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!

 

Baby, you’re a FIREWORK!

Hey There!

In honor of all the fireworks going off last weekend, I couldn’t help but think about Katy Perry’s song!

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

You know you totally just sang that! 🙂 Anyhow, this is a perfect little intro to what I want to talk to you about today!

LEGACY PLANNING.

Now, I know legacy is usually related to money and material things, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.

No, I’m talking legacy as in your morals, values, you know, your imprint on the world.

In my opinion, living a life you’d be proud of is much more important than all the money you accumulate over your lifetime.

Don’t get me wrong now, money is important- it allows you to have tons of opportunities, cover your necessities and provide for your family as needed.

But, living a life you absolutely love is ESSENTIAL. I want you to wake up every morning excited.

Excited to breathe.

Excited to live.

Excited to go to work.

Excited to hang with your kiddos.

Excited for happy hour with girlfriends or yoga alone.

Excited for your upcoming trip you’ve been planning for years.

Tell me, if you were to die today, would you be proud of the life you lived? Would your family really know who you were and what you valued in life?

If there was any hesitation, any little bit of doubt, I want you to take baby steps to change that.

GET EXCITED!

Ignite the light within you.

Let yourself shine.

Stop holding back.

You deserve it.

xo
Carmen

P.S. Want some help recharging your soul? Join me Tuesday June 12th for a FREE Webinar entitled “Set Your Soul on Fire”. I’ll be chatting about how to create the life you have been dreaming of and how to avoid that big “but” that’s holding you back. PLUS you’ll get the details about a fun upcoming event that will include your girlfriends + wine! Need I say more?

REGISTER HERE!

P.P.S. Reply to this email and let me know what I can help you with. Stuck in a funk? Sign up for a free 15 minute chat session to see how to get you outta there!

Doing it all can be exhausting!

womanalone

Hey There! 

Never feel like there are enough hours in a day to get EVERYTHING done?! So much on that never ending to-do list….

I’ve been there. I can totally relate.

Working all day. Taking care of the kids. Making sure the house isn’t a ​TOTAL ​mess.

Wanting a little more sleep. A little more “me” time.

The truth is though, if we don’t take the time for a little self-care, we can’t be the best at our career, the best mom, the best friend, sister, daughter. Catch my drift?

Nope. We can’t.

We become Little Miss Cranky Pants.

So, this week I am proposing a little challenge. Are you ready?

Take 15 minutes out of your day (yes, everyday) to focus on YOU! Say yes to what YOU want without feeling guilty.

If it’s YES to an extra glass of wine, do it!

If it’s YES to creating that budget (or ::cough cough:: starting your estate plan), DO IT!

This is the week of SAYING YES TO YOURSELF!

Just know that these 15 minutes for the next 7 days will be absolutely life changing. I PROMISE.

I really want to keep you accountable, so go ahead and rtag me on Facebook or Instagram to let me know what you’re doing everyday.

And, because I know staying on track can be tough, I’m going to do it too- so be sure to follow me online to see what I’m saying YES to!

xo

Carmen

P.S. Happy 4th of July! Don’t forget to join me on Thursday July 7th for tips on legacy planning and how you can check items off your bucket list! 

Mom? Divorced? Unmarried? If any of those apply, this is for you.

Moolah

If you have a kiddo under the age of 18, you have a minor. If you’re divorced or unmarried, you could face issues when appointing a guardian.

There is the “Guardian of the Person” and “Guardian of the Estate”- sometimes it’s the same person, others its not.

So what’s a mama to do? Let’s walk through this.

Guardian of the Person

Guardian of the Person is the person your kid will live with on the day-to-day- think location, home, school.

In California, dad will automatically receive “custody” of the child, especially since there are likely court orders in place that indicate the dad already has rights.

When working on your guardianship appointment you must take into consideration (because the court sure does) what is in the “best interest of the child”- if being with dad is best, then that’s what happens. If not, then you can appoint a “guardian of the person” or someone else who would get physical custody of your kiddo. You’ll also want to make sure you have supporting evidence as to why dad isn’t the best option.

Guardian of the Estate

Guardian of the Estate is the person who will manage all your moolah for your kid- think trust fund. Now, if you’re divorced or your baby daddy can’t keep up with child support, you don’t want him to manage the money for your kid.

Most times, mamas will appoint the same person she appoints as her trustee- someone she trusts with money.

So you have a couple of things to consider. Have questions or want to chat some more? Give us a call or shoot us an email to set up a time. You can even head on over to our CONTACT page and schedule it online.

Happy Hump Day!

How to Prevent Family Feuds Following Death

How often have you heard about a family feud following a death in the family? Whether it is a personal relation or the story of Anna Nicole Smith or the Koch Brother – everyone has heard a horror story about wills and inheritances. Rather than risking a similar situation occurring in your own family, it’s important to protect your assets and familial relationships before you pass.

How do you do this? Rather than simply dividing an estate into portions, which can lead to estate litigation, designate a specific recipient for your most valuable assets. Put the specific designations into a will, which cannot be refuted.

Don’t think this could apply to you? Here’s an example: Ms. Clark has 2 daughters ages 30 and 26. Upon her death, her will designates that her estate be split 50/50 between her daughters. As her assets and items are being distributed, the younger daughter asks for a pair of earrings that belonged to her mother. However, the older daughter wants to keep the earrings for herself. At this point, the two daughters would have to go through a series of legal proceedings to work this situation out. However, had Ms. Clark designated the earrings to go to a specific daughter, there would be no problem.

Another way around this issue would be for Ms. Clark to have given her earrings away before she passed away. By giving away your prized possessions when you are still living, there is no room for misunderstandings regarding who was to receive what.

There are plenty of ways to assure that your personal effects are taken care of but it is important to be informed.

Start Planning Now!

Are you in your 20’s or 30’s? Recently married? Have young children or a little one on the way?

When it comes to estate planning, the techniques and tools are somewhat different for young couples with or without children or single parents than for older parents with adult children. For example, because you’re still building your estate and saving for your children’s college educations, gifting probably will not be part of your estate planning strategy. But one powerful technique that benefits you as well as older estate planners is the use of trusts. Let’s take a closer look at how trusts can benefit your estate plan.

Young-Couples-Financial-Tips

A living trust can provide for the secure management of the money you leave your children when you die. If your surviving spouse is not confident about managing substantial assets, or if both you and your spouse die, a living trust may name an institutional trustee to invest and distribute the funds according to your instructions. Such a trustee, usually a bank, will use professional money managers and provide the principal to your children for their basic material needs, education, healthcare, reasonable comfort and whatever you deem important for their support.

A trust not only minimizes estate tax and avoids probate, a primary need for older estate planners, but also protects your children when you or your spouse die.

Even if you don’t have children, an estate plan is still a necessity because you do have heirs. Who are your heirs? They could be your parents and siblings, other relatives, or friends. Unless you have an estate plan, those heirs will have to wait months or years for the probate court to approve their inheritance after your death. In addition, they may lose some of their inheritance to estate tax.

Let’s talk about death, baby!

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twainleap

Sometimes you need to just take the leap! Talking about death isn’t a fun topic, but the truth is, it is inevitable.

It is better to prepare and have a plan in place rather than just sit back and “hope” everything works itself out. Show your loved ones how much you truly care and create an estate plan to help them when you are not around.

By having no plan in place your loved ones face the hassle of dealing with probate which is both time consuming and expensive. Don’t leave your loved ones to deal with probate proceedings all while trying to remember your life.

Why the New Year is a great time to update your estate planning documents

We are now 12 days into 2015! I hope it’s going well for you and you’re sticking to those resolutions!

Happy-New-Year-with-stars-2015The beginning of the year is the best time to update your estate plan. However, you should not only think about the assets and property involved but also the people involved. Carefully consider your beneficiaries, trustees and agents whom you have entrusted to care for your assets, property and loved ones.

So what exactly should you be looking for as you update your estate planning documents? Following are some possible events and circumstances that might require changes in your will or other estate planning documents:

1.   Marriage. Did you, your child or another family member named in your documents get married?

2.   Divorce. Did you, your child or another family member named in your documents get divorced?

3.   Birth or adoption of a child, grandchild, etc. Did you, your child, or someone else give birth or adopt a child that you would like included in your estate planning? Do you have to name a guardian for your children in case of your death?

4.   Child has reached the age of majority. Has a child named in your estate planning documents turned 18 or otherwise reached a milestone set in your estate plan?

5.   Death or serious illness. Has someone named in your estate plan died or fallen seriously ill, especially if it’s someone who has been named as your executor, power of attorney or trustee?

6.   Changes in relationships with people, pets or organizations. Do you have a new relationship with someone or an organization you would like to include in your planning? Alternately, have you severed any such relationships?

7.   Purchase or sale of major assets. Have you bought or sold a house, opened or closed a business, etc.?

8.   New insurance policies or pension plans. Have you acquired new insurance policies or pension plans that require adjustment of beneficiaries in your estate plan? Have you reached the age at which you are required to take distributions from a pension plan?

9.   Change of your state of residence. Have you moved and inadvertently made part of your estate plan invalid?

10. Tax law changes. Are there new or different provisions in the tax law that affects your estate distribution plan?

And of course if you don’t have any estate plan in place or are missing a few of the essential documents, now is also a great time to set that up. You can read my post on  Top 4 (MUST HAVE) Estate Planning Documents to have on the blog.

Likewise, if you’re ready to schedule an appointment with me, give the office a call at (650) 503-3770 or send me an email at carmen  (at) carmenrosaslaw (dot) com. You can also visit the Contact Page!

The Missing Piece of Your Estate Plan

Happy New Year and Cheers to 2015! Can you believe it’s the 6th of January 2015 already?! Time is flying by!

As I perused my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram over the past few days and came across everyone’s new years resolutions, I began to think about how many were to lose weight or get fit. Which then got me thinking about society and our focus on the physical- trying to be a size 2, remaining “youthful” or seeking out the best “anti-aging” cream. But, is staying young all it’s cut out to be?

phasesWell, when it comes to estate planning, I say it doesn’t. Without worldly education- i.e. working summer jobs, having to live with roommates while going to school or getting their first apartment- or without getting through each developmental phase adults usually go through, individuals get stuck in that one place until the stage is complete. If that phase is never complete, the individual never moves on. At each stage of life the individual learns to navigate certain challenges and responsibilities. But sometimes in the effort to “stay young” individuals become stuck.

If you have a decent size estate- own a home, have a retirement account and life insurance- and leave your estate to your children outright, the wealth and assets you leave behind could potentially handicap your child.

With a living trust you can appoint trustees to distribute your estate in phases to ensure that your child goes through each phase of life and doesn’t end up a millionaire at the age of 18 without any direction.

If you want to know how a trust can help ensure your child grows to be a responsible adult, financially, give us a call or send an email. We will be more than happy to discuss.

Should you hold a family meeting to explain your estate plan?

I received the following question from clients very often: “SHOULD I HOLD A FAMILY MEETING TO EXPLAIN MY ESTATE PLAN?”

Here’s my Answer:

265359183_640Parents are often reluctant to share their estate plans with their adult children. Some feel its a private matter and shouldn’t be revealed until death. Many are afraid of creating relationship problems within the family, for example if one child is chosen to be a trustee or executor over the others or if inheritances are not equal. But explaining your decisions now to your family, in a general way, will avoid surprises later and make it more likely that they will accept them.

Holding a family meeting is a good way to do this. You can ask your estate planning attorney and financial advisor to be there. They will be able to explain how your plan will work and why these decisions were made, as well as answer any questions. This will also introduce your advisors to your family members so they will be more comfortable working together in your absence.

Choose a date and time that is convenient for everyone and a place that is appropriate. Limit the meeting to adults; arrange for childcare if necessary. Have a beginning and ending time.

Make a list of topics you want to cover. No specific financial information or values of assets need to be disclosed at this time. This meeting should be a general explanation of what you have planned and why, in order to prepare family members for what they can expect and may need to do if you become disabled or die. Allow for and encourage questions and discussion.

It is likely that there will be some kind of anxiety when the meeting begins, but will allow your children and family members to ask questions to understand your intent.