Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 23, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 8


Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 23, 2019 




Maria Katrien Heslin, Humane Society

Friday, the Honorable Christina A. Snyder of the Central District of California rejected 
a request by the North American Meat Institute to issue a preliminary injunction against 
Proposition 12. On Election Day 2018, California voters overwhelmingly approved Prop 
12, banning the inhumane confinement of egg-laying hens, mother pigs and baby veal 
calves in cages so small they can barely move.

“This frivolous lawsuit is yet another desperate attempt by corporations that profit off animal 
abuse to maintain the status quo and block the will of California voters,” says Jon Lovvorn, 
Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel of the Humane Society of the United States. 
“The pork industry is notorious for its cruelty to animals, including forcing mother pigs to 
languish in cages where they can’t turn around for years on end.”

 Courts have consistently ruled in favor of California’s existing animal welfare standards 
for eggs produced and sold in the state, as evidenced by three unsuccessful challenges to 
Proposition 2, predecessor to Prop 12. Further, states with sales restrictions that apply 
evenhandedly to in-state and out-of-state goods (such as Prop 12) have withstood legal 
challenges throughout the country. California may prevent animal cruelty by phasing out 
the sale of substandard, cruel products. Based on well-established precedent, HSUS is confident 
this current challenge will suffer the same fate as the attempts that came before it.


Last week, 
I shared the 
first part of 
this series on 
the dangers 
of do-it-
yourself estate 
Here, we’ll 
look at how 
online legal documents can also put your minor 
children at risk. 

Given how far web-based technology has 
evolved, you might think online legal 
document services have advanced to the 
point where they’re a viable alternative to 
having your estate plan prepared by a lawyer.
After all, you’ve been able to prepare and file 
your taxes online for years, so what makes estate 
planning different? Aren’t lawyers using the very 
same forms you find on these document websites? 
This kind of reasoning is exactly what do-it-
yourself (DIY) planning services would like 
you to believe—but it’s far from true. Indeed, 
relying on generic, fill-in-blank planning 
documents can be one of the costliest planning 
mistakes you can make for your loved ones. 
Online planning documents may appear to save 
you time and money, but keep in mind, just 
because you created “legal” documents doesn’t 
mean they will actually work when you (or most 
importantly, the people you love) need them. 
Without a thorough understanding of how the 
legal process works and impacts family dynamics 
upon your death or incapacity, you’ll likely make 
serious mistakes when creating a DIY plan. 
Even worse, these mistakes won’t be discovered 
until it’s too late—and the loved ones you were 
trying to protect will be the very ones forced 
to clean up your mess or get stuck with a huge 

Putting your children at risk
Knowing that your DIY plan could fail and force 
your family into court and conflict is distressing 
enough. But imagine how you’d feel if you 
knew that your attempt to save money on your 
estate plan caused your children to be taken 
into the care of strangers, even temporarily.
Yet this is exactly what could happen if you rely 
on a generic will and/or other legal documents 
you find online to name legal guardians for your 
kids. In fact, this could happen even if you create 
a plan with a lawyer who isn’t trained to plan for 
the unique needs of parents with minor children. 
Naming and legally documenting guardians 
for your kids might seem like a straightforward 
process, but it entails a number of complexities 
most people aren’t aware of. Even lawyers with 
decades of experience typically make at least one 
of six mistakes when naming long-term legal 

What’s so complicated about naming guardians?
Some DIY wills allow you to name legal 
guardians for your kids in the event of your 
death, and that’s a good start. But does it 
allow you to name back-up candidates in 
case your first choice is unable to serve? 
If you named a married couple to serve and 
one of them is unavailable due to injury, death, 
or divorce, what happens then? Would it still be 
okay if only one of them can serve as your child’s 
guardian? And does it matter which one it is?
What would happen if you become incapacitated 
by illness or injury and are unable to care for your 
kids? You might assume the guardians named in 
your DIY will would automatically get custody, 
but did you know that a will only goes into effect 
upon your death and does nothing to protect 
your kids in the event of your incapacity?

Do the guardians you named live far from your 
home? If so, how long would it take them to make 
it to your house to pick up your kids: a few hours, 
a few days, a few weeks? Who would care for your 
kids until those guardians arrive? Did you know 
that without legally binding arrangements for the 
immediate care of your children, they are likely 
to be placed with child protective services until 
those guardians arrive?

Even if you name family who live nearby as 
guardians, what happens if they are out of town 
or otherwise can’t get to your kids right away? 
And assuming the guardians you named 
can immediately get to your home to pick 
up your kids, do they even know where 
your will is located? How will they prove 
they’re your children’s legal guardians if 
they can’t find your planning documents?
These are just a few of the potential complications 
that could arise if you try to create your own 
plan naming legal guardians for your kids. 
And if just one of these contingencies were 
to occur, your children would more than 
likely be placed into the care of strangers, 
even if it’s only for a short period of time.
The Child Protection Plan™

Seeing all of the things that could go wrong, you 
should never trust the safety and care of your 
children to a DIY plan—or for that matter, a plan 
created by a lawyer unfamiliar with the unique 
needs of planning for parents of minor children. 
To ensure your children are never raised by 
someone you don’t trust or taken into the custody 
of strangers, even temporarily, consider creating a 
Child Protection Plan™ - a comprehensive system 
designed specifically to address the inherent gaps 
in the way most estate plans document legal 

Consider what’s at stake

The DIY approach might be a good idea if you’re 
looking to build a new deck for your backyard, 
but when it comes to estate planning, it’s one 
of the worst choices you can make. Are you 
really willing to put your family’s well-being 
and wealth at risk just to save a few bucks? 
If you’ve yet to do any planning, stop putting it 
off and get started today – especially if you have 
minor children. 

If you’ve already created a plan—whether it’s a 
DIY job or one created with another lawyer’s 
help—contact us if you’d like to schedule an Estate 
Plan Review and Check-Up. We’ll ensure your 
plan is not only properly drafted and updated, but 
that it has all the protections in place to prevent 
your children from ever being placed in the care 
of strangers or anyone you’d never want to raise 

Dedicated to empowering your family, building 
your wealth and defining your legacy,

A local attorney 
and father, Marc 
Garlett is on a 
mission to help 
parents protect 
what they love

most. His office is 
located at 55 Auburn Avenue, Sierra Madre, CA 
91024. Schedule an

appointment to sit down and talk about ensuring 
a legacy of love and financial security for your

family by calling 626.355.4000 or visit www. for more information.



Image courtesy of JPL

 The United States House Natural Resources Committee voted 20-13 Tuesday in favor of 
H.R. 2215, the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act. Introduced by 
Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), H.R. 2215 would expand the borders of the San Gabriel Mountains 
National Monument to include the western Angeles National Forest. It would also establishes 
a National Recreation Area to enhance conservation, increase access for all communities by 
connecting park poor areas to open space, and improve the management of the area through 
improved resources, education, and public engagement. The 15,878 acres of expanded 
wilderness and 15,191 acres of new wilderness areas will benefit from the highest form of 
protection of any federal wildland. These areas of untouched nature will remain open to 
hiking, camping, and other recreation activities encouraged in the San Gabriel Mountains 
National Monument, but commercial activities and motorized vehicles will be prohibited in 
order to prevent over-development, pollution, and habitat destruction. Private property and 
other existing rights and claims will be unchanged. In the Senate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-
CA) introduced a companion bill. 

 “I am so grateful to the House Natural Resources Committee for today’s markup to advance 
this legislation, which is so important to my district and the entire Los Angeles area,” said 
Rep. Chu. “The San Gabriel Mountains provide some of the only outdoor spaces for millions 
of Angelenos. They’re especially important for communities of color and lower-income 
communities who have the least access to green spaces. That is why I have been working for 
years to expand wilderness protections and improve access so that these areas can be safely 
enjoyed by millions for generations to come. And with today’s vote, we are closer than ever.”

 “Millions of people travel near and far to enjoy the pristine beauty of the San Gabriel 
Mountains, a treasured natural gem. The designation of a National Monument was meant to 
preserve and enhance the natural, historic, and scenic resources of the San Gabriel Mountains 
and the valley,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “When I was in Congress, 
I led the effort to seek federal protection for the San Gabriel Mountains, and I am grateful 
to Congresswoman Judy Chu for her leadership in achieving National Monument status 
for the area. We must continue to enhance conservation, increase access for all visitors to 
this unique space, and improve management through additional resources, education, and 
community engagement."

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