.

If you’re always waiting to experience freedom until you “arrive” you’ll never get there.

Here’s the good news:

If you don’t have an action plan, then now is the time… you can learn how to create one by joining me for one of our upcoming Fall Kids Protection Workshops

These workshops are fast, fun and offer critical information in a way that’s easy to understand, empowering and broken down into action steps that you can implement right away.   Plus they are FREE to attend and filled with other young families…just like yours!

I know you’ll find it to be an hour well-spent and that you’ll leave with incredible peace of mind about your future.  Here is just a taste of what you’ll learn:

The 9 simple steps you can take immediately to ensure your children are cared for by the people you want, according to your values, should something happen to you.

~ The 9 simple steps you can take immediately to ensure your children are cared for by the people you want, according to your values, should something happen to you.

~ How to help your family by making sure your assets are passed down to the people you want—without interference from courts, creditors, relatives or the IRS.

~ The 6 common mistakes parents make when naming guardians for their young children…. And how to avoid them.

~ How to protect the assets you’ve worked so hard to acquire and how to make sure they are passed down to your children in a way that’s safe, secure and free from the financial dangers of divorce or bankruptcy.

~ Common mistakes parents make that may allow the police the to take their minor children out of the house and into the hands of foster care …even with family members ready and willing to help….if you were temporarily or permanently injured in an accident.

~ How to ensure your money is immediately and privately available to your chosen guardians so your children will have everything they’d need and would be prepared for a life without you in case something happened to you.

~ How to make smart financial choices about things like saving for college, keeping your money safe, and buying life insurance

After attending this workshop, you’ll know without a shadow of a doubt that your legal and financial house is in order—and that you have the tools and resources necessary to keep it that way!  You’ll also confirm that you are making smart financial choices about things like saving for college, keeping your money safe and buying life insurance.

So don’t wait to register for one of our upcoming Fall Kids Protection Seminars at 2 great locations in the OC (Granola Babies and Xpecting!).  Spaces are limited, so reserve your seat now for yourself or a friend at no-charge by visiting www.kidsprotectionworkshop.com !

Darlynn Morgan is an estate planning lawyer at Morgan Law Group, a unique law firm that she created to truly make a difference in the lives of her clients. She’s really good at making it easy for your family to talk about and plan for tough subjects like money, death and taxes. 

[Darlynn is a Tiny Oranges sponsor and I am honored to get to spread the word about her valuable workshops and services!]
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Morgan Law Group Free Event This Saturday

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There are still a few spots open for this Saturday’s free workshop put on by Darlynn Morgan of Morgan Law Group so I wanted to let you know so you can sign up and attend!

It is free, you can bring your kids, and most importantly, you will learn more about how to get your legal stuff in order to make sure your kids would be taken care of if something were to happen to you. Darlynn is a fellow OC mommy, a total sweetheart (not pushy!) and has a passion for educating parents on what you have to do to protect your kids.

Saturday, March 17th, 2012 – 9am
Xpecting Maternity
369 E. 17th Street, #20
Costa Mesa, CA 92672

Click HERE to register online, go to the right column and enter your info.  And as a bonus, every person who registers is also entered to win a $50 gift certificate to an OC mommy/family location.

This is a topic I am very passionate about, as we didn’t go through the process of naming legal guardians and doing a trust until my oldest daughter was 3. When we finally did it and I was educated on what can happen to your children and assets if something were (God forbid) to happen to you, it scared the daylights out of me that we didn’t do it sooner. Once everything was in order, I had tremendous peace of mind knowing we got everything taken care of. I highly recommend attending this workshop and learning more…

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

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The Busy Mom’s Guide to Legal Stuff [Expert Advice + Free Upcoming Seminars]

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Darlynn Morgan is a fellow OC mommy and family trust attorney with a passion for helping families protect those they love if the unthinkable should happen to them. Not a fun topic, I know. But trust me, getting everything in order the right way will bring you tremendous peace of mind. 

She wrote a great post today on three easy steps to get started and is hosting several free seminars coming up in February and March where you can learn more. Details and dates below!

The Busy Mom’s Guide for Getting Your Legal and Financial House in Order in 2012

by Darlynn Morgan of Morgan Law Group

You want the best for your kids, and as a mama you already know that you need to have some type of financial strategy to make this happen over the long-term.

After all, there’s college to plan for, family wealth to think about and choosing legal guardians who could raise your minor kids if something happens to you…..just in case.

For most parents, taking steps to get your legal and financial house in order can feel daunting.  I hear from parents all the time who don’t know where to start, confused about who they should talk to and flat-out overwhelmed by all the decisions that need to be made.

I get it, and that’s why my goal this year is to help parents simplify the process of getting their “ducks in a row,” while also helping them make the very best decisions for their loved ones.

If you’re ready to start playing your financial A-game in 2012, here are my top three recommendations of where to start:

1. Utilize tax time   Tax season is a great time to get a handle on your estate.  Your financial documents are handy, semi-organized and hopefully up-to-date.  You’ll find that getting your affairs in order is much easier, both mentally and logistically, when everything is right in front of you already. Some specific information to keep in mind would be an estimate of your net-worth, assets you own, liabilities, and the amount of insurance policies or retirement accounts you may have.

2. Start with the facts I’m a big believer in being an “educated consumer,” and I think it’s important to do your own homework before meeting with an advisor of any kind. To help you with this, I’ve created a Kids Protection Planning Kit that you can download here absolutely FREE.  It walks you through the next steps, how to avoid common mistakes parents make and more.  It’s a great resource for any parent with minor kids at home.

3. Don’t Go At It Alone –  When it comes to the protection and long-term security of your children, never go at it alone with DIY will kits or estate planning forms or software. I’ve worked with many parents who unknowingly disinherited future children or left all of their money outright to their kids at the ripe age of 18, thanks to the hard-to-read fine print. Remember, your family is unique, and any type of document that tries to cover your kids with “one size, fits all” language will probably backfire in some way.  At the very least, talk to an attorney before you sign.  There’s a certificate for you to do it absolutely free in my Kids Protection Planning Kit.

The most important thing is that you take action this year. Start somewhere.  If you’re not sure of the next best step to take, download the Kids Protection Kit so you can get empowered and be informed. Remember, the greatest gift you can give your family is the peace of mind knowing everything is taken care of, and these 3 steps will definitely help you get started in the right direction!

February 16th, 2012 at 2pm – Move it Momma Fitness Huntington Beach (in-person event)

February 16th, 2012 at 8pm – Teleseminar (Call in from home after the kids are in bed. Jammies welcome.)

February 21st, 2012 at 1pm – Granola Babies Costa Mesa (in-person event)

March 17th, 2012 at 9am – Xpecting Maternity Costa Mesa (in-person event)

These are *kid-friendly* events! Refreshments, raffles & more!

Click here to register and get more information. Event dates, locations, and times can be found in the right hand column.

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

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