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Morrison Law provides quality guidance on legal matters


Last updated 9/22/2011 at Noon

Attorney Carl Morrison reviews an old will in his Bonsall office Friday, Sept. 3, 2010.

It is crucial for seniors and other individuals to be secure in knowing the future of their estates by having a will and trust in place. With sites on the Internet that offer to help clients instantly create wills, it can make one wonder whether it is necessary to hire an estate planning attorney.

Carl Morrison of Morrison Law has been working in estate planning and probate for years, and understands the ease of visiting websites relating to wills and trusts. As a matter of fact, Morrison believes that it is important for his clients to not only get a will or trust, but also to be aware of the consequences that may come from not having a will prepared.

œIt's interesting to see what happens to even the best of families who [normally] get along, said Morrison. œParents really need to do their estate planning, and not just assume their kids will work it out.

Morrison, a former Marine who served for 20 years, has experience in family law, business law, and estate planning, probate and trust litigation, makes it clear to his clients why planning is essential, especially estate planning.

œSome might think, 'I'll be dead; what do I care?' Most parents don't want to have their children go through that hassle, said Morrison. œProbate can take months to resolve.

Morrison “ who serves Fallbrook, Bonsall, Vista, and communities in Southwest Riverside County such as Temecula, Murrieta and Wildomar - believes it is important for clients to understand the process, but states that using both online sources and the help of an attorney is a superior option.

œA lot of lawyers want to do all the work themselves, but there is so much available on the Internet. A lot of people who know what they are doing can research what they want to do, but should be careful of the traps, said Morrison. œThey can bring me their work and I can make sure their œt's are crossed and œi's are dotted, saving them money and giving them the peace of mind of having a lawyer look at it.

In addition, individuals who speak with Morrison will discover they are receiving better value with his work than if they use online law sites for their estate planning.

œIf you add up the cost of documents when going to an attorney for estate planning, it's not much less than going to Legal Zoom, said Morrison. œI prepare 13 documents when doing estate planning “ the trust, the pour-over will, spousal property agreement, certificate of trust, powers of attorney, advance healthcare directives, privacy act release, grant deed, and preliminary change of ownership forms, for example. Some of these aren't available on self-help sites, and they can get pretty tricky.

Morrison is also able to clarify certain elements within trusts that some people may misunderstand during the estate planning process.

œHaving a trust means nothing unless clients put their house in it and have a change of title put into the trust, explained Morrison. œUnless clients take their assets “ bank accounts, 401ks and name the trust as beneficiary you haven't done enough. Many also think an exhibit schedule is listing what is being put in the trust, but it's not. That's just a document for convenience - listing where everything is.

Morrison finds that clients in a second marriage or merged families have an added element of work that may need to be done.

œSometimes this can get really tricky, especially if different marriages involved children, said Morrison. œThis is hard to do with a self-help site.

To further help clients, Morrison includes valuable links to state websites that offer templates for business owners to use.

After clients create their contracts, Morrison is able to look at the contract and tell them where changes may need to be made.

œPeople can pay anywhere from half hour of my time to three hours of my time, said Morrison. œI enjoy estate planning because I meet a lot of nice people. I try to help my clients avoid problems so they don't get involved with probate issues.

As a business lawyer, Morrison is also able to provide quality counsel, while being fair to all parties involved. He conducts a significant number of mediations.

œAs a mediator, I look out for both parties, said Morrison. œI get along with people pretty well, and in mediation, I have to listen. Everyone's got to win something.

Morrison also prides himself on being able to provide personal service to each client.

œI'm one of the few attorneys who you can call and will actually pick up the phone myself, said Morrison. œIf I have time, I try to give a consultation right off. Clients don't just send me a check and I send back documents; there's a lot of counseling that goes on. I spend up to an hour talking with clients to see exactly what they want to do, and what their options are. There's a reason why it's called legal counsel.

Morrison Law is located in the River Village Plaza, located at 5256 S. Mission Road, in Suite 1010. For more information on Carl Morrison or Morrison Law, visit, call (760) 724-9580 or email

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