estate planning

Hi there,

Christine Fletcher is back to provide more of her knowledgeable estate planning advice. Her help is always welcome but especially this week as I’m on vacation 🙂

Best,
Nancy

 

Christine Fletcher Burns & LevinsonLast week Nancy posted about the importance of updating your estate plan after you divorce.  Unfortunately, I have seen the effects of what not doing this can have on a family.  Many clients are so drained, both emotionally and financially, from a divorce that they find it difficult to deal with anything else.  Or perhaps, having an ex-spouse named in a will as an executor or as a beneficiary is the last connection to that person that you are having trouble severing. But it is important to understand the effects that not updating your estate plan will have.

If you have a will or trust that predates your divorce and names your now ex-spouse as a fiduciary or a beneficiary, some states will treat that spouse as if they predeceased you or refused to accept the asset.  The same may apply to ex-spouses named as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or a retirement plan.  However, not all states take this approach.  You need to check … Keep reading

The Importance of Estate Plans Post-Divorce

Hi there,

If your divorce has just ended, you probably feel like you NEVER want to talk to a lawyer again. However, there are a number of financial steps you should take after you divorce, and one requires a lawyer:  You need to change your estate plan, or if you don’t have one, create an estate plan.

Not only does this require good professional assistance, it costs money. Maybe money you feel you can’t spend because you are now “divorce poor.”

I get that. The divorce process drains you of energy and time and money. Regardless, you are at a new beginning and you need to get this one piece done right.

In addition, and it might not happen as part of your estate planning, you need to be sure you have dealt with the possibility that something might happen to your adult (over age 18) unmarried children as well. We tend to assume that when children leave the nest that’s it. In tragedy, it often isn’t.

Best,

Nancy… Keep reading

Christine Fletcher Burns & Levinson

Hi there,

Last week was a happy news week with all the royal baby reporting going on. I wasn’t willing to be left behind, so here’s a post from my very able colleague, Christine Fletcher.

Best,

Nancy

 

Christine Fletcher Burns & Levinson Now that the royal baby has arrived, William and Kate will be dealing with many of the issues that all new parents deal with – late night feedings, diaper changing, potty training, etc.  After all, they have expressed their intention to be hands-on parents.  I wonder if after a few months of sleepless nights and spit up, they change their minds. (Having been a hands-on parent, myself, I can certainly see the benefits of royal life!)  But they must also be thinking about what every parent undoubtedly thinks of: who will care for their little prince if something unforeseen happens to them.  And who will watch out for his financial well-being.

Now I imagine that Will and Kate do not need to worry themselves much with the financial well-being of their new baby.  And they may or may not have much input as to who would raise the little guy in the event of their untimely demise.  But what about … Keep reading

Hi there,

I’ve been playing hooky, and my colleague Andrea Dunbar has stepped up to complete her series on points to consider in gray divorces.

Best, 

Nancy

______________

DIVIDING RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

Andrea Dunbar Burns & Levinson AttorneyThere are important differences associated with dividing retirement plans that are already in pay status and those that are not.  Some people divorcing later in life are already retired, and thus are most likely already collecting from a retirement plan.  This limits the options available for dividing some plans in divorce.  Different plans have different options, so it is imperative to know the rules of the plan you are dealing with. 

Pension plans, as opposed to 401(k) plans or 403(b) plans, once in pay status, pay a fixed sum of money each month for the rest of a participant’s life.  The amount of the payment is typically based on the income the person earned over a period of time.  The payment amount will also depend on whether there was a survivor beneficiary named at the time of retirement and the extent of the continued benefit.… Keep reading