It is difficult to look ahead when you are in the midst of a divorce. When beginning or enduring the divorce process, all your senses seem taxed to the fullest and the thought of one more task is daunting. Yet you know that “some day” you will have to make plans for your life after the marriage. Signing a marital settlement agreement doesn’t just end your marriage — it begins your new life. Plans should already be in place to help you. They must be carefully designed to meet your new needs both in the short and long-term.
Think back over the last few years. Who have been your financial professionals (those working with your family involving investments, tax planning and preparation, estate planning, insurance, banking, mortgage lending, etc.)? Are they still right for you? Do you think they are too closely tied to your former spouse, friends or other family members to serve you now? If you think changes should be made (or are not sure) what should you do? Here are some suggestions.
- Start thinking about this now, but take your time.
- Don’t make any major changes until the divorce is final unless you have permission from your spouse.
- Consider how some of your needs have changed and how others have not. Now is a great time to review and update your estate plan especially if your had minor children at the time you created your will/trust and now they are adults.
- Talk to people NOT INVOLVED IN YOUR DIVORCE whose judgment you respect for the names of professionals in the areas you think you may need help.
- Seek out professionals who regularly work with those who have gone through what you are going though. They can help you anticipate your needs and how to provide for them.
- Meet with at least two professionals in each category. Look for people with whom (1) you feel comfortable, (2) will take the time to explain things with which you are not familiar, yet (3) will not confuse you with endless detail.
- When discussing fees, be sure the professional is clear on how he or she is compensated (hourly rates, commissions, etc.). While cost is always important, concentrate on value received. The least expensive option may not be the best fit for you.
A SPECIAL NOTE
If you are planning to use a new investment and/or tax advisor, it would be helpful if you retained them BEFORE the dissolution process is completed. Their perspective for your future plans will aid you in making decisions which should be reflected in your marital settlement agreement and provide a more seamless transition to the future.
David F. Thomas CPA
Natalie Leininger CFP
If you need Divorce Financial Professionals in San Mateo please contact us today.