Monthly Archives January 2020

Blended Families

In last week’s column, Attorney Pruitt discussed the possible financial disasters that can result from lack of planning with a second marriage. But financial issues aren’t the only types of problems that can arise when your situation involves a stepparent or blended family. When a new person is added to your family – be it a stepparent or step or half-sibling – your children may be resistive or resentful. Parents considering this type of move should be pro-active in addressing the possible negative reactions of the children involved. Don’t just hope for the best. Seek the advice of a professional,
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Potential Second Marriage Disaster

You need to clean up your documents after your second marriage begins. This could include removing the prior spouse from beneficiary lines on homes, bank accounts, and life insurance. If your home is in your name only and you are re-married with children from a prior marriage, then potential disaster is on the horizon. If you do nothing, your home will most likely be owned one half by your current spouse and one half by the children of a prior marriage. Simple solutions exist including adding your current spouse as a co-owner on your deed, if you intend to leave
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Changes to your Retirement Accounts?

Before the end of last year, a new law, called the SECURE ACT, was enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Trump that substantially changed the rules regarding your retirement accounts. First, the Act changed the age year from which you must take your first required minimum distribution (RMD) from 70.5 to 72. The second important change the Act made is that account holder beneficiaries are no longer able to “stretch” out their inherited IRAs over their own lifetimes.  Once an account holder passes away, any non-spousal beneficiary has only up to ten years to withdraw the assets
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What are my Divorce Options?

When considering filing for divorce, you should be aware of the options for representation.  A traditional divorce involves an attorney representing each party. The attorneys negotiate and hammer out a potential settlement.  In some cases, only one party has an attorney and the other party is “pro se”.  One attorney cannot represent both parties.  Other people may consider handling their divorces on their own.  Unfortunately, many people attempting to handle their own divorces overlook important legal issues because they don’t know they exist – they are not attorneys after all.  This may be the situation wherein a trained mediator would
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Happy New Year!!

If you are one of the estimated 60% of Americans that lack the proper estate planning, you should schedule a meeting with your lawyer in the new year. All competent adults over the age of eighteen should at least have power of attorney documents, and give serious consideration to having a will or trust. If you already have documents, get them reviewed. Marriage, divorce, death in the family, and children who are no longer minors are all triggers for re-drafting. If your documents are older than five years, you most likely will need changes in some form. Not making the
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