How Women Can Balance Multiple Financial Responsibilities05/03/23
The Importance of Time Horizons in Investing05/25/23
No one wants to think about divorce or the death of a spouse, but if you were to find yourself in such a circumstance, having a plan of action surrounding your investments and estate would be invaluable. It can be a very emotional time with many variables to consider, and it’s important to be as methodical as possible as the process develops. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you navigate this difficult time:
- Assemble your financial paperwork: This includes your tax returns, bank statements, investment portfolio statements, retirement accounts, insurance policies, medical, home and auto insurance policies and any other relevant financial records. Create a list of your assets and investments along with the relevant details of each investment for easy reference.
- Review your current estate plan: Having a will or trust in place is essential to ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes in the event of your death. Now is a great time to review these documents and make any adjustments you may desire, or if you don’t have one of these in place, it’s a great time to establish one. You also may need to update who you would want to help make financial or medical decisions on your behalf in the event you were incapacitated.
- Consider hiring a financial advisor: While this situation may be novel to you, a financial advisor has the experience that can help you navigate the complexities of a divorce or death and provide guidance on how to manage your investments and estate during this transition period.
- Review your investment portfolio: This type of event also presents an opportunity to assess your investment portfolio as a whole. Again, a financial advisor can provide counsel in analyzing your holdings, and determining if an adjustment is prudent by looking at variables like your risk tolerance and time horizon.
- Be mindful of tax implications: The transition from filing jointly to single can have a significant impact on your tax position. If you’re making sweeping changes to your investments, or otherwise engaging in significant financial transactions, be sure to consider the tax implications.
- Update your beneficiaries: Make sure that your financial accounts, including investment accounts and insurance policies, have up-to-date beneficiaries listed. This will help ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes in the event of your death either to your children, your trust or maybe even a charity.
- Update your billing contact information: Make sure that any of your utilities or subscriptions are updated in your name and with your phone and email. These could include such items as cell phones, cable, utilities, automatic subscriptions, website usernames and passwords, joint credit cards.
Managing your finances is difficult enough under normal circumstances, but divorce or the death of a spouse present unique and complex challenges even beyond that. Preparing ahead of time can give you the peace of mind to navigate these situations with confidence. Keeping the aforementioned items front of mind, and consulting with a financial advisory professional can help make one part of this experience a little less painful.
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