Soto Law Group - May 2020

Soto’s Chronicles

May 2020

DeDe Soto

Protecting your most valuable asset — your family


DeDe Soto

When ShouldYou Update An Estate Plan?

Creating an estate plan is a big step toward making sure your family members are taken care of after you pass away. Though difficult, you do need to take the step to build your estate plan. Failing to do so can leave your loved ones without the legal means to obtain what you wanted them to have. You can’t just make these plans and then forget about them. Instead, you will have to review them periodically to ensure they still reflect your current wishes. It’s a good idea to do this on a set schedule, such as every year or two. However, you might also need to initiate modifications if you go through certain changes in your life.


contact person in case of an emergency. We like to prepare three documents in this category: advance health care directive, health care power of attorney, and the HIPAA Release (the privacy document). You must also clearly state who will be in charge of handling your affairs in the event of your death or incapacity. Even if you have done this already, I urge you to take out any existing documents now and review them. Have your circumstances changed? Do you have additions to make? If you are unsure whether your health care directive is in shipshape, then call us to take an expert look at them. CREATE A ‘PERSONAL RESOURCE MAP’: AN INVENTORY OF EVERYTHING THAT MATTERS You might think that only the very rich need to worry about making specific plans for their assets. But not so fast. Do you have investments or a retirement account?

As you already know, the COVID-19 pandemic means nothing is business as usual. It may feel too pessimistic to plan for the worst in the midst of a scary situation. However, that’s exactly why it’s the most important time to do so. Plus, since hopefully you are staying inside, you may actually have the time to dedicate to getting these tasks taken care of. Here are actions you can — and should — take to ensure you and your family are protected both legally and financially.

Asking yourself these questions might help you to determine whether it’s time to review the plan.

Have you gotten married or divorced?

Do you have a new baby or a new adult child?

Have you acquired or gotten rid of assets?

With each of our estate plans, we include a no- charge 3-year review to ensure that as our clients’ lives change, so does their estate plan. We also have annual membership programs for clients that desire evenmore service. Whether you participate in one of our membership programs or not, we keep all of our clients updated about changes in the law and issues that might affect their lives.


Above all, you first need to ensure that both you, your spouse or significant other, children over 18, and parents have advance care directives. This will be an invaluable reference point for those who are assisting you, whether they be friends, family, or medical professionals. This directive should include instructions on your preferred methods of care and the

To start protecting your family today, contact us!

Many Blessings,

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Do you own your home? What about physical items, like jewelry, musical instruments, or furniture? What about cryptocurrency or even social media accounts? In the event of your incapacity or death, your family members won’t know where to look for what you have, or how to access it, unless you’ve planned for that ahead of time. Somewhere between 49–80 billion dollars are currently unclaimed, or unable to be claimed, by family members of people who have passed away. This is money that individuals may have forgotten they had or that they made no provisions to pass on to their family after they died. That’s why it’s extra important that you create a “personal resource map” to tell your loved ones where everything is and how they should move forward according to your wishes.


as a worst-case precaution. You can get approved for credit even if you have a decent amount of savings — just as a backup. If you need reassurance, or if you need some help encouraging your parents to get approved for a higher credit line, then you can contact us to walk you through your options. Remember that it’s never an inappropriate time to plan for the future. It’s also always a good time to ask for legal and financial help. #WereAllInThisTogether and we’re here to support you virtually now. We can take care of you and your family fully online. Call us! We’re here.

Financial experts often recommend a rainy-day savings account, and it seems that the rainy day has come. Whether or not you have a sizable savings, you should also maximize your access to credit. Getting approved for a higher credit line is good to do sooner rather than later. If you find yourself in a position where you need money quickly (to afford a medical expense, for instance), then you don’t want to be scrambling to pay the bill.

Some people might balk at the idea of applying for more personal credit, particularly people who are afraid of debt. Think of it, however,

HAS BREAKFAST IN BED GONE OUT OF STYLE? What Moms Really Want on Mother’s Day

In a recent study conducted by Zagat, a well-known dining survey site, researchers found that only 4% of moms polled want breakfast in bed. Yes, you read that right. When you factor in the mess of syrup, crumbs, and coffee spilling over clean sheets, it’s understandable. Today’s mothers usually don’t have servants to clean up afterward. The study also revealed what most moms prefer to do for breakfast on Mother’s Day: 53% of mothers like to go out, and 39% prefer brunch instead of breakfast. While breakfast in bed seems like a nice gesture, statistics show that it’s probably the last thing your mom wants to wake up to on May 10. This Mother’s Day, show your appreciation for your mom or the mother of your children by asking her what she would like to do. She deserves the holiday morning she desires, whether that includes a full breakfast in bed or a trip to her favorite brunch joint.

of breakfast in bed became widespread during the Victorian era, but only for married, wealthy women who had servants. Those women would enjoy their first meal of the day in bed, and then their servants would handle all the spilled scone crumbs and messy breakfast residue. In 1914, President WoodrowWilson dubbed Mother’s Day a national U.S. holiday, and a few years later, the aristocratic English tradition of breakfast in bed sailed across the pond to America. By the 1930s, food and bedding companies capitalized on the tradition and the new holiday by running ads in magazines and newspapers encouraging children and fathers to serve their matriarchs breakfast in bed. Since then, serving mothers breakfast in bed has become a popular Mother’s Day ritual around the world, and it remains so today. However, there is one group whose voice has been left out of the breakfast in bed conversation: mothers.

Serving breakfast in bed to moms, especially on Mother’s Day, has been a widespread tradition for years, but have you ever wondered if it’s what your mom really wants? Here’s a look at the Mother’s Day breakfast in bed tradition and some recent insight into the popular trend.

According to Heather Arndt Anderson, author of “Breakfast: A History,” the popularity

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association fee, to live in a 55-plus community. Some communities include all maintenance and amenities in the monthly rent or mortgage (some even cover utility bills), but make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered before you sign a contract! PRO: AMENITIES ARE INCLUDED. Most 55-plus communities include amenities like exercise classes and educational programs for their residents. They also invite community organizations and leaders to speak about local issues or upcoming elections. Some even have a clubhouse or dining hall for social gatherings. Save money by taking advantage of these programs instead of paying for a gym membership or a course at the local community college. CON: IT’S A LIMITED BUYER’S AND RENTER’S MARKET. Most people who buy in a 55-plus community plan to retire there. If

Depending on your wants and needs, buying a home in a 55-plus community might be a financially savvy way to set yourself up for retirement. But is it the right decision for you? Here are a few financial pros and cons associated with moving into one of these neighborhoods. PRO: THE HOMES ARE IN EXCELLENT CONDITION. Oftentimes, 55-plus communities provide maintenance services, including housekeeping and landscaping. Also, it’s likely that only a handful of people have occupied the home since it was built, so buying in a 55-plus community means you’ll get a property in excellent condition with less wear and tear. CON: YOU’LL HAVE TO PAY A MONTHLY FEE. Unfortunately, all the great stuff doesn’t come free. Usually, you’ll have to pay an extra monthly bill, similar to a homeowners

this is your original intention but your plans change down the road, you might have a harder time selling your home here than you would in a community that is open to people of all ages. Make sure to budget for those potential holding costs and plan accordingly. Regardless of where you decide to buy, be sure to consult an experienced real estate agent and a financial planner. Here’s to living out your golden years in comfort and convenience!

Take a Break!

Rhubarb Cake

Inspired by


2 eggs, beaten

2 1/4 cups white sugar, divided

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp baking soda

3 cups rhubarb stalks, diced

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

Directions 1.


In a small bowl, combine 1 cup sugar and butter until smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup flour until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture on top of cake batter and bake for 45 minutes. Let cake cool for 5–10 minutes and serve.

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in eggs and sour cream until smooth. Fold in rhubarb and add mixture to the prepared baking dish.










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The Soto Law Group 1101 Dove Street Suite 200 Newport Beach, CA 92660



INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of DeDe Soto PAGE 1 The Most Important Legal and Financial Actions to Take Right Now PAGE 1 Has Breakfast in Bed Gone Out of Style? PAGE 2 Is a 55-Plus Community Right for You? PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Rhubarb Cake PAGE 3 A $60,000 Robbery With No Jail Time PAGE 4

The $60,000 Heist You’ve Never Heard Of CRIMELESS THEFT IN CYBERSPACE

Because of the risk-reward nature of the game, many players unite in huge factions for safety and to pool their resources. One of these groups, Circle of Two or CO2, was the target of the 2017 attack. Within a matter of hours, CO2’s bank accounts were drained and the space stations holding their fleets of ships were sold to their enemies. It was clear from the beginning: This was an inside job. The thief was CO2’s own head diplomat, a player called“The Judge.”For years he’d worked his way through the alliance’s ranks, only to use the access he eventually gained to rob it blind. But greedmay not have been his only motivation. He’d had public disagreements with CO2’s leader called Gigx, and a rival faction was able to capitalize on this internal conflict. During an in-person EVE Online summit held in Iceland, representatives fromThe GoonSwarm Federation convincedThe Judge to leave CO2 and commit the single largest robbery in gaming history on his way out.

In 2017, sometime between Sept. 11 and 12, a total of $60,000 worth of digital assets were stolen from people around the world. The conspirators didn’t hide their identities, and they faced no criminal charges. As it turns out, there are no laws against stealing spaceships in a video game — even if they’re worth thousands of real-world dollars. EVE Online is a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) that was launched in 2003, and it was on this game that the theft occurred. This science-fiction game is all about spacefaring, but one notable feature of the game is that it allows players to purchase in-game assets with real money. This attracts players who can spend large sums on the game, with some of the game’s largest spaceships costing $9,000. But one thing to note in EVE Online is that no matter how much you pay, once you lose an asset, it’s gone forever.

In the real world, The Judge’s actions were completely legal — currently, international law doesn’t treat such virtual objects as personal property. But this perception may be changing. As in-game purchases become more widespread in video games, legal lines have blurred, causing an increasing number of lawmakers to rethink what constitutes “ownership” in the digital age. But, for now at least, it seems like a good time to be a space pirate.

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