What Types of Assets and Investments Should You Use to Fund a Revocable Trust?

what you should use to fund a revokable trust

A revocable trust or living trust is an instrument created, as part of your overall estate plan, for the purpose of protecting your assets, including investments, during your lifetime. It can also allow for a smoother transition of said assets and investments to a chosen beneficiary after your death. But not every asset or investment can or should be used to fund a revocable or living trust. Below are a few contenders, along with the specific processes and considerations to bear in mind for each. Bank Accounts Bank accounts, including checking, savings, and CDs, can be used to fund a revocable living trust. In order to avoid any penalties that may occur for early withdrawal, you should check with your bank before attempting to transfer… Read More

A Prenup Can Set the Stage for a Healthy Marriage. Here’s How.

a prenup is good for marriage

A prenup can take many of the “what ifs” off the table in the event of divorce. What is separate property, who might have to maintain life insurance, and who will keep the heirloom piano that’s been passed down for generations? These are just a few of the issues a prenuptial agreement can cover. Depending on a couple’s needs, a prenup can run the gamut. But more than that, a prenup can lay the groundwork for building a strong marriage, even though it is designed to protect each spouse should the marriage end. In reality, many of a prenup’s benefits reveal themselves even before the drafting stage begins. The conversation about whether to have a prenup, from the first conversation to those that follow, can… Read More

5 Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Start Estate Planning

stop procrastinating about estate planning

Many people find it challenging to get started with estate planning. From confusion about the process to denying that estate planning is necessary, there are various reasons why people do not want to create an estate plan. That said, estate planning is an important objective to have for yourself and your loved ones, providing you with peace of mind during your lifetime and them following your death. So if you are having difficulty jump-starting the process, the following tips can help you stop procrastinating and get started on your estate planning today. 1. Set a deadline. One helpful tool for combatting procrastination is to set a deadline. This does not have to be a deadline for when you will complete your estate planning entirely. In… Read More

7 Pieces of Practical Advice for Letting Go of Shame After Divorce

lettinggoofshame

After divorce, it is common to experience feelings of shame. That shame could arise from multiple sources, including feeling that you let your spouse or children down or because you are worried about what others may think of you. Regardless of the reason underlying it, shame resulting from divorce can result in you making decisions that may not be to your benefit, decisions you base on emotion rather than logic. So, if you are experiencing feelings of shame due to your divorce, you may want to consider taking steps to alleviate it. Here are a few ideas to get started.    1. Seek professional help. Divorce is traumatic. It can also bring to the surface past trauma. Therefore, your first order of business should be to… Read More

6 Tips to Organize Finances Before Starting Estate Planning

Organizing finances before estate planning

Estate planning can feel overwhelming, but it is necessary to ensure your assets are in order and your loved ones are taken care of. Establishing an estate plan can also make certain issues easier for you and your family during your lifetime should the unexpected occur, including a catastrophic injury, a catastrophic illness, or a chronic illness. The following tips can help you create an estate plan efficiently. 1. Designate important roles. One of the most important things to do when getting ready for estate planning is to establish which people in your life will play which roles. Three important roles to consider are who will become the executor of your will after you die and who will be the agents you name in both… Read More

What You Need to Know About Spousal Support (Maintenance) in Washington State

Spousal Support like a Bridge

In Washington state, alimony is referred to as maintenance. Maintenance is court-ordered spousal support payments that one spouse makes to assist with the living expenses of the other spouse for a period of time and for a particular purpose.  Maintenance is especially important in cases of divorce where one spouse’s role in the marriage was to primarily maintain the home and care for the children while the other spouse’s role was to primarily generate income to support the family. Maintenance can be awarded for a number of purposes in Washington state. Read on if you are about to begin the divorce or legal separation process or are in the middle of such a case and want to learn more.   How do you qualify for maintenance… Read More

Protecting Assets in a High-Net-Worth Divorce: Don’t Make These 7 Costly Mistakes

high net worth divorce watch outs

The homes. The boat. The investment accounts. During a high-net-worth divorce, the disposition of these and other assets (and debts) may be one of the most significant reasons underlying the contention between you and your soon-to-be-ex, making these types of divorces complicated and costly. High-net-worth divorces can encompass a lot: real estate investment properties, business investments, stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles, intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, and copyrights, digital assets, including cybercurrency, websites, and blogs, and rare collections, including coins, art, cars, antiques, or wine. Many of these assets will need to be valued as well as classified as separate or community property. Discussion of them may also raise privacy concerns. Because of their complexity, high-net-worth divorces can become even more complicated and costly… Read More

Expecting the Unexpected: Estate Planning for a Catastrophic Injury

catastrophic injury

This is part three of our three-part series, “Expecting the Unexpected.” You can read part one on catastrophic illness here and part two on chronic illness here. Estate planning may initially bring to mind the process of outlining the manner in which you will dispose of your assets when you die (hopefully, after you have lived a long, prosperous life). However, your estate plan can also function as a tool to protect you should you face an unexpected situation, such as a catastrophic injury. Unfortunately, catastrophic injuries can happen at any age and when you are the least bit prepared for them. That said, it can feel strange to sit down and plan out what would happen should a catastrophic injury occur, especially since, in… Read More

Your Spouse Suddenly Wants a Divorce: 7 Quick Steps to Get Organized

Get organized for divorce

It seemed like it was going to be just another day. Get the kids off to school, do household chores, go to work. But then your spouse let you know it was over between you, that they want a divorce. Now. Or, you found out it was over between you but your spouse “forgot” to let you know. However it all went awry, you are now at a crossroads. How you handle the next few weeks to months preparing for your divorce could affect how smoothly it runs and how successful you are at reaching an agreement with your soon-to-be-ex that you will be happy with. But first things first. If you have been blindsided by your spouse and divorce appears imminent, do not panic.… Read More

Expecting the Unexpected: Estate Planning for a Chronic Illness

Estate planning for a chronic illness

This is part two of three in our series “Expecting the Unexpected. You can read part one on catastrophic illness here. For many, estate planning immediately brings to mind ways you can protect your assets and retirement funds for your heirs. While it serves this function, comprehensive estate planning can also help prepare you for possible future events that can affect the quality of your life and potentially that of your loved ones. One of these events is the onset of a chronic illness. A chronic illness often comes unexpectedly, leaving families to navigate new financial and emotional burdens for which they may not be prepared. The good news is the impact of many of these burdens can be lessened with the protections an estate… Read More