Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wedding Season is Upon Us, Do I Need a PreNup?

The weather's turned warmer, the Save the Date cards have gone out, the wedding planning is in high gear (if you need a good planner, I suggest Busy Bride Planning + Consulting) and you think you've got everything checked off your list to make this the best wedding.

But then you start reading the newspaper, checking your new feeds or watching the local news, all of whom suddenly have an interest in telling you that you need a prenuptial agreement before you get married. It's like all forms of media are conspiring to get this idea in front of you and into your head, whether you like it or not.

What's really happening is that the media knows that with all of the upcoming summer weddings, it's a great time to push all kinds of things in front of a nervous couple who can't wait to be married and are suffering from constant FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

But despite the media hysteria, preparing for your wedding is a good opportunity to get your affairs in order as you get ready to merge your life with someone else's. You've spent some time on your own, but now your life is shared with someone else (and possibly someone else's children, other relatives, a cat, maybe the upstairs neighbor who stops by on Fridays for some odd reason) and it's a good time to plan for that future.

This time of year brings many common issues to my office door. The two most prevalent being: 
  • Do I need a Prenup? I don't know, but it's worth sitting down with a financial advisor and an attorney to figure out if one would make sense for you and your family.
  • Do I need an Estate Plan? Probably. You're about to start a new life together with someone and it would be great to have an estate plan in place so you can start your life fresh with confidence that you have a plan in place.
Anything else to consider? You probably want to check your beneficiary designations on your accounts, making sure that Aunt Rosie isn't listed as the person who gets your money. You should also check any prior wills, legal agreements or other agreements that may impact your life with your new spouse.

It's an exciting time preparing for a wedding, but with that excitement, make sure to keep your future planning in line. It's designed to keep things from being exciting, which in the end, is what you're future spouse would prefer...

Monday, May 22, 2017

It's the End of the School Year, Time to Plan Ahead

No matter if you are just starting school, are in school, graduating, or haven't been in a classroom in decades, it always seems like the end of the school year impacts our lives in some way each year. 

For some of my clients, the end of the school year reminds them of the need to plan for the future, especially as their children are one year closer to starting (or graduating) college. So now is a good time to circle around with your financial advisor and see what plans you have put into place for savings for college (or other large upcoming expenditures like a wedding). It's also a good time to re-examine your estate plan and see that everything is up to date and see if you need to put some money aside in a trust or other mechanism if your children are still under the age of majority.

If you're running a small business, the end of the school year will often coincide with the end of a fiscal quarter, or even the fiscal year if you're working on a June 30th year. With the warmer days of summer approaching, it's also a good time to see how the first half of 2017 has gone and where you have opportunities for growth over the course of the summer and into the fall and winter.

While it may be the end of the school year, it's also a great opportunity to be the beginning of one of your best years yet! Don't let the opportunity bypass you to get some good planning under your belt before the warm summer weather becomes too distracting.