March 2017 Newsletter

Laura K. Meier
Creating estate, business, and life plans that ensure a family’s complete protection and well-being.
 Did Someone Close To You Recently Pass Away?
Losing someone close to you can be devastating. It's even more challenging when you aren't sure how to handle everything, or what needs to be done. We can help when a loved one passes away, even if we did not set up the original estate plan, or if there is no estate plan at all.  If you lose a parent, spouse, or someone close to you, call us as soon as possible at (949) 718-0420 for important information. We can provide you much needed legal and emotional support following your loss.
Upcoming Workshops

Kids Guardian Workshop 

The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders

March 7, 2017  | 6pm-8pm 

2500 Red Hill Avenue, Suite 100, Santa Ana, CA 92705

Open to public


10 Legal Protections For Children With Special Needs
The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders

March 9, 2017  | 6pm-8pm 

2500 Red Hill Avenue, Suite 100, Santa Ana, CA 92705​

Open to public

Kids Guardian Workshop
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

March 23, 2017 | 6pm-8pm

4800 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine CA

Private Event


Kids Guardian Workshop 

Northwestern Mutual

March 30, 2017 | 6pm-7:30pm

1500 Quail St., Newport Beach CA

Private Event


For registration, please visit or call Bonnie at (949)718-0420 for assistance.

Taking the first step can see like the hardest, but it's so important to protect yourself, your family, and your assets!
Call our friendly Client Services Director Bonnie at (949) 718-0420 to learn how easy we make the estate planning process.  
Our clients tell us how surprised they were to discover they actually enjoyed setting up their plan!  You can read about their experiences by clicking here.
Most clients begin by attending a 90 minute planning session to determine what type of planning you need.  Call Bonnie to schedule or click here to schedule a planning session online.
Thanks to Facetime and Skype, attending a planning session is more convenient than ever.  We are happy to meet with you in our Newport Beach office or virtually.
Joshua and Laura Meier are top California family trust attorneys and the parents of four young children. Their Newport Beach estate planning law firm is dedicated to guiding families.
Laura is the author of the #1 best-seller, Good Parents Worry, Great Parents Plan. Josh and Laura conduct estate planning workshops throughout Southern California and have been featured on NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, WORTH, OC Metro, ParentingOC, and more.
Click here to read more about Josh and Laura.
Thank you for Your Fabulous Online Reviews!
We want to sincerely thank you for your online reviews!

"I have recommended Laura and Josh to many of my friends and physician colleagues for estate planning. They are professional yet approachable. My husband and I appreciated the practical advice and personal attention they gave to our family. Estate planning is daunting so finding a firm that is willing to provide personalized service is a must. Michelle S., 5 Star Yelp Review

Personal Note From Josh and Laura
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Dear Bonnie,
It's starting to feel a little like Spring.  It's funny how quickly we go from skis to paddleboards!  Here's a picture of our recent trip over "ski week" to Brian Head, Utah, one of my absolute favorite places to be. My parents brought me there many times growing up, and it's surreal to be taking my own kids there now. It seemed for many years we couldn't take any family trips because it was just too crazy with the four kids, but for some reason the Brian Head trip is this magical experience where everyone seems to be very happy and content. You can check out the picture on the Meier Law Firm instagram page
You are going to love this week's quick-step!  I'd always heard how important it is to write down our goals, but never knew what a drastic difference it makes in how things play out. I think of all the time and energy we spend trying to develop our kids, but don't always emphasize the power of making and writing down goals. I hope you enjoy the advice as much as I did. 
Many people have been contacting us lately when a loved one passes away.  Just so you know, we can definitely help, even if we did not prepare the original estate plan, or there was no plan in place at all. If you have questions about that, please give us a call at (949) 718-0420. Hope that helps.
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Weekly Quick-Step For the Prosperous Family


Quick-Step:  The #1 Practice To Help Your Kids Reach Their Full Potential.


What It Is: Teaching our children how to make and write down goals.


Why we need this: Most of us parents go to great lengths to give our kids the best education, loving support, and every opportunity possible to succeed in life. But how many of us are teaching them even at an early years the critical importance of writing down their goals?


In his book, What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School, Mark McCormack shares how Harvard researchers conducted a study where they asked Harvard’s graduate students in the MBA program if they had set clear, written goals for their futures, as well as if they have made specific plans to transform their hopes into realities.


Researchers discovered that only 3 percent of the students had written out their goals, with plans for achieving them; 13 percent had goals in their head but had not taken the time to write their goals down; and surprisingly 84% did not have any future goals at all. 


Ten years later, researchers interviewed these same students.  And guess what? The 3 percent of students who had actually written down their goals were making 10 TIMES as much as the other 97% of students.


Lesson learned.  We, and our children, need to be regularly making and writing down our our goals to reach our full potential.


Estimated time: Monthly


How to do it:  Middle School Teacher and Writer Amy Lauren Smith shares 5 simple steps she has her students take to achieve their goals:


1. Set a SMART goal.


Many different versions of the acronym SMART have been used in relation to goal setting, but the following is what I have found to work best with middle school students. For a goal to be effective, it must be: Specific, Measurable, Adjustable, Realistic, and Timely.

To explain this concept, I present the kids with a vague goal of mine, such as, “I want to make more friends at work.” By examining the goal through the lens of the SMART descriptors, the kids were able to change it to, “I will eat lunch in the cafeteria with the other teachers at least four days a week.” This new goal hits all of the key points, and is much healthier than eating at my desk.


2. Find someone who can help.


Goals are difficult to accomplish without support, so finding help is an important part of the process. Keep in mind that help can come in many different forms: a parent, coach, teacher, friend, or even a helpful group of seventh graders who check the cafeteria every day to make sure that you’re sticking to your plan.


3. Set goals that are based on action, not circumstance.


For example, “I will not get angry at my little brother” isn’t really a measurable goal, and it likely depends on your brother doing something to provoke an emotional reaction. If you want to get along better with your brother, put a positive spin on it, and change the goal to, “I will play with my little brother for 30 minutes after school everyday.”


4. Write it down.


This one’s backed by science. Recent studies have found that when student write out their goals (and thus, become more likely to achieve them), they’re helping to erase gender and ethnic minority gaps in education. As my mother used to say, “You’ve got to see it to achieve it!” I’m sure I found that highly annoying as a teenager, but now that I'm all grown up, I totally get it. Thanks, mom!


5. Model good goal-setting behavior.


It’s fun for the kids to see me sitting down at the cafeteria socializing with my coworkers. They’ve witnessed how a goal can become a habit, and they feel like they’ve helped me make new friends. Share your goals with your students, whether they're physical, like trying to master a yoga handstand, social, like cutting down on screen time in your family, or professional, like working on an advanced degree. The kids will see that goal setting is a skill they’ll need for life, plus they can help you celebrate your success.


Click here for full article


Featured Article

10 Things Parents of Children With Disabilities Need To Know When They Enter The School System

Authored By Melissa (Meira) Amster, Special Education attorney and mother to five children, including a daughter with Down syndrome.

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  1. The district must provide your child with a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) FAPE means that all special education and related services must be free, meet the child’s unique needs, are at an appropriate setting, and provided in connection with the Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
  2. The district must educate your child in the most Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) that is possible.
  3. The district must assess your child in all areas of disability.
  4. The district must provide an assessment plan within 15 days of parents’ request for an assessment. District must conduct assessment and hold an IEP meeting within 60 days of receiving the signed assessment plan.
  5. The parents should request a copy of the assessments to be provided to them 5 days before the IEP. Parents should notify the school if they plan to bring an advocate or attorney to the IEP or if they need an interpreter or other accommodation within a reasonable amount of time prior to the IEP. Parents should the notify school 24 hours prior to the IEP if they wish to record the IEP.
  6. Eligibility does not drive services, needs and goals drive services.
  7. IEPs should happen at least once a year, within 30 days of parent’s request, after an assessment, or when a student is not making progress.
  8. Parents have a right to an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE), if the parents disagree with the district’s evaluation.
  9. The district only has two responses to a parents’ IEE request: either fund the IEE in a reasonable amount of time or file due process against the parents.
  10. If parents have a disagreement with the district, their main recourse is an administrative hearing called Due Process. If the student is successful, then the district pays the attorney’s fees. The vast majority (about 90%) are settled with a settlement agreement in which the district pays the student’s attorney’s fees. 

Full article on Meier Law Firm blog.  Click here.


Melissa Amster, Esq.
Melissa (Meira) Amster is special education attorney and mother to five children, including a daughter with Down syndrome. After daughter was born, she realized how difficult it is to advocate for a child with a disability. Amster Law Firm seeks to help parents through all aspects of special education process and the regional center system. Learn more at


Thank You

A big shout out to all of you who have left us such wonderful YELP reviews!  We are so happy that you are all happy!


Thank you to the Regency Senior Living Facility and Orange Coast College for hosting our basic estate planning workshop.  


Thank you to Jason de Bretteville,Esq., Rebecca Geller, Esq., Thomas J. Cymer, CFP, Kassi and Steve Wilson, Chris Whalen, and Yousef J Abuhakmeh for your referrals