Editor’s Note: “Dollars and Sense” is a new column in the SunBird News dedicated to financial issues. This column is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the subject of personal finances. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential or other damages. As each individual situation is unique, questions relevant to personal finances and specific to the individual should be addressed to an appropriate professional to ensure that the situation has been carefully and appropriately evaluated. Robson Publishing, a division of Robson Communities Inc., is not liable for information contained in these articles.
When you find yourself newly-single again, there are so many emotions and concerns to consider. Your financial health could be flung into your face or if it hasn’t been, you could be thinking of many other things instead. Unfortunately, during these times, regardless of whether your partner or spouse has passed away or if you are free again because of a divorce or a break-up, it is possible that mistakes can be made during this potentially emotionally charged period. You could be vulnerable and there could be predatory people approaching you to make decisions that benefit THEM, and not you.
Before you jump the gun and begin making major changes or decisions, take some time to think through your next steps. Here are five ways you can assure that your finances are protected and held away from any changes you could be sorry for later when you begin to feel more like yourself:
1. COMPLETE YOUR FINANCIAL PLAN
If you are alone because you got divorced, make sure that any terms of the settlement actually get done. This means retitling financial accounts, transferring titles of vehicles, transfer of any assets that must be divided according to the settlement etc. Notify your financial planner or your CPA about your new status including any changes to deductions. Remember, only one parent may claim dependents each year.
2. IF YOU HAVE AN ESTATE PLAN IN PLACE, IT NEEDS UPDATING
All of your estate plan documents must be updated to reflect your newly single status. This includes your will, trusts, living will, advance medical directives and powers of attorney. Be sure to change your beneficiary forms and retirement and investment accounts as well as insurance policies. Beneficiary forms always trump wills.
3. BECOME ACQUAINTED WITH YOUR CREDIT REPORT
If your former spouse’s financial liabilities appear on your credit report, make sure you have them removed. Look for surprises such as credit accounts that you might not even know about but are responsible for.
4. BE STILL
Being newly single again can kick up emotions that can possibly blur the landscape. Give yourself the time to grieve your loss and wait to make major decisions.
5. RALLY THE TROOPS
As you move ahead in your newly single life, find people you can trust to help you navigate it. Find a financial adviser you trust and a personal family lawyer who shares your values to help you move ahead and accomplish your goals.
Keystone Law Firm helps many Chandler and Sun Lakes couples and singles get more organized financially than most have ever been before. A local law firm established and managed by Francisco Sirvent, Keystone is reputable, reasonable and ready to help you. If you have more questions, you may call our office to schedule a free consultation. Check out KeystoneLawFirm.com to read about your neighbors’ positive experiences.