Thanksgiving Edition 2019

Laura K. Meier
Creating estate, business, and life plans that ensure a family’s complete protection and well-being.

Thanksgiving Edition 2019


Thanksgiving 2019 edition includes:

  • Park City and the Thanksgiving Spirit
  • Let's connect on Instagram at #meetthemeiers
  • 40 Fun Thanksgiving Activities and Grandma Ople's Apple Pie
  • Five Important Questions to Ask Beyond the Thanksgiving Planning

Park City and The Thanksgiving Spirit

Dear Jonathan,

Thanksgiving is almost here and I am hoping this newsletter will help better prepare you! Josh and I are hosting both sides of our families this year (50 people) so I'm definitely excited but also worried how we will all fit. Keep checking the weather forecast because it has been showing a chance of rain!

I love Thanksgiving for so many reasons but mainly because Josh handles everything! He's the one who is super into cooking, hosting, and decorating. Thanksgiving is like the Superbowl of entertaining for him. My job is to stay out of the way, and not micromanage him when I think a recipe isn't healthy enough.

I had a fun pre-Thanksgiving trip up to Park City with my sisters to celebrate my sister, Kelly's birthday (on right). I had to include the movie clip from Daddy's Home 2 about the thermostat because our dad was like that growing up, and also because my sisters and I had a thermostat nightmare at our lodge last weekend when our heater wouldn't shut off in the middle of the night! When my sisters insisted we open the door to the deck to let in the cold air, I reminded them we were next to a mountain full of wildlife. They overruled me and told me they'd take their chances with a bear over baking to death. Now as I write this of course I am thinking, couldn't we have just called the front desk?

With the holiday season now upon us, Josh and I are wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving, but more importantly, a sense of peace in your heart that you will feel blessed, loved, and not forgotten. If there is anything we can do to support you in anyway, we hope you know you can count on us. Thank you for all the continued support you give our family and firm. May God bless and keep you always.

With appreciation,


Josh and Laura


Let's Connect on Instagram. We are at #meetthemeiers!

Have we connected yet on Instagram? You can find us at #meetthemeiers. We would love to follow you back and keep up with you and your loved ones.

We are also on Facebook at Meier Law Firm. Or you can friend Josh Meier or Laura Meier directly.


40 Fun Thanksgiving Activities and Grandma Ople's Apple Pie Recipe

Thanksgiving is way more than just the turkey!

Here are 40 fun and kid friendly activity ideas that everyone can enjoy. I'm personally looking forward to trying #18. Click here to read 40 ideas now.

Apple Pie by Grandma Ople (All Recipes; Top-Rated with 11K reviews).

My favorite Apple Pie recipe is Apple Pie by Grandma Ople! Click here for the recipe.

I made this pie last Thanksgiving, and while it was my first attempt at making a lattice pie crust as you can see in the photo, it turned out amazing! Also, I highly recommend you make your own pie crust over store bought. If you need a good one, just click here to email me and I will forward you the amazing one I use for any pie I make. Using the lattice technique is optional.

Here is what is extra special about this recipe—the top-rated review was from Grandma Ople's granddaughter. It's funny how something so simple as a recipe can create a legacy the whole family will forever cherish!

"My words from 2008 still hold true today. My little grandmother (and I do mean little - not more than 4' 11") would wonder what all the fuss is about - this is her recipe. Thanks to all who have commented on this little guardian angel's recipe developed years ago in her kitchen as a treat for my dad who took care of her yard and garden after my grandfather died. I am still in awe of the number of you that have tried my Grandma Ople's recipe for apple pie and love it so much. Now that she has been gone almost 15 years there seems to be less and less of her to hold on to and to pass along to her great grandchildren (and great-great grandchildren) who will never know her. Some might say that having originated a delicious apple pie recipe is not much of a legacy, but when I read the reviews and notes of those who have tried her recipe, and the settings and family gatherings at which they have shared her pie, I can truly say that God has worked through my Grandmother to help bring families joy and love. Thank you all for your comments about my Grandmother's favorite recipe. —Rebecca Clyma, Proud Grand-daughter of Grandma Ople

Laura's family

5 Important Questions to Ask Beyond the Thanksgiving Planning

By Laura K. Meier, Esq.

Thanksgiving is next week and I’m already asking myself, how are all these people going to fit in our house? Was the Pilgrim/Native American story we heard growing up still true, or is it fake news? Is it bad that I’m already feeling disappointed with myself for eating all that food? And, why are my kids already handing me their Christmas lists?

While my husband and I are about to get knee deep in coordinating plans with our extended families (yes, both sides of them), we’re reminded how challenging it can be to navigate something so simple as planning for one single holiday. This is why as estate planning attorneys, we tell people, if you think coordinating a holiday is tough, imagine sorting out someone’s entire life if something happens to them and there are no plans in place. You’re really going to spend a lot of time with your extended family then!

The same questions you are asking about the Thanksgiving plan, are the same questions you should be asking about your family estate plan. It’s one thing when a turkey doesn’t turn out, but a whole other ball game when you’re dealing with a family crisis that can last years because someone didn’t formalize their wishes.

Here are five important questions to ask, beyond the Thanksgiving planning:

1. Who is Hosting?

Every Thanksgiving plan begins with determining who will be hosting. Imagine if Thanksgiving Day came and no one decided that. How would you know where to go? Would you feel confused or stress? Would you secretly feel happy that you might get to stay home in your sweats?

This also happens when you fail to set up your family estate plan—your family is left scrambling because no one was designated to “host” or oversee everything. Even if someone wants to step up and take charge, they can’t talk to banks or doctors or access money without proper authorization. And it can take months to get in front of a judge to be legally appointed to help.

Make sure you know who’s hosting Thanksgiving, but more importantly, who will be “hosting” when a life changing event happens. From deciding who your trustee will be to handle the money, or who the health care agent will be to handle medical decisions, it’s important to nominate these people in advance so everything will go smoothly.

2. Who Will Be There?

Everyone usually asks who will be coming to the Thanksgiving party. Is it just family, or are you including any friends? Is there anyone you don’t want to include even though you’re related? Do boyfriends make the cut or do they have to put a ring on your finger first before they get to sit at the Thanksgiving table and be asked awkward questions.

These are the same questions you must ask when setting up an estate plan and deciding who will be included in your estate plan. If you pass away without specifying who will inherit from you, the only people coming to the “party” will be your legal next of kin—even the ones you don’t like. Or worse, there may be people you would have wanted to include—like a beloved step relative or life partner—who will get left out because the default laws don’t include them. Make sure you get the final say on who should be included when you’re passing down your assets and treasures.

3. What Will We Have?

We know with Thanksgiving that we can usually expect a major production with all the standard dishes. At my house, it’s an amazing turkey my husband makes in some contraption on the deck, the homemade rolls he makes from scratch that are like oversized dough bombs, and all the incredible side dishes our family members bring that take stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes, and corn to a whole new level. And let’s not forget that store-bought pumpkin pie my brother-in-law gets for free from his boss every year.

Just like your family wants to know what they will be having for the Thanksgiving meal, they also want to know what they will have if something happens to you. Who will get the family home, who will get the bank accounts, who will get the retirement account, who will get the family business—so many important things to formalize beforehand that otherwise must be settled in court.

4. How Long Will the Party Last?

Usually this is what the in-laws ask, but we all want to know how long the Thanksgiving celebrations will last so we can plan accordingly. Do we need to take time off work to travel there? Are we doing anything beforehand? Will the dinner take a long time? Will we fall asleep in a food coma and not wake up until Monday?

Just like we ask how long the Thanksgiving party will last, we need to find out how long it will last for dealing with someone’s estate! If you set up a proper estate plan before you pass away, it usually is a fairly quick process to sort everything out. If you don’t set things up in advance, your loved ones will have to go through court, and that can last 18-24 months! Make sure you know in advance how long it will take to deal with everything and try to mitigate that time as best as possible.

5. How Much Will This Cost?

If you’re throwing the Thanksgiving Party, you’ll probably ask yourself at some point how much time, money, and energy this party is costing you. If nothing else, it will probably cross your mind when you’re deciding how much to spend on beverages or holding up the paper turkey decoration from CVS and wondering if it’s worth it.

The same is true for estate planning. You need to know the cost. Not just the financial cost, but also how much time and energy will be needed to deal with a family loss. Setting up a full comprehensive family estate plan usually costs between $4500-$6500 at most reputable Orange County law firms but going through probate in California can cost you tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, depending on the size and complexity of the estate. Know the cost beforehand so you can plan accordingly.

Now one last piece of advice. While these are very important questions to ask about your family estate plan, please do not actually ask them on Thanksgiving! Let your mom and dad eat in peace without someone bringing up their prospective deaths, or don’t bring up your own estate plan up with your spouse when you’re stuck in traffic on the way to his sister’s house. Instead, calendar a time to discuss your estate planning so you can relax and enjoy Thanksgiving knowing the important stuff will be addressed.

And you don’t have to navigate these issues yourself. Your Newport Beach family trust, elder law, and special needs estate planning attorneys at the Meier Law Firm are here to help you set up a family estate plan. No matter what stage in life you find yourself today, make sure you have an up to date will, trust, and estate plan in place to protect your loved ones and assets. Call Bonnie Johnson at 949-718-0420 to schedule a planning session to get started or visit to learn more.


Important Tips For the Whole Family!

We want your family to be the success story!

Listen in now to a new episode below of the If Life Were Perfect Podcast that will strengthen your career, finances, and family.

You can hear all the latest episodes from season 2 down below.


NOV 20, 2019

Don't Sabotage Your Holidays; 6 Tips For a Stress-Free Celebration

Josh and Laura share important tips you can use to make sure this holiday season is stress-free and full of cheer. Learn how to re-focus on what matters most and eliminate common problems that can steal your holiday joy.

Play on Apple Podcasts

Play on another podcast platform

20 min


NOV 13, 2019

Nailing the Job Interview: 10 Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd

From preparation beforehand, the initial meet and greet, the interview itself, and the follow up, we’ve got you covered from beginning to end so you can nail that job interview.

Play on Apple Podcasts

Play on another podcast platform

26 min


NOV 6, 2019

Healthy Competition: Your Competitor Is Not Your Enemy

Learn how a healthy view of competition can help you refocus your energy, reach new heights, and even turn your competitors into colleagues.

Play on Apple Podcasts

Play on another podcast platform

21 min


OCT 30, 2019

Day Dates: The Best Escape From the Daily Grind

Marriage can have its ups and downs. Learn how a standing day date is a free pass to reconnect, enjoy life and each other.

Play on Apple Podcasts

Play on another podcast platform

31 min


OCT 23, 2019

Blending Beliefs: Finding Unity Without Losing Your Core

Blending beliefs with someone you love can be a long, hard journey, but changing one’s perspective on those differences can lead to love and unity.

Play on Apple Podcasts

Play on another podcast platform

25 min


OCT 16, 2019

Home Buying Made Possible: There's a Home Out There For You

Home buying in cities like NYC, DC, San Francisco, and Los Angeles can seem about as possible as climbing Mount Everest. High prices, low inventory, and cash buyers leave many of us feeling shut out and driven out. But did you know that despite these very real obstacles, there’s still a home out there meant just for you?

Play on Apple Podcasts

Play on another podcast platform

25 min

*** Hear all the previous episodes from Season 1 of the If Life Were Perfect podcast on Apple Podcasts or at And please share our podcast with your friends and family, and also subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts.***


Do You Want Josh and Laura to Speak at Your Event in 2020?

Our speaking events have concluded for the 2019 year. Thank you for a great year and having us part of your group!

If you would like to invite Josh Meier, Laura Meier, Jessica Kiely, or Jonathan Johnson to speak in 2020 at your company, university, or group, please contact Bonnie Johnson at (949)718-0420 or email her at [email protected].


Thank You for Your Referrals and Hosting our Workshops!

ReferralsJane Tittle, Anita Rotenberg, Beth Goya, Robert Graham, Peter and Galia Szurley, Dave Wagner, and David Kuzmiak.

Workshops: Huntington Beach Senior Center, Cal State Fullerton, Hart Roussel, Age Well, City of Seal Beach, and St. Joseph Hospital Foundation.


THANK YOU For All of Your Online Reviews!!


Yelp Review Highlight: "Had a terrific experience working with Meier Law Firm. Josh and Bonnie were fantastic--knowledgeable, professional and responsive. They made the entire process easy to understand and painless. Would highly recommend working with them." —H.L.

Thank you H.L. and everyone for your gracious online reviews! We really feel so lucky to have such wonderful clients and friends.

We would greatly appreciate it if you could help other people like you find us by sharing your experience online:

Click here to leave a Yelp Review.

Click here to leave a Google Review.

If there is anything more we could have done to make your experience with us a 5 star experience, please click here to let me know. Your feedback is very important to us.


Bonnie is Here to Help!

Our awesome Client Services Director, Bonnie Johnson is always here to help you with whatever you need! From helping you schedule a meeting, to seeing you through the process, to answering all your questions, you are in great hands!

Give Bonnie a call at (949)718-0420 or you can click to schedule your initial planning session online.