October 27, 2017

Writing a Will: What You Need To Know

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Being young parents, this may seem like a "morbid" thing to do or some may think it's bad luck to write one as if you are dooming yourself to die young, but having a Will is extremely important for your children in case something terrible does happen. We definitely don't have any intentions of dying anytime soon.

A Will is an ever-changing document, which you are supposed to visit time and time again to make updates as you age. People's addresses change, relationships change, assets change, and the number of children you have may or may not change. We are fortunate enough to find an attorney who will do free updates as time goes on.

However, getting a Will written turned out to be a more difficult process than I had expected, and then it became really simple. The problem we ran into in the beginning was that no one we knew, knew much about Wills! Sure some had one written, but they just had an attorney to do it for them so they weren't able to help with what all the documents were. Others used an online site, which many attorneys don't recommend because they may not follow your state's laws, so they just followed the prompt given to them.

In the end, we finally found an attorney who charged a reasonable amount and he explained everything to us. After talking to him, the Will no longer seemed as complicated as the internet had made it out to be.

I highly recommend contacting multiple attorneys in your area to find out how much they charge for their Estate Planning services as many, sadly, overcharge in my opinion. We got quotes from attorney's that were in the $1,000 - $2,000 range and that is way overpriced for a Will. Now if you are doing Trusts along with a Will, that would definitely put in the $1,000 range, otherwise, it should be under $1,000.

Our community does offer a Will class, which will get you a basic Will written and notarized on spot for $50 per person, but it is missing some important documents like Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive, so we decided it was not for us as we wanted those documents.

To make your Will writing process easier, here are some things to consider before contacting an attorney:


1) Gather Your Assets


Find out how much your estate is worth. What is in your bank accounts? Do you have any CD's or bonds? Do you own real estate? Do you have life insurance? Any retirement plans? Do you own cars and what are they worth? Anything that is of any value should be added to your assets. 


2) Choose Your Child's Guardian(s)


This was our main reason for writing a Will. We wanted to make sure our daughter would go to the guardian of our choice should we both happen to pass away while she is young. You will need two people for this, basically a first and a second choice in case the first is unable to do so. I highly recommend you ask the person beforehand if they would be willing to be your child's guardian before having it written in the Will.

Side note: Godparents are not guaranteed to be guardians of your child. It is only recognized by the Church, so if you want to make sure the Godparents are the guardians of your child, then you will need to have a written Will.


3) Pick a Personal Representative


The Personal Representative will be the person in charge of making sure your Will is followed once you pass away. If married, the first choice is usually your spouse, and then you will have to pick a second person in case you both pass away at the same time.

Our Attorney recommended having the same backup for both if you are married or it becomes a little more complicated should you both get in a deadly accident at the same time. He mentioned it becomes a "race to the death," as it becomes a matter of who technically died first that will determine the way the Wills will work out. If you have the same person, not an issue, but there could be a conflict if not.


4) Pick a Trustee


This is the person who will manage your child's trust funds if they are still a minor. For many, this would likely be the same person you chose as your child's guardian. It just makes sense, in my opinion, that the person you chose to raise your child would also be the one helping them manage their money in case something should happen to you.


5) Choose An Age For Your Children To Recieve Their Inheritance


This was honestly not something we thought about at all until we met with our attorney. If there is no Will, the inheritance usually defaults to age 18, but our attorney recommended to wait till they are at least 25.

We both thought about it and ended up going with his recommendation of 25, with the idea that we could also change it later. I was pretty responsible in my early twenties and so was my husband, but we knew many who weren't and our daughter may or may not be responsible enough at a younger age so we will have to wait and see.


6) Choose Your Financial Power of Attorney


The Financial Power of Attorney is someone who will handle your finances if you are unable to do so. This will often be your spouse, but you will want a backup in case you both are in an accident.

Our attorney recommends picking someone you trust for this but do not tell them until the time is necessary as once they sign the document, it goes into effect. They can sign it when they need to know about it and take over handling your finances then.


7) Pick A Health Care Directive


This is the person who will make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so. You will want to pick someone who knows what your life and death decisions are and will follow your wishes, such as how you want to buried or if you wish to be an organ donor. This will most likely be your spouse but you will want a backup should you both be in the same accident.

Our attorney recommends sticking to family members as a backup and in this case for your spouse and you to have different people,


8) Don't Forget Pets!


Different states have different laws when it comes to pets. In my state, you couldn't leave a trust for your pets until 2016, when that rule changed. This is not recommended if you have children as it takes away from the money they could receive. Another option is to pick an organization like the humane society, but our issue with this is that often times older animals are put down.

We went the third option route which was to pick someone we trusted to leave our pets to in case we both should pass at the same time and leave them some money to care for them. The only downside to this is sometimes that person you pick may put your animals down just to keep the cash so you will want to make sure to choose someone you really trust.


***

These are just a few things to think about when it comes to writing your Will. Your attorney will, of course, walk you through the process, but knowing ahead of time the answer to these things, will make the writing process quicker.

Once your will is written, it will need to be notarized and you will need to have witnesses, usually, these are provided by your attorney. However, if you so choose to go the online route, which is not recommended, you will need to find witnesses and someone to notarize your Will, or it is not considered official.

Once that is done, you can live the rest of your life with peace of mind that your child and pets will be taken care of if something should happen to you. Hopefully, it will be a long life and we will be able to come back later to change our backups to be our daughter once she turns eighteen.


Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on Unsplash.

October 20, 2017

Lottie Doll Giveaway

Sponsored By: Lottie

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Winner will receive: 

Their choice of Lottie Doll - up to a $25 RV!

Many of Lottie's dolls, outfits, accessories, and play-sets have come straight from the amazing and awe-inspiring imaginations of children. That’s what makes their range of dolls so relate-able. Kids have helped to create a range of toys that they actually want to play with!

Open to Worldwide entries and must be 18+ to enter.
Giveaway Dates ~ 10/20 9:00 AM EST through 11/10 11:59PM EST

Good luck everyone! Remember you can follow my blog using the social media icons in the sidebar to be the first to know about new posts and giveaways!

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

October 12, 2017

QueBébé Bath Kneeler and Elbow Cushion Giveaway

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Any purchase you make using these links supports this site.

Sponsored By: QueBébé

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Co-Hosted By: Easter Babe's Theory

10 Winners will receive: 

QueBébé Bath Kneeler and Elbow Cushion ($44.95 RV)! A $449.50 TRV giveaway!



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Click here to read Love, Mrs. Mommy's full review!
Open to US entrants and must be 18+ to enter.
Giveaway Dates ~ 10/12 12:01 AM EST through 11/2 11:59PM EST

Good luck everyone!
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winners will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

October 6, 2017

DIY Harry Potter Themed Wedding

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Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Any purchase you make using these links supports this site.

Since today is our 5 year anniversary, I thought it would be perfect to flash back to our Harry Potter themed wedding! Yes, that's right, I was able to convince my husband into having a Harry Potter themed wedding. It was one the best days of our lives. The birth of our daughter, of course, trumps it now, but the wedding is definitely second on the list!

We were fortunate enough to have parents that were able to help pay for our wedding, but even so we had a budget to stick to and did a lot of the decorations ourselves! Here is a list of what we had done ourselves and if you scroll to the bottom, you will find more photos of our wedding!

1) Origami Bouquets


Flowers are on the most expensive items for a wedding, so we chose to skip real flowers and make our own origami ones! Luckily, my favorite flower is the lily, and origami lilies are super easy to make! 

All you need is some paper, floral wire, floral tape, and some ribbon. You make the origami lilies, which you can find a pattern for here, then attach them to the wire with the tape. You then wrap a bunch of stems together using the ribbon and your bouquet is complete! You can either tie the ribbon so you have a bow or you can use hot glue at the end. 

Below you can see my finished bouquet and the bridesmaid's bouquets. We used the main Hogwarts house colors primarily for our wedding (red, yellow, green blue) and then did the secondary colors as accents (gold, black, silver, and bronze). As you can see the bridesmaids each represented a different Hogwarts house (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw)!



2) Origami Corsages & Boutonnieres 


Like the bouquets above, I made origami lilies for these as well, but on a smaller scale. The boutonnieres were done the same way as the bouquets except smaller, each only had two flowers. The corsages were done a little differently.

For the corsages, I  made three lilies for each, cut off the pointed bottoms, and then hot glued them to ribbon. I used sticker gems to add a little bling. I made sure the ribbon was extra long so they would fit anyone's hand and brought scissors with on the day of our wedding so people could cut off the extra length if they didn't want a huge bow.


3) Kusudama Pew Deocrations


I made Kusudama balls and then glued them to ribbon so they would hang off the church pews. You can find a tutorial on how to make Kusudama balls here.

I had also made some extra to decorate the cake table.



4) Wands as Favors


You can find my tutorial for making wands over a Potter Mama! These were so much fun to make and a huge hit at the wedding! They made great photo props!

We had kept a few and so I even used them as a prop in some baby photos. However, I would be extremely careful when using the wands as a baby prop or use them during the newborn stage as baby won't be able to grab them and move much. I think I waited too late, so I had to make sure our daughter didn't put it in her mouth or poke her eye out when I did photos.



5) Owl Place-markers


I had managed to find Harry Potter themed 3D paper owl templates on line! I printed and made a ton of these. I then typed up everyone's names, printed them out on paper, cut them out, and glued them to the owl's feet! 

Unfortunately it looks like 3EyedBear no longer offers the Harry Potter colors, but they have other cute owl colors, some that are more natural, so could still work for a Harry Potter themed wedding. Otherwise you may to have to contact them to see if you can get the templates I used. 

If you aren't doing assigned seating, these would still be cute for decor!


6) Table Markers


Since we did assigned seating, I chose to label the tables after places in Harry Potter. The bridesmaids table was Beauxbatons, groomsmen were Durmstrang, and our table was Hogwarts. The guests sat at a variety of locations, such as Hogsmeade, 4 Private Drive, Diagon Alley, etc.



7) Invitations & Thank You Cards


To cut costs we skipped sending Save The Dates and just sent wedding invitations, which I had made. I also made our Thank You cards as well.

At our bridal shower, we had gotten a Harry Potter wax seal kit, which I used to seal the Thank You cards I sent out. I wish I had gotten some sooner to use on the wedding invites as well as the results were pretty cool!



8) Origami Cranes


Being half Chinese, I wanted something from my Asian culture at the wedding, and in the Asian culture there is a tradition that anyone who folds 1,000 cranes will be granted a wish (source). I ended up making 988 cranes, while my husband only made 12! We strung the cranes on string and used them as various backdrops. We had so many, we ended up decorating the cake table and guest book table with them as well!

You can find a tutorial on how to make them here.




9) Wish Tree Guest Book


We wanted something more unique and fun than just a boring guest book, so we chose to do a wish tree! This was really simple to make. All you need is some sticks, river rocks, and a pot. We picked out some fun looking sticks, bunched them together and set them in the pot, you will have to hold them. Then pour in some river rocks around the sticks till you have enough that they don't move out of the position you want. 

For the wish cards, I made a template in Microsoft Word and printed them out on 4x6 note cards, then used a hole punch to punch hole at the top so I could run some string through. On one side people could write whatever wedding wishes they wanted for us and on the other side I had made a contact info page so we could get addresses for sending out Thank You's. 


10) Origami Lucky Stars 


I made a bunch of the cute paper stars to use as vase fillers. I also used them to cover up the rocks on our wish tree, which you can see in the photo above. You can find a tutorial to make your own lucky stars here.

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Those are just some ideas on what you can do yourself to cut down on wedding costs and how you can throw your own Harry Potter theme wedding! Now for what most of you are probably looking forward to, here are some more photos from our wedding!

I had asked the bridesmaids to bring their favorite Harry Potter book!