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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Five Estate Planning Considerations for New Parents

Most new parents have become experts at planning before a baby is born.  They have created the nursery, planned for childcare and some have even started planning for the unborn child’s education.  All of that is great.  But don’t let your planning stop there – creating an estate plan is another essential you simply cannot overlook. Here are 5 estate planning considerations you need discuss with an attorney when creating your estate plan as new parents: Name a guardian.  While it is extremely difficult to even contemplate your child growing up without you, sometimes it happens.  By naming a guardian in your will, you will have done your best to protect your child should the unthinkable actually happen.  Remember that you can always change your mind about your choice of guardian, so don’t let waiting for some “perfect choice” to appear stop you from protecting your child. Education costs.  The

Your initial consultation with a divorce attorney.

Having that initial consultation with a divorce attorney can be a difficult and emotionally draining experience. However, there are some steps you can take to make the process a little easier. First, bring as much financial documentation as possible. Your attorney will want to discuss: – How much income you and your spouse earn, – What your retirement and non-retirement assets are, – Any real estate properties you or your spouse own, – Any businesses or professional practices you or your spouse are involved in, – A list of your current debts – Evidence of any assets acquired either prior to the marriage, or by gift or inheritance. Also, be prepared to detail the history of your marriage: your attorney will want to know the respective work history of you and your spouse; who was primarily responsible for the care of your children; what type of lifestyle you maintained; what

Knowledge . . . the best tool in preparing for divorce.

One important reason why divorces do not proceed smoothly is a lack of preparation and knowledge. Too often only one spouse fully understands the family finances, which may leave the other spouse vulnerable to manipulation. When one spouse handles nearly all of the household investments and finances, it is too easy for that financially literate spouse to take advantage of the financially less literate spouse, especially in times of stress and disagreement like a divorce. Thus, it is important that both spouses become financially literate. Each party’s income, the family income tax returns, investment and account statements, should all be reviewed and understood, if necessary, with the help of an accountant and divorce attorney. In addition to learning about the household finances, it is also important to know about the law in the state you live. Understanding the difference between separate and marital property, and the application and effect of

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