It's important to visit your physician when you notice some change in your health. A medical checkup offers you a chance to discuss issues with your doctor, ask questions, and get professional input on your overall health. Like your annual checkup with your doctor, a regular review of your estate plan with your attorney will help you minimize the risk of future unexpected hardships that might arise from incomplete or outdated documents.
With the chaos typical during a divorce, it can be easy to let certain traditions fall through the cracks. One common tradition that often falls by the wayside is the family dinner. However, family dinners after divorce can be an important part of the recovery process for everyone, including your ex. Here are a few reasons why.
No one gets married with the expectation they will divorce, and the circumstances surrounding divorce are often unpredictable and heartbreaking. The good news is your divorce doesn't just mark the end of your marriage. It can also signify the beginning of a period of growth for you.
Probate is the court-supervised process of gathering your assets, paying off your debts and taxes, and distributing what's left of your estate to your heirs and beneficiaries. However, that doesn't have to include all assets. Your retirement and investment assets have the potential to bypass probate if located in the type of accounts that can transfer upon death to a designated beneficiary. When considering whether to include your retirement and investment accounts in your estate plan, here's what you need to know.
Stanley, 73 years old, recently passed away. He never married or had any children. Stanley lived alone in his home and was self-sufficient until his health began to decline last year. Not wishing to burden his nieces and nephews, Stanley took it upon himself to hire a home health aide to come to his home and care for him. The pandemic restrictions prevented his niece, Cathy, with whom he had always had a close relationship, from visiting him. However, she called often. She even made an effort to see him but was only allowed window visits by the care worker and never provided the opportunity for in-person visits before his death. Cathy had no idea her uncle was being neglected and abused. To prevent a similar scenario from happening to you or someone you love, here's what you should know.
Chaos is a part of life. You move along the path your life takes you on, and you get used to the grooves in the road. Until all of a sudden, a twist or turn or bump sends you into a tailspin. Things happen.
I’ve always been interested in finding ways to take control of my future, especially as I was going through my divorce. So when a friend passed along to me a copy of Marie Kondō’s best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” I couldn’t wait to begin reading it.
The percentage of children who live in a single-parent household has increased significantly. While estate planning for single parents is similar to estate planning for families with two parents, you should take special consideration and outline specific provisions in your estate plan if you're a single parent due to death, divorce, or life choice. If you're a single parent, estate planning should become a high priority.
Children often act out during a divorce. Some behaviors are more noticeable than others, meaning subtle changes in your child can slip past you if you're not looking for them. It's not surprising how this can happen. When you go through the divorce process, it may feel as though your world is moving a mile a minute, and you're struggling just to keep up. Divorce involves rebuilding your life, home, and sometimes career, all while negotiating the dissolution of your marriage. Because of this, it's easy not to be cognizant of how your children are holding up.
The only guarantee we have in life is that we’re all going to die someday. If we’re lucky enough, we’ll do this when we’re old, slipping peacefully away in our sleep. But, inevitably, it will happen to each of us regardless of age or health. Unfortunately, too many people pass away without addressing their estate planning and die without leaving a will. Dying without a will, referred to as intestate, is just one of the issues that can come from not addressing your estate planning while you’re alive.
If you're in the middle of a divorce or about to start on one, you're well aware of the roller coaster ride you signed on for, or your spouse signed you on for, and now you're along for the ride whether you wanted to be on it or not. After long, busy days, I often plopped myself down on the couch, not yet ready for bed but exhausted. I needed to unwind, and I found a great way to do that was to grab a glass of wine and a bowl of popcorn and watch movies.
Once you have established your estate plan, it is important to ensure it remains sound by revisiting it at regular intervals or at key life events. One important reason is that if you fail to account for the death of someone named as a beneficiary in your will, upon your death, your estate may face significant problems as a result. Here is what can happen.
As if co-parenting during a pandemic wasn't complicated enough, a lot of parents have a new worry to add to their plates: a widely controversial COVID-19 vaccine.
According to researchers, imposter syndrome or imposter phenomenon (IP) "is a motivational disposition in which persons who have achieved some level of success feel like fakes or imposters." It's a behavior that describes those who, despite achieving high levels of success on standardized tests, earning advanced degrees, and receiving professional recognition for their accomplishments from colleagues or organizations, still fail to experience a sense of success internally. And I see it affect people during the divorce process all the time.
Are you one of the millions of individuals who moved to Washington from another state? Has the pandemic allowed you to work remotely from any location? Whether you've already made a move to Washington or are considering an upcoming relocation, you likely created a checklist that includes updating your address, obtaining a new driver's license, and possibly purchasing an umbrella. Unfortunately, many people fail to add another line item to the checklist: ensuring they update their estate-planning documents.
You'd be surprised at how what you say and how you say it can make or break a discussion. As a family and divorce lawyer, writer, communicator, and a once-divorced (I've since remarried) co-parenting mom myself, I know how the slightest alteration in my speech can produce a different outcome in a conversation. Those "alternative endings," in turn, can do a lot of damage by derailing my day, my week, and, most significantly, negatively impact my children's lives in a very profound and direct manner. That's why I'm careful about how I speak to my ex. And he's not even a bad guy.
Now more than ever, especially under the stress of the ongoing pandemic, effective co-parenting strategies may be needed more than ever before. A recent study suggests that divorces have decreased over the past year, contrary to what past predictions suggested. The implication is there are many households currently in crisis, with dissatisfied couples on the verge of divorce, who will need guidance in the coming months as the vaccination effort takes effect and the world emerges from the COVID crisis.
When it comes to end-of-life planning and their estate, most people don’t even think about their digital footprint. In its simplest form, a “digital asset” is a non-physical asset that exists online in electronic format. Most clients preserve digital assets either for sentimental or financial value.
A Discussion About Probate, Part III: Paying the Decedent’s Debts, Tax Returns, and Distributing the Estate
This article is the third part of a three-part series on probate. If someone dies owing a debt, does the debt go away when they die? No. Generally, the deceased person’s estate is responsible for paying any unpaid debts. The estate’s finances are handled by the personal representative, executor, or administrator. That person pays any debts from the money in the estate, not from their own money.
You're getting divorced, and it's the first time you've been single in years. You're thinking about starting to date but are wondering whether this is a good idea or not. You anticipate your divorce taking a while, and worry about putting your dating life on hold for months, even years. So how do you decide if now's the right time to dip your toe in the dating pool?
This article is the second part of a three-part series on probate. A lot of confusion can occur following a loved one's death. Fortunately, going through probate is a process with very specific steps and need not be confusing or complicated. After the executor's appointment, the following will occur.
Valentine's Day is coming up, and you may already be thinking about popping the question, or perhaps you are engaged and wondering what to give your soon-be-be-spouse. Why not consider a prenuptial agreement or "prenup"? Maybe it is not as idyllic as picking out wedding décor, but a prenup is one of the best marriage-related decisions you will ever have the opportunity to make.
This article is the first part of a three-part series on probate. The most common misunderstanding I run into in estate planning is that people believe having a will allows them to avoid probate. That is not the case. Having a will requires probate to implement the deceased person's written intentions. But probate is not the end of the world.
Regardless of age, a prenuptial agreement can protect your interests before marriage. Getting a prenup has nothing to do with your outlook on marriage or how committed you are to your spouse. On the contrary, getting a prenup speaks to how much you value a marriage where both partners feel comfortable knowing they're protected — in love and under the law.