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|How to Ensure Divorce Won’t Wipe You Out Financially|
|News Releases - General Info|
|Written by Ginny Grimsley|
|Thursday, 19 September 2013 07:26|
As More Older Couples Call It Quits, 3 Experts Share Tips
for Protecting Yourself
Along with all of its other unfortunate consequences, divorce can be so financially devastating for both spouses, sometimes neither ever recovers.
This poses a special problem for people aged 50 and older, one of the fastest-growing demographics of new divorcees. Today, one in four divorces is an older couple; that’s double the rate of 1980 numbers, according to studies published this summer.
“After 10, 20 or 30 years of marriage, divorce is complicated by the varied assets couples have acquired,” says wealth management advisor Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo, CEO of Pillar Wealth Management, (www.pillarwm.com). “If you own a business, stock options, commercial real estate, private company stock, or have a deferred compensation package, putting a value on them can be a nightmare.”
The best protection, of course, is having signed a prenuptial agreement before saying, “I do,” Ashoo and attorney John Hartog of Hartog & Baer Trust and Estate Law, (www.hartogbaer.com), agree.
“If you’ve already divorced and you’re thinking about remarrying, the smartest thing you can do is enter into a prenuptial contract that lays out how you’ll divide your property in the event of divorce,” Hartog says.
Such conversations can be difficult, so people avoid them, notes CPA Jim Kohles, chairman of RINA accountancy corporation, (www.rina.com). But dealing with tough issues while the relationship is healthy may actually help ensure you never get divorced.
“Talking about the hard things helps couples build trust,” he says. “Then, when they face a serious problem, they’re better equipped to resolve it.”
The three experts offer these tips for ensuring divorce does not financially destroy you, your spouse, or your family.
“Any of these situations can lead to divorce,” says CPA Kohles. “So while you’re talking about it, talk about ‘What if we were to divorce?’ ”
Divorce can be a major tax problem, he says. Support payments, property settlements, and retirement accounts can all affect your tax burden. When you discuss division of assets, consider the tax implications.
“Have the conversation before the bad thing happens, and set up trusts to take care of the parties you wish to take care. If you don’t want a post-nup, at least write down a general agreement that you both sign. That gives you a base from which to work if trouble occurs.
About Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo, John Hartog & Jim Kohles
Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo is the CEO of Pillar Wealth Management, LLC, in Walnut Creek, Calif., specializing in client-centered wealth management. John Hartog is a partner at Hartog & Baer Trust and Estate Law in Orinda, Calif. He is a certified specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law, and taxation law. Jim Kohles is chairman of the board of RINA accountancy corporation of Walnut Creek, Calif. He is a certified public accountant specializing in business consulting, succession and retirement planning, and insurance. All three advise ultra affluent families.
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