Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, February 22, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page 11

Mountain Views News Saturday, February 22, 2014 BUSINESS NEWS & TRENDS 11 
Mountain Views News Saturday, February 22, 2014 

By Marc Garlett 


Paul Walker, who starred in the Fast & Furious movie franchise, died tragically at the age of 40 in a 
high speed car accident in Los Angeles last November. His estate was opened at the end of January in 
the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Barbara probate court, revealing that he left assets 
of approximately $25 million. He is survived by his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow. 

So what can we learn by looking at the probate of Paul Walker’s Estate? 

Put assets in a trust. Paul Walker intended to avoid the Court process called probate by creating 
a revocable living trust. A trust makes everything totally private and keeps it all out of Court. 
Unfortunately, while Paul Walker had a Trust, it wasn’t properly funded – in other words, his assets 
were never transferred into the trust … and this is an all too common estate planning failure, even 
when working with a lawyer because most lawyers simply do not handle trust funding, the single 
most important part of estate planning. 

Properly fund your trust. The contents of Walker’s estate, who will inherit it and when, are now public 
knowledge because Walker’s lawyer didn’t take the necessary steps to make sure his Trust was properly 
funded. Sadly, this isn’t even a case of malpractice (though it should be) because it’s common practice 
in the world of estate planning lawyers. When you plan your estate, the most important thing you can 
do is ensure your assets are transferred properly. 

Name guardians for minor children. Walker’s daughter, Meadow, is still a minor and he did name his 
own mother as guardian. But if he had not, there could have been a family fight, and a judge would 
have stepped in to make the final decision about who would raise Meadow. By nominating guardians 
you can avoid family fights over your children (and the assets that follow them) or ever having a judge 

– a total stranger – decide who will raise your children. 
Don’t wait to do estate planning. Walker was 28 when he created his will in 2001. While we don’t 
know what prompted him to create an estate plan so early – perhaps it was the birth of his daughter– 
he did the right thing in planning early. Everyone over the age of eighteen should have a will, and 
if you have children you’ll want a more comprehensive estate plan so they are always protected and 
provided for, no matter what. 

Keep estate plans updated. Not only did Walker’s attorney not ensure his assets were titled properly, 
but he never updated Walker’s plan from the original version created 12 years before he died. Walker’s 
net worth changed significantly during that time. If his estate is $25,000,000, as we’ve read, his family 
must pay over $5,000,000 in estate taxes. I think that’s unconscionable because with proper planning 
that could have all been structured to pass on to his family instead of the Government. To make sure 
all of your assets go to your family, you should update your estate plan at least every three years. 

To learn more about putting the right legal and financial protections in place for your family, contact 
our office at 626.355.4000 to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 
for a Family Estate Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for 
the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call 
today and mention this article.

 “Late Breaking News Alert: I consider City Council candidate Noah 

RICH Johnson Green to be my friend. He is a stand up guy. Intelligent, articulate and 
cordial. Whether or not you vote for him in the upcoming city elections 
should be determined solely on his views on the issues facing the city.”

Now, are you familiar with the publication known as The Onion? Wikipedia 
describes it as an American digital media company and news satire organization. 
In can be great fun to read (now online at It’s fun, though 
sometimes a bit “adult” if you follow my drift. It ran this article on January 3 and 
though I don’t know the original intent of The Onion in running it, I believe it 
promotes an oft-ignored look at the benevolent activities of people of faith. The 
following is their article:


 MACON, GA—Sources confirmed today that the brainwashed morons at First Baptist Assembly 
of Christ, all of whom blindly accept whatever simplistic fairy tales are fed to them, volunteer each 
Wednesday night to provide meals to impoverished members of the community. 

 “Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in town who have fallen on hard times and are unable to 
afford to put food on the table, so we try to help out as best we can,” said 48-year-old Kerri Bellamy, 
one of the mindless sheep who adheres to a backward ideology and is incapable of thinking for herself, 
while spooning out homemade shepherd’s pie to a line of poor and homeless individuals. 

 “It feels great to share our blessings with the less fortunate. Plus, it’s fun to work alongside all the 
members of our [corrupt institution of propaganda and lies] who come out each week.” 

 As of press time, the brainless, unthinking lemmings had donated winter clothing they no longer 
wore to several needy families and still hadn’t opened their eyes to reality.”

 All too often people of faith, particularly Christians, are painted with a broad brush as right wing 
hate-mongering intolerant wackos. Following is a list of Forbes Magazines 50 largest U.S. charities. 
23, signified by the (R) following their name, have direct ties to religious organizations. 

1. United Way (R) 30. Susan G. Komen for the Cure 
2. Salvation Army (R) 31. Step Up for Students 
3. Task Force for Global Health 32. Planned Parenthood Federation of 
4. Feeding America America 
5. Catholic Charities USA (R) 33. American Jewish Joint Distribution 
6. Goodwill Industries (R) Committee (R)
7. Food for the Poor (R) 34. Brother’s Brother Foundation 
8. American Cancer Society 35. Population Services International 
9. YMCA (R) 36. Good 360 
10. World Vision (R) 37. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society 
11. St. Jude Children’s Hospital (R) 38. Cross International (R)
12. Boys & Girls Clubs of America 39. Catholic Relief Services (R)
13. American National Red Cross 40. Catholic Medical Mission Board (R) 
14. Habitat for Humanity (R) 41. Operation Blessing Int’l Relief & 
15. Feed the Children (R) Development (R)
16. Compassion International (R) 42. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute 
17. Nature Conservancy 43. Marine Toys for Tots Foundation 
18. AmeriCares Foundation 44. MAP International (R)
19. American Heart Association 45. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer 
20. Campus Crusade for Christ (R) Center 
21. United States Fund for UNICEF 46. United Service Organizations 
22. Direct Relief 47. Make-A-Wish Foundation of America 
23. Mayo Clinic 48. Father Flanagan’s Boy’s Home (R) 
24. Lutheran Services in America (R) 49. Teach for America 
25. CARE USA (R) 50. ChildFund International (R) 
26. Samaritan’s Purse (R) 
27. Boy Scouts of America 
28. Save the Children Federation 
29. Kingsway Charities (R) 

The latest on Business News, Trends and Techniques 

By La Quetta M. Shamblee,MBA 


Discipline is the element that creates the distance reality is each one of us has the capacity to create 
between those who are extremely successful the life that we ponder in our dreams.
and those who are average. Being successful Everyone expends some level of effort to get 
or average is determined by the standards that some enjoyment out of life, but those who aspire 
an individual sets for himself or herself. A to taste the fruits of success understand “You 
person’s definition of success may be influenced reap what you sow.” They are willing to take the 
by outside factors and cultural standards, but in steps and do the work that results in success. The 
the end, each of us must decide what we consider appearance of what looks like “overnight success” 
as success for our own live. Once we make that to an observer is the result of someone’s discipline 
decision, it is important to be honest about where day after day, year after year. Merriam-Webster 
we are in relation to that definition of success. defines discipline as a “rule or system of rules 
Discipline is the element needed to create and governing conduct or activity.” Successful people 
maintain momentum toward achieving success. don’t enjoy hard work any more than the “average 

Joe.” The difference? They adopt a system of 
Achieving success is within the reach of every rules and behavior and a willingness to stick to 
one of us with a simple three-step process. it until they hit their mark, accepting the reality 
First and foremost, it is important to make a that work is involved. 
decision about what I want (set goals); Set a date 
(accountability) and commit to what I’m willing If you’re ready to make real progress toward your 
to do to have it (discipline). Leadership guru, success, here’s a simple step process: 1) Decide 
American entrepreneur and motivational Jim what you want and write it down, along with a 
Rohn said, We must all suffer one of two things: date by which you plan to achieve each goal, 2) 
The pain of discipline or the pain of regret or Based on what you know now, record at least three 
disappointment.” The latter plays out in a person’s things for each item on your list that you need 
life as “If I Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda.” to do to accomplish it, and 3) Select at least one 

item from the list as a point of focus to establish a 
Millions of us seem content to drift through life pattern of discipline for the next 10 days. 
wishing things were different – where we live, 
what we drive, how much we weigh, and the list “The discipline of writing something down is the 
goes on. I can’t comment on the opportunities first step toward making it happen.” 
in other parts of the world, but in American, the - Lee Iacocca 


If you are still wondering if social media is for your business. Maybe it’s time 
for a review: 

1. Social media is THE place where your story can be heard. It’s a place people 
go to for news, friendship, expressing and connecting. 
2. Your customers and prospects are using social media. In fact, one out of 
every seven minutes spent on-line is spent on Facebook. Do you have a presence there? 
3. It can grow your audience in an affordable manner - i.e. build a list of people who are interested 
in your business and what you have to say. 
4. Branded, quality email marketing reaches a specific audience - yours! Are you sending out a 
monthly or weekly update or promotion to your audience? 
5. It’s in real time. You can join breaking news stories and be part of the discussion. 
6. It helps solicit engagement with those that matter to your business. 
7. It opens doors. It makes it easy to connect with people across the country and across the 
globe like never before. 
8. It can go viral and give you great exposure and brand awareness. 
9. It can awaken connections from the past and provide opportunities that appear from thin air. 
10. A picture can be worth a 1,000 views or more! 
About MJ: MJ and her brother David own HUTdogs, a creative services business that specializes in 
Internet Marketing strategies and Social Media. They offer social media management services and 
help their clients build a strong on-line presence. “Like” them on Facebook for trending news in social 
media, internet marketing and other helpful tips, 

Sign up for their upcoming classes and presentations at: 


By Gregory J. Welborn 

 It’s not a trick question, but the difference 
between answering “when I want to” vs “when 
I can afford to” is dependent on understanding 
what retirement will look like and what assets 
you’ll need to achieve that goal.

 Historically, a combination of social security and 
some other source of fixed income (the traditional 
pension or annuities) would be sufficient. Sadly, 
social security is almost bankrupt, and inflation 
has reduced the guarantee that was the pension 
or annuity. The old rules and guidelines just don’t 
apply, but too many Americans act as if they still pensions and annuities are all fine tools to use, but 

are valid.

they can’t be the exclusive strategy. Nor is having 
According to one study, less than 35%of an investment portfolio that is too heavily skewed 
middle class Americans have a written retirement toward bonds or stocks. You need to balance the 

plan - even on the back of a napkin. They just tools you use and balance your portfolio, whether 
don’t know what it’s going to take to retire at any that portfolio is in a 401K, an IRA, a Roth, or a 
age. People are saving blindly without a sense regular taxable account. Diversification works.
of how they’re doing or really where their path 

 Ask For Help But Get What You Pay For: It 

will lead. In another study, almost one third of 

really is OK to ask for help. None of us should 

people eligible to retire at the “normal” age of 

attach ego or pride to those areas where we’re 

65 indicated they would continue to work until 

not proficient. I’m not good at plumbing or car 

age 80 because they felt they lacked the means to 

repairs. I’ve learned to reach out, but I’m mindful 

retire earlier. 

of what I’m buying. If you need financial advice, 

When it comes to retirement, putting your make sure it’s objective, ask for references, and 
head in the sand is not an effective strategy. Here, ask for a full disclosure of ALL fees that would 
then, are some simply steps to charged.

 Write Out A Plan: It really could be on the These are just a few simple concepts, but they 
back of a napkin; there is no magic to how many really can help. The earlier you start, the more 
pages you need. Putting down on paper where successful you’ll be, but I’ve never run into 
you are now, where you want to go and what you someone who can’t retire at some point. You’ll 

think will get you there are the most important get there, you just need to know the way. 

About the author: Gregory J. Welborn is the 

Don’t Forget Taxes: The logical place to start Managing Partner of First Financial Consulting, 
is to consider what you’re spending now to live a fee-only advisory firm. He has worked with 
the life you want. You have to remember that in The Today Show, Kiplinger’s Magazine, and 
retirement, taxes will be part of these expenses. USA Today to provide objective financial advice 
During your working years, taxes are taken out of to their readers and listeners. He has 3 grown 

the paycheck before you get it. Too many people children and is honored to be married to his wife 
forget that. What you’ll need in retirement is of 25 years. He can be reached at gwelborn@ 
your living expenses plus taxes. 

 Maintain A Balanced Portfolio: Social security, 

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