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What Living Trusts and Wills Cannot Do

Both living trusts and wills allow you to name beneficiaries for your property. Beyond that, they are useful for different purposes; one can help you avoid probate, while the other can name guardians for your children. But do you know what living trusts and wills don’t cover? In this blog, we break down what these legal documents cannot do!

Reduce Estate Taxes

Neither wills nor living trusts can help you reduce estate tax (but most estates will not owe estate tax). If you believe your property might be liable for estate taxes, we recommend meeting with a professional lawyer, where you can discuss more information in detail. There are many different ways you can skip out on estate tax, which includes being eligible for marital deductions, personal estate tax exemption, charitable deduction, and other legal routes, but neither a will nor trust can help you there.

Leave Money to Pets

Pets cannot own property, so you cannot leave property or money to your pets, as it will end up in your residuary estate (which means it will be divided along with your primary estate). Since pets are not legally allowed to own property or money, the best you can do is leave your pet to someone you know, whether that be in your will or living trust. You can also sign up with an organization to have your pet find a new home when you can no longer care for them.

Leave Final Wishes

Although you’re allowed to leave funeral instructions and final wishes in your will (never in a living trust), it’s better to leave them in a separate document. A will is not a good place to express your death and burial preferences for one reason: your will might not be located and read until several weeks after passing away – long after decisions must be made. Instead, you can write a simple letter to your executor and other loved ones to explain the details of your final arrangements.

Conclusion

We mentioned just a few limitations of trusts and wills in this blog, but do you know the full extent of what each legal document can or cannot do for you? For more information, contact the team at Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates. We are a professional, legal practice that can assist you with your trusts and wills. Call us today!

The Breakdown of a Prenup

Whether you’ve been married before or have simply heard about it in the media, a prenup seems to be a pretty controversial topic of discussion. In most recent news, it was reported that Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin got married without a prenuptial agreement. When this news broke, the internet nearly exploded! Everyone with an opinion spoke about how foolish it was for Bieber to forgo the protection of a prenup. Now, this begs the question: what exactly is a prenup and why do I need one if Bieber decided against it? Finish reading this blog to learn the complete breakdown of what a prenuptial agreement is!

Basically…

A prenuptial agreement is a contracted agreement that both people who are getting married will sign. Within the agreement, the breakdown of important assets within the marriage are delegated in the event of a divorce or death. Every state has specific laws as to what can be put into the prenup and what is left out, however the degree of distribution is always circumstantial and will vary from couple to couple. No two prenup contracts are the same.  

Circumstantial Fairness

Everybody has a different idea of what is “fair” in life. When it comes to finances and important assets within a marriage, fairness is taken to a whole new level. Many different aspects of the marriage are taken into consideration when deciding how to delegate everything. The assets you brought to the relationship before marriage are documented, along with the potential to inherit different assets down the line.

Full Disclosure

One of the most important parts of a prenup is full disclosure at the beginning of the marriage. Both people must come forward and disclose all the assets that they have before the marriage is final. Within the contract, those assets are protected. If you had a successful business in your name leading up to the marriage, in the event of a divorce, your spouse would have no rights or claim to the business revenue. Assets that are documented to be inherited at a later date from a family member should be included in a prenup as precaution. Imagine your father or mother had a successful business that was to be passed down to you; should you divorce, a prenup with disclosure on the future inheritance of this business will protect you from having to worry about your spouse seeking anything from the matter.

Alimony?

Most prenup agreements will cover the topic of alimony. More times than not, alimony is only brought up in the agreement if it’s being waived. At the end of a marriage, without the mention of alimony in the prenup, either person could attempt to receive alimony from the other. However, this is to be determined by a judge at a later date. If waiving the right to seek alimony is agreed upon by both people, it can be a great precaution down the line.

Children?

When it comes to divorce, many people immediately think of their children. The struggle to fight for custody can be relentless and stressful. Many will look into prenup agreements to see if they can put into motion the agreement of what will happen to the children in case of divorce. Unfortunately, prenuptial agreements aren’t allowed to include the topic of children. All situations involving children must be directly handled in court by a judge. No prewritten agreement will ever be able to say otherwise.

Conclusion

Prenups are a heavily discusses topic in the media. This type of agreement is a great way to stay protected should the marriage end on less than happy terms. Both parties are fairly considered and it is decided what the fairest way to divide everything is. If you’re interested in learning more about prenuptial agreements before you say “I do,” check out our website and give us a call today!

Not All Divorce Attorneys Are Created Equal

If you’re thinking about dissolving your marriage, finding the right divorce lawyer with adequate experience is a critical step in the process. Not only do you need to hire someone with experience in family law, but also someone who can implement a legal strategy that fits your specific circumstance. As anyone who has gone through the divorce process can tell you, not all attorneys are created equally. The following are things to look for in a divorce lawyer that will help you make the right choice.

The Divorce Process Varies

It’s important that you choose the lawyer that will implement the divorce process you want. During this phase, you’ll decide whether your marriage will be contested or uncontested. If your spouse is agreeable, things can go quite smoothly. If they’re uncooperative, and every single aspect of your divorce is disputed, you’ll want a lawyer with plenty of experience in negotiation. When you talk to prospective lawyers, go over with them what you want out of the divorce.

Affordability

If you own properties and have a comfortable salary, then yes, splurging on a top-notch divorce lawyer is a good idea. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, have no assets and a ton of debt, then hiring a powerful attorney may not be the best option for you. Even if it feels good in the short term to “stick it to your spouse” with a powerful lawyer, you could end up in bankruptcy court before you know it if they cost beyond what your budget allows.

Setting Realistic Expectations:

A divorce conjures a lot of negative feelings on both sides. When you let anger dictate your approach to a divorce case, things can go wrong quickly without the right legal counsel. If you hire an attorney who will do exactly what you want without advising you along the way, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment and unnecessary emotional and financial turmoil. The bottom line is to hire an attorney that will tell you when you’re making a questionable decision, and in turn, will try to steer you in the most advantageous direction.

The Right Experience

An attorney who doesn’t specialize in divorce and custody matters may not be able to provide competent representation. There are many legal nuances in different types of law, so keep that in mind when searching for a divorce attorney. At a minimum, they should have family law experience, as well as experience in your jurisdiction. An attorney who knows the local rules in your county and is familiar with the rulings of your judge will be able to advise you with a better strategy going forward. 

Conclusion:

A divorce will test your emotional, physical, and financial stamina like few other life events can. While there are many things to take into account when you decide you want to dissolve your marriage, finding the right attorney for the proceedings is perhaps the most important thing you can do. For assistance with your family law matter, don’t hesitate to call or visit the professionals at Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates. Our team is ready and willing to attend to your needs.

The 3 Steps to Take Before Asking for a Divorce

 

Divorce tends to be a messy, emotional process. It’s easy to let the whole thing turn into a disaster when you have hurt feelings and financial problems getting in the way of the separation. However, there are some steps you can take before you even ask your spouse for a divorce that will make it a less stressful and time-consuming process. This blog post will go over three steps you need to take before asking for a divorce.

 

Prep Your Paperwork

 

Divorce relies heavily on documentation. Because of this, it’s important that you get your paperwork in order beforehand. Step one is to gather your paperwork. Here is what you will need:

  • Bank statements, credit card statements, paycheck stubs
  • Paperwork regarding investments, properties, and other assets
  • Medical coverage and insurance information
  • Tax information (tax returns, W-2 forms, etc.)
  • Marriage certificates, prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements
  • Trusts and wills
  • Other documents relevant to you and your marriage

The second step is to organize your documents. The more you organize your own documents, the less you have to pay an attorney to gather and organize them for you. It’s important to do all this before actually asking your spouse for a divorce. Not everyone is going to react favorably – your partner may feel inclined to make it difficult for you to access these documents. It’s better to be safe and obtain this information while you still can. Also, be sure to make a copy of your documents and give them to a trusted friend or family member for safekeeping.

 

Figure Out Your Finances

 

Before you even begin the divorce process, you need to understand your finances. Look over your personal accounts and accounts you may share with your spouse. This could include investments, retirement funds, and joint bank accounts. You will need to separate everything from your spouse once the divorce process is in motion, so it’s suggested that you open up new financial accounts that your partner cannot access. Depending on your situation, you may want to wait on this, so consult a financial advisor before doing anything you’re unsure of.

Planning your finances is incredibly important to make sure that you’re able to stay financially stable once you’re separated. To start, put together a simple spreadsheet of your assets and debts. You can’t make a plan until you know what you have and what you owe. Once you understand whether or not your budget is enough to keep you afloat, you can begin thinking of ways to increase your income or decrease your expenses. This will also help you further understand what you and your spouse will split, and how much you can afford to spend on an attorney and the divorce process.

Make a Plan

 

Getting a divorce is scary, but you can’t do it blindly. There’s a lot to think about after you ask your spouse for a divorce. Are you able to move out of the house if you need to? Would your spouse move out? Do you have enough money to support yourself for a few months if your spouse cuts you off? What about the living situation for your children? What do you want to accomplish for yourself? The sooner you set goals for yourself, both during and after the divorce, the more likely you are to achieve them. Having answers to these questions ahead of time can save you a lot of time and stress during the divorce process.

 

Conclusion

After you complete these steps and ask your spouse for a divorce, the next step is to find an attorney. Attorneys are educated, experienced professionals that offer you advice and information about what to do in your unique situation. Attorneys come at different experience levels and pricing, so you need to find someone that works with you and your budget.

You need an attorney who will listen to you, understands your goals, and has your best interests in mind. That’s why you should call on Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates! We have the qualifications to handle any divorce case, and we work hard to find the best resolution possible for both parties.

 

The One Thing You Need to Do Before Moving In With Your Significant Other

It’s no secret that cohabitation, the practice of living with a long-term partner without being married, is a popular lifestyle choice among adults today. Most young people agree that it makes sense to live with their significant other for a period of time before plunging into the commitment of marriage. However, cohabitation still comes with its own risks and that’s why cohabitation agreements were created. Read on to learn about what they are and how they can protect you.

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

First, let’s define what a cohabitation agreement is; it’s essentially a legal contract that’s made between an unmarried couple that’s deciding to live together. They outline things like the ownership of property and how household costs will be handled. Depending on the couple’s situation, the agreement can be highly specific or fairly loose. Similar to a prenuptial agreement, it allows both parties to walk away with their personal property should the relationship end.

Why Get One?

Now that we have an idea of what a cohabitation agreement is, we’ll outline some of the advantages to having one.

First, it helps you communicate your preferences with your partner. For example, if you insist on a tidy home, you can include terms about how chores like cleaning will be taken care of. Knowing from the get-go how you both feel about these kinds of issues can prevent future arguments and misunderstandings.

Second, you will both know the financial situation that you’re in. Many relationships have dissolved after one partner discovers that the other has debt or bad spending habits that they’ve been hiding. When drawing up your cohabitation agreement, you can see the bank statements and debts that your partner has.

Finally, having a cohabitation agreement can save you from losing personal property or assets if you separate. There will be little to no opportunity for disputes over who owns what. No one likes to think about the possibility of breaking up, but at least you will have peace of mind.

Conclusion

Moving in with that special someone can be both exciting and a little scary. By getting a cohabitation agreement, you can start this new chapter of your life responsibly and with reassurance for the future. Get started today by getting in touch with Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates. Visit our website to learn more about how we can help you prepare for a successful life together with your significant other.

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