Financial Self-Protection Tips for the Newly Single

Whether you have lost a spouse or partner through divorce or death, being thrust into singlehood can be an emotionally and financially jarring experience.  To get yourself back on firm footing, at least financially, follow these five steps:

Finalize financial plans.  In the case of a divorce, you must ensure that the terms of any settlement are actually executed, including the retitling of financial accounts, the transfer of divided assets to your new accounts, transferring titles on vehicles, etc.  Be sure to notify your financial planner or CPA about your new status, including any changes to deductions (only one parent can claim children as dependents each year).

Update your estate planning documents.  If you no longer have a spouse, you will need to update your estate plan, including your will, trusts, living will, advance medical directive and powers of attorney.  You’ll also need to update your beneficiary forms for retirement and investment accounts as well as insurance policies — and remember that beneficiary forms trump a will.

Scour your credit report.  You want to be sure that any of your former spouse’s financial liabilities do not appear on your credit report.  You also want to check for any surprises, including credit accounts you might not have been aware of but are still responsible for in the eyes of the law.

Don’t act too quickly.  Emotion can cloud anyone’s judgment, so you want to give yourself time to grieve the loss of your spouse — to either death or divorce — before making any big financial decisions.

Gather a support team.  As you sail forward into your new life, gather a good support team to help you navigate.  This should include a financial adviser and a Personal Family Lawyer who share your values and can help you accomplish all your goals.

As a Personal Family Lawyer®, I can further advise you on all your options and make things as easy as possible for your family during a Family Wealth Planning Session.  If you would like to have a talk about estate planning for your family, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk.

To your family’s health, wealth and happiness!

David Feakes

P.S.  Want to get started on the most important planning you’ll ever do for your family?  Give our office a call at (978) 263-6900 to get started.  You’ll be so glad you did.

David Feakes is the owner of The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC – a law firm for families in the Acton, Massachusetts area.  David helps parents protect the people they love the most.  If you would like to receive David’s exclusive, free report, “Six Major Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing An Estate Planning Attorney,”  you can get it right here.

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At The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, we answer your questions at your convenience; we stay in frequent communication; and we meet to discuss changes in life circumstances and in the law to ensure that your assets are protected.

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