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!

 

Estate Planning for Newlyweds

NewlywedsIt’s that time of year! Time for beautiful weddings, fun receptions, delicious cakes, special gifts, and romantic honeymoons.  While this is a happy and joyful time for everyone, it’s also time for you and your new spouse to plan for your future- for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, right?

If you’re recently married or engaged, this post is for you!

Why Newlyweds Need to Plan Their Estates

Why should newlyweds care about estate planning?  Because everyone – young or old, married or single – needs to protect themselves and those they love.

Unfortunately, many couples spend more time planning their wedding and honeymoon than they do planning the best way to protect each other.

What Happens Without an Estate Plan?

This fallout of becoming incapacitated or dying without an estate plan is serious, expensive, and painful.  It often causes financial ruin and family discord, lasting for generations.

Without an estate plan:

  • You will leave your spouse and the rest of your family in the dark – they won’t know what you would want to happen if you became incapacitated or died.  This often leads to family fights as each individual champions for what she thinks you would have wanted.
  • You’ll leave a huge burden on your loved ones to make tough decisions about medical heroics and the withdrawal of life support.
  • The court or state law, not you, will decide who makes health care decisions if you are unable to make those decisions yourself.
  • A judge, not you, will decide who raises your children.
  • The court can lock down your assets so even your spouse has to get court permission before making a financial move.
  • Any assets you leave to loved ones can be taken by their divorcing spouses, bankruptcy creditors, medical crisis creditors, predators, and frivolous lawsuits.
  • You may accidentally disinherit your spouse and your children.
  • Your beloved pet could end up in a shelter or euthanized.

What Should You Do?

We invite you and your new spouse to telephone our office to set up a meeting.  We’ll walk you through how to protect each other and those you love; how to protect your beloved pets; and how to protect your assets and make things easier for you and your families.  Call now; we look forward to hearing from you.

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!

Casey Kasem + End-of-Life + Step-Children

Casey KasemAfter two weeks of being in a hospital in Washington, Casey Kasem has passed at the age of 82.

His passing did not come without notoriety. The pubic battle over his health care began in October 2013 when his oldest children protested in front of their father’s home after their step-mother would not allow the children to visit with Kasem.

In 2007, when Kasem found out he had Parkinson’s, he signed a Health Care Directive granting authorization to his two oldest daughters to make decisions for him.

This document, which snubbed Kasem’s wife, set the stage for the legal battle that would erupt six years later as his health deteriorated and his children accused the stepmother of shutting them out of their father’s life. It would serve as a legal basis for his daughter to have doctors discontinue infusions of water, food and medicine.

So, what can we take from this public and emotional battle:

  1. A health care directive is helpful to give instructions and appoint an agent to act on your behalf.
  2. A health care directive does not however, guarantee that no one will contest it.
  3. A health care directive allows you to pass on your wishes regarding life support so a judge can use it to make determinations in court if the issue arises.
  4. A situation like this is one reason why blended families (especially) should have a comprehensive estate plan.

May Mr. Casem rest in peace.

 

When is Probate Triggered?

probate

Do you know what PROBATE is?

Do you know how it is triggered?

Well, if you are over the age of 18, have more than $150,000 in assets, and die without a trust, probate begins.

That also means if you only have a will, your estate must still be probated. A will simply gives instruction as to how you want your estate distributed.

A trust is the only instrument that can keep you out of probate when you estate is over $150,000.

So, if you own a home or have other assets that exceed $150,000- be sure you create a trust!

Let’s EAT! Our new Estate Plan Program.

written by Bay Area Estate Planning Attorney Carmen Rosas.
Let's EAT! Eating with a purpose.

Let’s EAT! Eating with a purpose.

Think you can’t afford estate planning? Well, we have a fun, straight to the point, planning program that could work for you.

It’s a POTLUCK! Yes, you read that right 

Here is how it works:

1) Find 8 people (minimum)- could be 4 couples, 8 individuals, 2 couples/4 individuals- you get the picture. Pick a date (or two) and location that works for you.

2) Email me and let’s set the date!

3) I will send out homework for your group with plenty of time to think about and discuss with spouses/significant others/your pet.

4) Your group members each bring a dish to share and all those ideas and burning questions y’all have.

5) We meet, eat, and complete your Will, Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney- Please note: this program does not include a trust.

Pricing is as follows:
Individual $250
Couple $375

This estate planning is offered to the public at little to no cost BUT through this program, you get an attorney to review your documents and answer any questions you may have.

Potlucks are limited to two per month, require a minimum 3 week advance scheduling, and payment is due in advance.

If this seems like something you might be interested in, send me an email carmen@carmenrosaslaw.com

Now, let’s EAT!

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

Written by Silicon Valley Estate Planning Attorney Carmen Rosas
 
Scrabble
 
 

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.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Wishing you all a lucky day! I hope you’re wearing green!

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day and getting lucky, we have a new referral program! If you refer a client and they execute any estate plan, you’ll receive a $100 Visa Gift Card!

 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

written by California Estate Planning Attorney Carmen Rosas.

 

I hope everyone is staying warm! It’s been extremely cold here lately in sunny California! I woke up to pictures of thermometer readings on Facebook this morning. That’s when you know the temperature is extreme for the Golden State! Although there isn’t any snow, it’s still pretty close to freezing!

Anyhow, I’m going to take a moment this morning to remind you a little bit about how probate can be just as cold as this 30 degree weather. Now, that’s not to say that for some people, probate may be beneficial, but for most of us out there, probate is frightful subject (nothing delightful there! Horrible, I know!)

Probate is long and lasts at minimum (with budget cuts and what not) one year. That’s one year without access to funds for funeral/cremation expenses. One year without access to money to pay last bills, the inability to transfer homes, and the inability to mourn/celebrate the life of a loved one because of logistical issues with probate.

With the cold, icy weather upon us, and possibility of rain and sleet, accidents are more likely to happen. And no I’m not saying because the weather is crappy, you’re going to get in a car accident, but the chances increase. I just want you and your family to be protected.

If ANYTHING happens to you or your spouse/partner/baby’s parent, and neither of you could care for your minor kid, do you know what happens? No, they don’t get to go to grandma and grandpa or auntie or uncle. They risk going in to foster care until a judge can decide where the minor(s) should go. This is a scary situation, especially for little ones.

So, if the length and annoyances of probate aren’t enough, or your children going to foster care isn’t enough, then how about giving away $10,000 of your hard earned money to an attorney and the state? Didn’t think so.

This is why estate planning is ESSENTIAL. And, unless you have a really complicated estate and are a gazillionaire, your estate plan will be about 1/3 of what probate costs, it will be PRIVATE, and your loved ones will have an easier time dealing with the logistics/technicalities of your incapacitation or passing.

So, on that note, stay warm and get to work- make an appointment with an estate planning attorney (yes, even if it isn’t me)!

4 Estate Planning Tips for Unmarried Couples

written by Bay Area attorney Carmen M. Rosas 

Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples

I have had quite a few clients contact me the past week, wanting to create an estate plan for their partners. These clients are unmarried and don’t intend to get married. So what does that mean? Well, it means that if they don’t necessary steps, their assets will go to their next of kin, not their partners.

If you have a long time boyfriend/girlfriend/life partner  or whatever tittle it is you call each other, and you don’t intend to tie the knot , there are some steps you can take.

  1. Name each other as beneficiaries on all pensions, retirement accounts and insurance policies. Of course there are tax penalties when those plans are distributed to a non-spouse. Just check with your institution and financial advisor to see the best way to handle this.
  2. Create a will (and a trust). If you do not have either of these documents, your stuff can pass to a sibling or parent. So, if you want your partner to inherit your assets, be sure to create at minimum, a will.
  3. Create a Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive. If there is an emergency situation or accident, you will be unlikely to make any decisions. f you don’t appoint your partner — in writing — someone in your family or the state can appoint someone else to make your health and financial decisions.
  4. Plan for a Breakup. Well, not all relationships last whether it’s married or unmarried couples. Sometimes living together without getting married seems easier, but when there is a breakup, unmarried couples split, there isn’t a court proceeding. Draft up a “Living-Together Agreement” that dictates what happens upon a break up. Just be sure not to mention anything about sex since it could be deemed to be a contract for prostitution (and that would open up a whole other can of worms!)

Hopefully theses tips helps you start the process. As you may see, #1-4 are basic estate planning documents and are important for any individual- single, married, co-habitating. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact my office at 650-503-3770 and we can schedule a FREE 30 MINUTE CONSULTATION.