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!


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.


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.

What would happen to your children if you died?

Kids-Show-2014When you don’t appoint a guardian, your children will have to wait until a judge determines who they should reside with. Sometimes the children must go to foster care temporarily until this is decided- essentially the state becomes your child’s guardian.

If you don’t want that to happen, appoint a guardian!

Here are some tips to consider when appointing a guardian:

  • Is your child comfortable with the individual?
  • Does the individual have the same moral values as you?
  • Is religion important? Does the individual practice the same religion?
  • Are the individual’s parenting style the same as yours?
  • Do you trust the individual to raise your child as you would want your child to be raised?

There are lots of other things to consider when appointing a guardian, however they are not the same for everyone. Consider what is important to you- the legacy and life you’re living- and appoint someone who would do their best to raise your child as you would.

Our office offers FREE GUARDIANSHIP WORKSHOPS- call or email to schedule yours today!

Finding Your Happy.

can you be happy for 100 days

As a society, we are constantly seeking. Always wanting the newest electronics. The perfect body. Money and Fame. More Vacation time. At what point do we stop wanting and start finding our happy?

Do you wake up thankful that you are alive? So many times we forget that waking up allows us to spend time with loved ones and appreciate the material items we do have. The day we don’t wake up means that we have passed away.

Are you spending your happy- that internal peace and gratitude for what you already have- the loved ones to share another meal with, the roof you have over your head and the car that allows you to travel to and from work?

Stop trying to find happy when it’s already right in front of you.

Tell your loved ones you love them.

Savor every bite of your next meal.

Enjoy the energy in your home.

Say thank you for waking up one more day.



photo cred: http://www.doesmyblogmakemelookfat.com/2014/01/100-happy-days.html


April Showers Bring May Flowers!

May is known for flowers, Mother’s Day, Cinco De Mayo and many other celebrations. But, did you know, it’s also NATIONAL STROKE AWARENESS MONTH?

Stroke affects people of all ages, is steadily increasing in children, and causes the death of more women than breast cancer each year! My father suffered a stroke a few years ago, but lucky for us it wasn’t debilitating.

If you or someone you know has had a stroke, take some time to educate yourself a little bit.

Get prevention tips and learn how to recognize warning signs at www.stroke.org/SYMP


Do’s and Don’ts of Estate Planning During a Divorce

Written by Silicon Valley Estate Planning Attorney Carmen Rosas

Over the past few weeks, I have had a few client’s contact me regarding making changes to their estate plans while they are going through the divorce process. Some things can be changed, while others can’t.

For example wills and powers of attorneys can be changed to reflect someone other than your spouse as the agent or executor. You might not want your soon-to-be ex making decisions regarding life support or important medical decisions while the divorce is pending!

Below is a list of common assets that get overlooked after a final divorce decree is signed (i.e. “loose ends” that are never tied up):

  1. Beneficiary designations on life insurance policies
  2. Beneficiary designations on retirement accounts (IRA, 401(K), etc)
  3. Payable on Death or Transferrable on Death designations on bank accounts and investment accounts (meaning this account transfers immediately upon death to the person named)
  4. Title to real estate — did you execute a new deed for property you received or that your former spouse was to receive pursuant to a divorce decree?
  5. Title to vehicles
  6. Owners and signers of safety deposit boxes
  7. Beneficiary and Executor designations under a Last Will and Testament
  8. Trustee and Beneficiary designations under Trust agreement
  9. Agent designations under a Statutory Durable Power of Attorney (financial power of attorney) or Medical Power of Attorney

If you would like to update your estate planning documents or have questions about what you can change while your divorce is pending, give our office a call at 650-503-3770 or send me an email at carmen at carmenrosaslaw dot com.

There is a family emergency…..What do you do?

written by Silicon Valley estate planning attorney Carmen Rosas.
Create a plan for your family. It's called an emergency for a reason.

Create a plan for your family. It’s called an emergency for a reason.

As most of my current clients know, my family recently had a family emergency. This emergency sent our family into a whirlwind. Emotions were high, stress was soaring and at some points, we had no idea what was going on.

Family emergencies are not uncommon. It happens everyday to a family throughout the world. The past two weeks I’ve learned that without a plan, your whole world stops.

The key to having a plan that works, is having a plan specifically designed for your family. Not all plans are cookie cutter and fill in the blank. Families have various reasons for creating a plan, there are different dynamics in each family and sometimes simply appointing Uncle Joe or Aunt Mary to act as an agent for all purposes, just won’t work.

As you might guess, my family luckily had a plan and although there were times we felt confused and emotions were soaring, we knew what needed to be done.

For those of you who do not have a plan yet, here are some things to consider:

  • Who do you trust with your finances? Someone financially responsible with their own finances would be ideal.
  • Who do you trust with your children? Does this person have their own children? If so, would caring for your children be too much of a burden for them?
  • Who would you want to manage your healthcare issues?  Someone to make life changing decisions regarding treatment?
  • What would you want them to do? How would you want them to handle your affairs.

These are just a starting point. If at the bare minimum, you hand write something out to show your intent and to simply just think about it, DO IT!

If you want documents that are legally binding, our office can help. Give us a call and our Client Intake Specialist will schedule an appointment for you and get you documents to fill out before our meeting.

Happy 110th Birthday Dr. Seuss!

written by Silicon Valley Estate Planning Attorney, Carmen Rosas



One fish, Two fish, Red fish, Blue fish

Yup, a childhood favorite, Dr. Seuss is 110 years old!

While we won’t likely live to be 110, its important to create a plan for the life we live and the life and loved ones we leave behind.  So, in celebration of good ol’ Dr. Seuss, do something that will protect your children.

Some options are:

  • Appoint a Guardian
  • Create a Will
  • Set up a comprehensive Estate Plan (Will, Trust, Guardian Appointment, Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney)

And…. Don’t forget to have a little cake!

What’s a Letter of Instruction & Do I need one?

written by California living trust attorney Carmen Rosas.

I had a client ask me the other day about whether or not he needed to have a Letter of Instruction (LOI) in addition to his estate plan. The answer to his question- it depends. (of course, right?)

A LOI is a letter that you leave behind for your heirs, the executor of your will or trustees, giving guidance and instructions for settling your estate. Its purpose is to add detail about your wishes that isn’t included in your will or in other parts of your estate plan – and to address assets and belongings that aren’t addressed in your will or trust, which usually deals only with items of substantial value, such as real estate and other significant assets.

In our estate plans, we include all the essential documents as well as personal property declarations, burial/cremation instructions, and sample letters that you can write to your children (these are different from the LOI).

So, what it comes down to is whether or not your estate plan includes sufficient detail for your loved ones.

A letter of instruction can include:

  • the location of house, car, safe keys
  • burial/cremation arrangements
  • personal property assignments
  • where your pending bills are located
  • contact info for your attorney, financial advisors, tax people, etc.
  • location of your estate plan, important documents, financial statements
  • your wishes regarding how your heirs/beneficiaries should use their inheritance
  • location of your social media and online accounts login

Just like your estate plan, this document should be updated regularly to reflect your wishes. However, unlike an estate plan, a LOI does not have the same legal authority, so be sure that the LOI is simply a supplement to your estate plan.

If you have any questions or want to schedule a FREE 30 minute strategy planning meeting, give us a call at 650-503-3770. We offer services throughout California via in person (San Jose Office or Redwood City Office) or via a virtual Skype meetings.

Be sure to share this post if you know someone who could benefit from this.