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If estate taxes are repealed, it will most likely affect about 0.2% of the U.S. population who currently exceed the exemption in place now.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Although possible, it is less likely that this tax will be repealed.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.

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

 

Control and why you need to LET. IT. GO!

Ever feel like you try so hard to make something go a certain way? But the harder you control the outcome, the further away it goes and the more frustrated you get?

Yeah- that’s what control does to you.

It takes away your joy, peace, energy, focus and leads to anxiety, stress, self-doubt and frustration.

You can only control yourself and the decisions you make. You can’t control an outcome, person, or opportunity. That’s in God’s hands and the universe.

And don’t worry. No matter what happens, just know you have already survived 100% of what life has thrown at you.

Cheers to 4 Years!

Hey There! 

Champagne, anyone? September 1st marked 4 years in business. That feels like time has flown by but also just a reminder I’m just getting started. And boy, let me tell you how things have changed!

While in law school I wanted noting more than to be able to HELP people. To SERVE my community. (This obviously has not changed!)

What I THOUGHT I wanted to do was be a family law attorney- divorce, custody, child support- all that jazz. And, although I still help friends/family/clients with issues that may come up, I realized 6 months in to business I was dead wrong!

Some of you may or may not know how I ended up in estate planning, but you can read more about it on my About Me page on my website.

I enjoy estate planning- protecting families, helping to avoid conflict (as much as possible), and knowing that I get to be some kind of comfort when the going gets tough and families are grieving the loss of a loved one.

But, that was’t enough for me. I knew I wanted to impact others on a deeper level. And, once I had my daughter (18 months ago), I knew I needed to make a change. I knew I needed to live my soul’s purpose.

Enter, legacy coaching. What the heck is legacy coaching, right?!

Well it’s essentially life coaching. But the focus is on creating a life and a legacy in a way that you want your family and friends to remember you by.

I hosted my first group legacy coaching workshop about two weeks ago and I have to say it was even better than I imagined! We laughed, we cried, we literally made MAGIC! (I may or many not be hosting another one in November!)

With coaching, I am better able to impact my client’s and help them live a life they love. No more holding back. No more waiting for “one day.”

My firm is getting ready for a re-branding launch (so keep an eye out for our new website!) I know that this is just the beginning for the office and I cannot wait to meet all our new clients, continuing to serve current clients and being a support for past clients.

In honor of my anniversary, I am OFFICIALLY launching my coaching business and packages. You can see the details here.

Last but not least, THANK YOU for your continued support!

Cheers to 4 years and many more to come! 

xo

Carmen

I know I’ve been a little distant


Hi! 

I know I’ve been a little behind on sending out my weekly emails.

Do you ever feel like you’re in a funk and nothing seems to be going right? It isn’t fun right?

Well I started feeling like that last week. I’m in the process of moving- my home and my business- which is absolutely nuts!

And, amidst the chaos I really started to feel down about where I am in life. I started thinking about how overwhelming the packing and moving and the unpacking and keeping the 17 month old on her schedule and keeping the business going has been.

In all the crazy. In all the annoyances. In all the busy work. I knew that if I didn’t stop to take a moment and appreciate all that I have, I’d continue on this path of negativity.

So, I stopped. Stopped all of it. Sat down and wrote.

I wrote a list of 100 gratitudes. Yes, I wrote 100 things I was grateful for. And I spent time in that moment. Really appreciating the life I have been given, the life I am living, and the life I am creating for my daughter.

In that moment I realized I had so much more to look forward to. That the things bothering me in the past week and a half were only temporary.

Only I could decide whether or not I was going to stay with the annoyances or move on.

I chose to move on.

It’s so easy to be thankful when everything is going right. What about when it’s not? Are we supposed to wait until its better again to show gratitude? Not at all. When our external experiences are not changing, it’s time to go inside.


“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.
If you concentrate on what you don’t have,
you will never, ever have enough.”

Oprah Winfrey


The next time you’re in a funk, stressed, feeling overwhelmed, take a moment. Take a few deep breaths. Go deep within. Then make a list of 100 gratitudes- things that you “value highly” in your life.”

Think about the life you are creating for yourself.

Tell me about your 100 List of Gratitudes. Reply to this email 🙂

Cheers to moving forward, Living more and Creating the life you’ve always wanted.

xo

I have a summer deal for you!

Heyyy There! 

If you missed my webinar earlier this week, don’t worry, you can still get the recording here!

I spent some time talking about getting rid of your big BUT, you know, that EXCUSE that keeps holding you back from really doing what you want.

The one excuse (or maybe its many excuses) that’s holding you back from living your most amazing life.

So, head on over and take a listen. There are also two free downloads you can complete to help you start living your best and most fulfilled life!

Visualize- Take Action to Live Your Fulfilled Life!

Sooooo, what I’m most excited for, though, is this….

Like, I’m totally giddy with excitement!

I want to tell you about an awesome promotion I have going on for my estate plans!


Until July 25th, I’m offering 33% off all individual estate plans. Yup. 33% discount. Head on over to my website or click here to get all the details!

I’m offering this deal in hopes of getting more families protected, giving them more peace of mind and giving them more time to think and do the things they love instead of worrying about what would happen to their kid(s) if there was an emergency or you passed.


What I’m ALSO super excited about is a new live event I have coming up! It’s called Visualize: a legacy coaching and vision board workshop! This event is happening on August 11th and space is limited! You can sign up here.


So, I would love to work with you or have you join me at my event!

I would also be tremendously grateful if you shared this with all your family, friends and loved ones! Help me get more families protected, keep them out of court, and save tons of time and money!  

Cheers to an amazing and productive weekend!!

xo

Carmen

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my estate plan promo or sign up for the workshop!

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!

It Could Happen In an Instant…..

ExpectTheUnexpected

Hey There! 

I recently wrote an article called “10 Things Every Estate Planning Attorney Wants You to Know About Death and Dying” and I wasquoted in Forbes last week. Check out the posthere by a colleague of mine, Jeena Cho.

Feel free to share, share, share! It’s definitely tweet worthy!

Anyhow, one part of the article really hit home today as I sat in Probate court- that’s being prepared “just in case.”

There was a little girl in court, about 5-6 years old. Now, typically a little one isn’t allowed in court, but because her father passed away without a will, trust or guardianship provisions, that little girl was sitting in court with the rest of us.

It was gut wrenching sitting there as the attorney spoke about her deceased father. How there was a wrongful death suit, discussion regarding wages and how the money was hopefully going to be enough to support the child. There were questions about whether a guardianship of the estate was needed. Talk about how her mother was considered a third party because her parents weren’t married.

Just imagine your child. Your grandchild. Having to sit in court and listen to so many strangers talk about their parent. Someone they will never get to see again. Having to listen in confusion as decisions are made about their life.

Lucky for this little girl, her mother is still alive and present. Unfortunately issues came up because the couple was not married. The mother was able to be the guardian of the estate in order to care for her daughter, but it was a reminder, that at any point someone can pass away. No warning. Just a regular day.

We live our day to day lives.

Postponing that phone call or email to a loved one.

Postponing drafting an estate plan.

Postponing taking that trip or starting that hobby.

Postponing signing up for life insurance or updating beneficiaries.

But in an instant it can all change.

Will you be ready?

Estate Planning + NBA Finals = Perfect Match

MVP

You are the real MVP! Go out and live your legacy!

Hey there! 

I was watching Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night and listening to all the players getting interviewed. It got me thinking.

Thinking about life.

Thinking about showing up.

Thinking about “letting the game come to you.”

That game, of course, being life.

The key to the game and getting to the end, is to enjoy the process. We are all going to die. No one is getting a free pass. So, why not make the most of your life? Why not do what you’ve always wanted?

Go out and find the game’s rhythm. Your rhythm. Live your legacy. Say yes to life. Take a risk.

But also show your team you’re reliable- someone they can count on. Be someone your family can count on. Create an estate plan that will be beneficial to your family. Let them know they can count on you even if you’re not around.

By planning and living a life you love, you create lasting memories for your friends and family. You’ll be protecting both their heart and their mind.

So, go out and be the Steph Curry of your life, because you are the real MVP!

xo

Carmen

P.S. Go Dubs!