Do You Have Your Legacy Capsule?

What is a Legacy Capsule?

A Legacy Capsule is a storage bin, binder, drawer, etc. that contains every and any important document in case something happens to you- whether it’s a car accident or death. This Legacy Capsule helps keep your family prepared AND let’s those important to you know what your wishes are.

This is not a fun task, I know, but it will be well worth it for both you and your loved ones in case of emergency. You’ll want to make sure family members can find the document they need within 30 seconds, so it’s helpful to tab each document in an organized manner.

Here is a great starting point!

  1. Cover Letter – This is simply a letter stating the purpose of the Legacy Capsule. Nothing fancy, just a way to introduce your loved ones to the contents of the container and let them know your intentions for creating it.
  2. Estate Plans (Will and Trust) – All information pertaining to your estate plan, including the names of the executor/trustee and Power of Attorney should be located in one file. You could also include information to your attorney so your loved ones know who to contact.
  3. Financial Accounts – Anything that has money in it and your name on it should be listed in the Legacy Capsule. This includes account names, amount and account numbers. If you have created an estate plan with me this information is on your Schedule A and underneath the personal information tab.
  4. Funeral/Cremation Instructions – All details and specifications for funeral/cremation plans should be listed so the family can fulfill your wishes. If you are married, you need one for you and one for your spouse. Again, this can be found in your estate planning binder under the memorial tab.
  5. Insurance Policies – All insurance information, including health, car, disability, homeowners, term life, etc., should be combined into one single document for easy reference. List the type of insurance, who the policy is for, contact information and policy numbers. You may also want to list login information.
  6. Important Documents – Any legal or other important documents you have should be noted in the file. This includes deeds, birth certificates, Social Security cards and titles.
  7. Legacy Letters – Since the intention behind the Legacy Capsule is to keep your legacy going after you’ve passed away, it’s a great idea to include letters to your loved ones. You can also access my free Legacy Planner here!
  8. Monthly Budget – Add a copy of your monthly budget, so your loved ones know how to operate your household once you’re gone. This will help your family keep track of bills and focus on more important things.
  9. Tax Returns – Keeping tax returns in your Legacy Capsule is like an insurance policy for yourself in case you get audited by the IRS. Hopefully that won’t be the case, but if you do, at least you’re prepared.
  10. Safe Deposit Box – Keep copies of all your Legacy Capsule papers in a safe deposit box—you can never be too careful. Keep information on where your safe deposit box is and who has access to in in your Legacy Capsule just in case someone needs to access it.
  11. Passwords – Write down all passwords, combinations, usernames and PIN numbers. This information allows your loved ones access to any documents, money or information that is left when you are gone, especially in this digital age!

If you get focused, you can get all of this done before the end of the year. It will also help gather information to create your estate plan, if you haven’t done one already!

Have questions or want to book a free discovery call with me? You can do so here!

Fear of Judgement is a Prison

Let’s talk about Fear of Judgement.
 
How many times have you held yourself back because you were worried about what other people would think or say?
 
I get it. I get it because I’ve been there and it’s still a struggle.
 
When you create a life on YOUR terms, not everyone will agree with it. Not everyone will like it. And truth is, you may lose some people along the way…..
 
Remember when you first became a mom and all the info you had to sort through….
 
breastfeeding v. formula
co-sleeping v. not co-sleeping
organic v. conventional
store bought puree v. homemade
cloth diaper v. disposable
 
You get the picture.
 
You’re raising a healthy little human (or have raised them). Mama you made it!
 
It didn’t matter what everyone had to say, you did what you needed to do to keep your baby alive while maintaining your sanity.
 
And whether you’ve realized it yet or not, life works the same way.
 
9-5 v. entrepreneur
digital nomad v. location dependent
kids v. no kids
vegan v. paleo v. whatever else
mama self-care v. martyr
 
No one said it would be easy, that’s for sure!
 
But, from this day forward, I’m going to tell you what to do…
 
LIVE LIFE THE WAY YOU WANT TO…
 
Stop giving other people the power to determine how you “do life”
 
Just live. Live….
 
In whatever way it makes your heart sing
In whatever way brings you joy
In whatever way gives you the biggest belly laughs
In whatever way works for your family
In whatever way leads to you achieving the goals you have created for yourself
 
You got this
 
xo,
Carmen
 
(This picture was taken almost 2.5 years ago! After being induced and in labor for over 24 hours, this little one was forced out via c-section. I should have known then she would be doing life on her terms!)
csection pic

How Will Trump’s Presidency Affect Estate Planning?!

With the new administration underway, there have been lots of questions around how changes to the IRS code under Trump will impact American’s who may face estate taxes, gift planning, and capital gains upon transfer of property.

What's in the future for estate taxes-Estate Tax Repeal

If estate taxes are repealed, it will most likely affect about 0.2% of the U.S. population who currently exceed the exemption in place now. However, any significant change related to the estate tax is most likely to tied to how capital gains are taxed. Approximately 5,000 estate tax returns were filed nationally in 2015. On the other hand, we all pay income tax, so the potential change to capital gains taxation is likely to have a wider ranging effect.

Gift Tax Repeal

Although possible, it is less likely that this tax will be repealed. It is a way to ensure income tax is paid. Without a gift tax, taxpayers may more easily shift income to family members or others with lower income tax rates. For example, a parent might gift an asset to a child. The child then sells the asset at a lower rate, and then gifts the sale proceeds back to the parent.

Capital Gains Changes

Capital assets traditionally receive a step-up in income tax basis at death. As a result, a sale of that asset upon a parent’s death results in no capital gains tax. Without the estate tax system, the parent’s original cost or other basis would be used to determine the capital gain subject to tax.

An alternative that is being considered by Trump’s administration is a transfer at death being a trigger to a capital gains tax even if the property is not sold. This could be a problem for maintaining family farms, real property and even family wealth because the cash needed to pay the tax would not be available.

Overall, a repeal of the estate tax system opens many opportunities to better plan for a family’s fears, dreams, hopes, aspirations and ultimate legacy. Planning could be potentially a lot simpler and less focused on taxes.

If you won’t do it for yourself….do it for your kids!

You are their greatest InfluencerAnd, I’m not just talking about estate planning.

I’m talking about being the best version of YOU!

So, let me be honest with you. You keep saying you want to do X, Y, and Z. But, are you doing it?

If you answered no, why not?

And if you won’t strive to reach your dreams or goals. If you won’t work a little harder every day to be the best you can be FOR YOURSELF, then at least do it FOR YOUR KIDS!

As we watch our children grow, we realize how much they copy us. We call them little parrots, right? We make sure we don’t swear, we don’t anger too quickly, because we know they are watching.

But they also watch when you come home annoyed and stressed from your 9-5. They watch the fights and arguments that occur with the other parent. It’s not always seeing either, they sense it too.

You might be triggered by a boss or co-worker and you snap on your little one. You’re sad because you’re feeling stuck and don’t know what to do.

I know this because it happens to me. When I’m feeling down, no matter how much I try to hide it, my daughter knows. She’ll rub my heart and give me extra snuggles. As a mother, I owe it to her to be the best happiest version of myself.

Yes, there will be bad days and good days but if they see you- working hard to achieve your dreams, hustling to reach the goal you set for yourself, not letting anything get in the way of how you want to live your life- then that will be the best example to them.

YOU OWE IT TO YOUR CHILDREN TO BE HAPPY!

To be fulfilled.

To love your life.

To feel magical.

To do everything your heart desires.

What’s a vision board and does it work?

Hey Mama!

Our second vision board party is underway and if you still need tickets, there are a few more days to purchase. visualize-flyer-1

I’ve been getting lots of questions about vision boards and whether or not they work- they do!


What’s a Vision Board? 
A vision board is just that- a board with your vision. It’s a board where your highest priorities and intentions are planted.

It’s what you want your life to be. Where you want to go. Who you want to meet.

{Note: The image in the background of the VISUALIZE flyer is a digital vision board I did in early 2016. I had healthy eating, a growing family, travel, love, spiritual awareness.}

You flip through magazines, draw pictures, print items, and/or attach mementos to a board that has the highest vision for your life.

The only rule to creating a vision board is THERE IS NO RULE. It can be whatever you want it to be.

But does it really work? Visualization is one of the most powerful exercises you can do. What you think you become. Not only does your vision board focus on the things you want, more importantly it focuses on the things you want to FEEL!  Do you want to be happy, peaceful, empowered, loved?

One thing you have to remember though, is a vision board is simply a tool.

It works if you work. In the process of creating the vision board, you get clarity on what you want to happen in your life and how you want to feel. By creating the board, you are setting the intention to manifest those things with the help of God and/or the Universe and of course taking action.

Want to know more, come join me in the first VISUALIZE vision board party happening THIS SATURDAY JANUARY 14th at 1:00pm! 

I will walk you through some exercises to get clear on where you want your life to go. What you want your legacy to be. What not to do. And of course the best steps to take to get you there.

You can buy tickets here. Space is limited so you won’t want to wait until the last minute!

 

Are you too comfortable?

Hey There, Mama!
Have you gotten too comfortable? Just taking it day by day?
When you get comfortable, you’re less likely to make improvements in your life.
Why?
Because you’ve settled.
You’ve become complacent.
nevergettoocomfortable
I’ll tell you right now that you won’t be able to achieve your dreams if you’re cozy in your comfort zone.
 
I won’t sugar coat it. I’m going to keep it REAL AF. Only because I’ve been there.
 
Wanting to achieve big dreams and move mountains only to realize I was comfortable in my little bubble.
 
Success and dreams require you to get up and out of that zone. They don’t sit around and come knocking on your bubble’s door.
 
They only come around when you’re off your butt and taking big, bold, action.
Want to find out if you’re too comfort comfortable?
 
I have a free worksheet for you to complete. No email required. No strings attached. Get it here.
 
Once you realize where you are settling, then you can take the steps to make the changes you want, live your life with purpose, on purpose and leave a legacy you want.
 
P.P.S. Stay tuned for my 7 Day Challenge on Wholistic Life Planning

Want to know HOW to appoint a guardian?!

Hey Mama! 

Hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving! I don’t know about you, but I have A TON OF LEFTOVERS…I’m pretty turkey’d out! 🙂

Oh and happy cyber Monday! In case you missed it, I launched a pre-sale of an amazing new product coming out early January 2017. It’s call KEYPER and its a DIY Guardianship appointment product that allows you to actually name a guardian for your kiddos. 

You can get all the details here! 

And if you know someone who could use it, please feel free to share! The more children protected, the better! 

So back to my post for today- want to know how you decide on a guardian? 

Well, I like to take my clients through a little process. You’ll need at least one sheet of paper. checklist

Take that sheet of paper. One one side, list out some of the most important people- the ones you love and trust. The ones you confide in. The ones you trust with your life. 

On the other side of the paper write down your top 3 parenting values. Some examples are: temper, relationship with your child, religion, values, viewpoint on education, relationship with you, honesty, marital status, age, etc.

Then check to see if there is someone who matches or almost matches all 3 of your top values. 

Now, remember, you might not find a “perfect match” but the idea is to find someone who would care for your child and who has the parenting style most similar or “close to a perfect match.”

So, go ahead and get started. Pick your best match AND then appoint your guardian with KEYPER

xo
Carmen

Why do people procrastinate in appointing a guardian?

You get that you need an estate plan. You know the importance of appointing a guardian. You know you don’t want your child to be left in the foster care system.

So, let me ask you a question….. WHY ARE YOU PROCRASTINATING?

photo-1476703993599-0035a21b17a9I mean is it better for you to stay in your comfort zone, not deal with the feelings of discomfort and allow your babe to get stuck in a court battle or with strangers they don’t know?

Didn’t think so. But, so you don’t feel like you’re alone, I’ll tell you what the top excuses people use:

  1. You just don’t want to talk about it: It’s very common for parents to not want to think about. But the problem is that just hoping someone will step up and actually take charge on their own is a huge mistake. You need to talk about it. Talk about it with the other parent. With the person you’d want to be guardian.
  2. Haven’t been able to decide on a person: You haven’t been able to decide on a person. This is probably because you’re trying too hard to find the “perfect person”- the person who will be just like you. Guess what? That person doesn’t exist. There is someone that is really close, so don’t dismiss them. No one, and I mean no one, will parent YOUR child just like you. Go with the next best option.
  3. You don’t understand how it works: Good news! That’s what I’m here for. I’m here to help you get it all on paper. Help you figure out the best options for you and either do it for you or walk you through it. Just know that appointing a guardian is actually easy to document and there are lots of resources out there to assist you.
  4. It’s too expensive: Is there really a price tag for the safety and protection of your child? There are a lot of different resources in varying price ranges to nominate a guardian. There is something out there to suit everyone’s needs.

If you’re serious about protecting your munchkins, STOP PROCRASTINATING. I already know you know and I’m calling you out on it!

What Happens If I Don’t Pick A Guardian

Well, the simple answer is this – the court decides.

It’s not like the movies. It’s not as easy as someone simply taking custody of the child.

No, there’s a process. And that process could mean the foster care system gets involved, family and friends fighting over who will step up, a court system that is overflowing with cases, and lots of uncertainty, especially for your child…

When you don’t pick a guardian ahead of time, your child will have to wait until a judge determines who they should stay with. This process is called a guardianship proceeding.

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-7-46-58-pm

Sometimes the child goes to foster care temporarily until this is decided and the state basically becomes your child’s guardian. Now, not only is your child now confused about where their parents are, they are in the care of strangers. This can be really scary!

By picking a guardian, you have a voice in deciding who will raise your child. You maintain your power to make a choice that will protect your child from any additional uncertainty.

I get it. Thinking about mortality or not being around to actually raise your child is not fun. I know you’d much rather think about anything else than dying.

As a parent, you know it’s your responsibility to take protect your baby (or babies) – no matter how old they get. Thinking about their security doesn’t just mean college, financial savings, etc. because what happens when you can’t be around to guide them or to make decisions about education or investments?

So it all comes down to this – If you don’t make the decision, you leave the courts to decide for you. You are essentially allowing a judge – who you probably do not know, who does not know you and who does not know your child – decide who your child will live with.

Trust me when I say, it won’t just fall into place. Like I said, that’s for the movies. You need to make a decision.

Having a hard time deciding who to pick? Bad news here. There isn’t one straight answer. There are lots of things to consider when appointing a guardian, however they aren’t the same for everyone. You have to look at your lifestyle, expectations, hopes and dreams for your child.

Consider what is important to you – the legacy and life you’re living – and appoint someone who would do their best to fulfill your legacy and any goals you have for your children. And go with your gut – you know – Mother’s intuition.

October is a Month of Awareness and Prevention

octoberOctober is Domestic Violence Awareness month. It’s also Substance Abuse Prevention Month.

Two areas that recently have become issues very close to my heart.

In up to half of all cases of domestic violence, alcohol is involved. Even the abuer is sober, if he (or she) is an alcoholic, the abuse is (1) much more likely to occur and (2) likely to be much more violent. The Department of Justice states that about 61 percent of domestic violence offenders also have problems with alcohol or drug abuse.

Does Substance Abuse Cause Domestic Violence? 

Substance abuse, whether drugs or alcohol,  has not been proven to cause domestic violence. While substance abuse was a factor in domestic violence, it was not the only factor. Another important factor is having experienced or witnessed domestic violence as a child.

There are sober abusers who still engage in violence. Substance Abuse alone does not cause the violence.

Treatment Options

Many perpetrators of violence quickly find themselves on the wrong side of the law, and as a result,are required to attend drug treatment programs and domestic violence therapy that focus on providing them with crucial information about the impact of domestic violence. The goal is to help these patients get both issues under control because certainly, if both are in evidence, both must be addressed in order to provide the person with better coping skills going forward.

Additionally, the trauma experienced by victims of domestic violence can lead to a wide range of mental illnesses that will require treatment.

Two of the most common results of domestic violence, among both men and women, are substance abuse and eating disorders. In an effort to regain control over their lives and to drown out the pain and fear that comes with chronic violence and attack, many victims try to manage their feelings by taking control of their eating choices, binge eat, or overindulge in alcohol or other substances.

It’s important that the trauma and any concurrently occurring disorders are addressed. The sooner the better when it comes to healing and moving forward.

If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic violence, know there support teams to help- people who genuinely care.

If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction or you fear the usage might be escalating, reach out to someone you can trust.

Do your best to get them help before there is an escalation in violence or substance abuse. Sometimes letting go, stepping up and stopping assistance is the best way to show someone you love them.

Always remember to put on your oxygen mask first- becoming obsessive about getting someone help when they don’t want it could mean you forgetting about your own self-care and creating a bigger distance between you and your loved on.

Sending all those who may be victims and users all the light, love and strength you need. You’re not alone. <3