In a dynamic and volatile investment market, ‘security’ is elusive. Your financial goals for wealth management and retirement require a person that has the market high-and-low experience to guide you. Whether you’re an early or late planner for retirement will critically direct your investment choices. You may also need advice regarding a rollover for a 401K or IRA. And, if you’re already in retirement, you want to maximize income from your investments while protecting your principal.Read More
“They grow up so fast.” And college is a major expense whether your son or daughter chooses a state school or ivy-league university. It’s possible to make a college finance plan without extreme sacrifice. When the day arrives to write the big checks, you want to be ready. However, with all...Read More
Saving for retirement is one of the most important things you can do to care for yourself and your family. You have many investment options to help you reach your goal. For instance, your wealth strategies may require thinking beyond your 401(k). Together we will look at your long-term and...Read More
Investments and trusts go hand-in-hand to preserve wealth for your next generation. Putting together a sound estate plan for your heirs requires expertise that understands federal and state laws that govern estates. Without careful consideration of those laws, your heirs could face an undesirable...Read More
Many people leave companies and leave their 401(k) behind. However, doing so can cause the funds to be separated from you and you’re no longer available for the investment management of the account for your financial benefit. Be sure your 401(k) rollover is done properly according to federal...Read More
Getting the house may or may not be your best option in a divorce. And at such a sensitive and challenging time of life, it’s critical to understand both the short- and long-term consequences of a proposed settlement. If you are looking at getting a divorce in Texas, then you should consider...Read More
401k In A Divorce: A divorce doesn’t just separate two lovers; it separates your money from your pocketbook. Money and assets — including your 401(k) — generated during your marriage are up for grabs in the divorce settlement. In most cases, your estranged spouse walks out of your life with half your retirement funds in their hands.
What Happens To Your Retirement In a Divorce?
During the divorce proceedings, you spouse’s attorney files for a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) requesting a split of the retirement assets. Once approved by the judge, your spouse gets a legal document authorizing the transfer of half your 401(k) balance payable to them. With that document, he/she may rollover the funds into his/her own IRA account.
Three Ways to Protect Your 401k In A Divorce
- Sign a Pre-Nuptial Agreement excluding your 401(k) from your marital property. Of course, you need to perform this step before the marriage.
- Stop contributing to your marital 401(k) immediately after separation. Contributions made after the separation but before the divorce may be treated as marital property and you lose half of it. Wait until your divorce is final before resuming contributions to your 401(k).
- Word your settlement proposal to exclude the balance of your 401(k) before your marriage. By excluding your balance before the marriage, only the contributions and earnings accumulated during the marriage are designated as marital property.
Don’t Forget to Switch Beneficiaries
After your divorce is final, you need to do the paperwork on your retirement account. Before your divorce, your spouse was listed as the beneficiary of the funds in the event of your death. With the divorce, you must specify another beneficiary in which to award your 401(k) balance. Why does this matter? Your divorce doesn’t remove your spouse as beneficiary. In the event something happens to you, your spouse gets your retirement funds.
Don’t just change the name to your minor child’s name either. By awarding the money to a minor child, it goes to your spouse by default. Choose a responsible adult who will do right by the money for your kids. If you want to protect your 401k in a divorce situation, contact Bryan Bernard today.
401k In A Divorce
Posted on Feb 26, 2013 in Divorce Financial Planning
Few couples rush into divorce. Most of the people I talk with have been married for quite a few years, both spouses are or have been working, and they may have lived in several locations, with properties to sell or lease. When they decide to get a divorce in Dallas County, they need to know information that will make preservation of wealth possible for both parties. This is especially important for people who own or are an officer in a business where equipment and supplies could end up as community property. There are also financial issues to sort out before recording in Dallas county courts regarding a job in sales and the commissions due in the future. Insurance policies also are part of a financial account for discussion. You need to make certain that all information is available; nothing is missing, to receive the most favorable outcome. For example, you may also want to consider taking a general video of your assets to have a record. It’s complicated, and you need to sort things out sooner than later.
Divorce In Dallas County
Attorneys know the law and have the experience in district civil courts working with the clerk for county divorce forms. Each party in a divorce will need representation. Be sure to talk with several lawyers before making a decision on who will represent you and your children’s best interests. You may also want to research mediation online – a good mediator is helpful to prevent divisiveness.
I work with many couples contemplating divorce Dallas County – from the 972 and 214 area codes. I care about supporting your rights and preserving your assets when ending a marriage. That’s why I have an open door available to meet at many times in the day. Look through my Web site, and then call or send me an email about your situation. I’ll get back with you to review your specific situation before you end up with files in Dallas county courts. If you live in Carrollton, you may be in either Dallas County Texas, or Denton County, depending on where you live.
Please let me know if you need a map or directions to our office.
Posted on Jan 25, 2013 in Divorce Financial Planning
Money issues are frequently a cause of problems in marriages that end in divorce. And the most challenging process in a divorce is coming to agreement over assets. Regardless of income or the amount of the estate, both parties need to focus on an equitable settlement to prevent an inordinate amount of fees going to the attorneys involved.
If you’ve read any of my articles, you know that one of my mantras is ‘plan ahead.’ I see so many people start late with financial planning. Before you see a lawyer about a divorce, talk with a financial planner. You can determine what assets you are able to protect, whether they were acquired during the marriage or not. You have much more flexibility with your account while you are still married, before a separation. Conversations about distribution of property with a spouse will be inevitable, and can save attorney fees if the division is agreed upon prior to going to court.
Marital Assets in Divorce have considerations
It’s important to understand that all property is not community property. What the court considers joint property is a common question. An attorney will be able to cite the specific laws, but generally speaking, marital property consists of assets acquired during the marriage, including:
- retirement plan funds
- stocks and stock options
- brokerage accounts
- closely-held businesses
You have rights regarding your nonmarital property (also called separate property) which includes an inheritance that is kept separate from joint accounts or received prior to or after your marriage. Other assets considered nonmarital are things that you owned prior to the marriage (as long as you kept them in your name, such as real estate), a gift received from a party outside the marriage, and sometimes a settlement awarded for pain and suffering in a personal injury case.
Your Marital Assets in Divorce
If you are considering divorce, it’s especially important that you gather the information you need regarding custody issues, what assets are common to share vs. divide and tax factors. Being well-prepared with information and support will earn benefits in terms of a more fair arrangement in the end.
Read more: Divorce in Texas
marital assets in divorce
Posted on Dec 6, 2012 in Divorce Financial Planning
Divorce in Texas
The life changing effects of divorce often wreak havoc on both parties’ financial situation. Resolving to make a plan during the divorce proceedings can save you additional headache and heartache down the road. Here are five steps that will help you keep a firm grip on your finances, avoid unwanted debt and protect you from negative financial surprises:
1. Make certain that all joint accounts are closed. With attorney approval, take your name off of any property or credit cards for which you are/were both responsible. For example, if your spouse is assuming ownership of the house, make sure that your name is off both the mortgage and the title to the house. If not, you may be liable for payments if your spouse defaults.
2. Look at your credit report and determine which credit card accounts have joint responsibility. Close the account(s) in writing to prevent any outstanding debt boomeranging in your direction. If you are only an authorized user, and not a joint owner, then you are not liable for future charges. But you still want the account owner to remove your name from the account.
3. Resolve debt issues, determining who pays for outstanding debts.
4. Avoid ‘guilt purchases’ for your kids that put you in debt. Divorcing parents may want to indulge the desires of children to ease the pain of a life-changing situation. Your relationship with them is far more important than anything you will buy them at this stage of transition.
5. Create a budget. Know what money you have available to spend and stick with it. Getting outside help on budgeting is a valuable exercise to create a realistic spending and saving plan.
Divorce In Texas – The Negative Impact
Your credit can be negatively impacted by divorce, even if you are a financially responsible person. The divorce decree can’t be used to help your credit score if you are in any way contractually connected with a defaulting ex-spouse. Make sure that debt obligations are thoroughly detailed by the court.
Divorce in Texas
Posted on Mar 11, 2012 in 401(K) / IRA
If you’re like many people today, your retirement savings is a collection of plans and accounts spread out in many places. It’s easy to lose sight of how everything fits together.
Posted on Feb 23, 2012 in Retirement
When it comes to funding your retirement, you have to watch your step. What seems reasonable today, may not ultimately help you reach your goals.
You’ve heard the stories. Hard-working people on the road to achieving their retirement dreams become sidetracked by unforeseen developments. Unexpected medical expenses. A downturn in the stock market. A job loss.
Nine Big Mistakes When Saving For Retirement
Posted on Feb 23, 2012 in Life Events Planning
You’ll want to know what signs to look for, what types of changes you can expect in the coming years, and some tips for keeping your relative as healthy as possible. You’ll particularly want to review some resources available to you if you are a caregiver or have responsibility for your relative.
Millions of Americans have, or are projected to have, some symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Even more Americans will have a relative that is afflicted. Alzheimer’s’ is a progressive, age-related brain disease that affects thinking, memory, language and behavior. It usually affects people gradually, but over time, it can progress and steal away the patient’s memories and ability to interact socially. That progression also affects the patient’s caregivers and those who are financially responsible for him or her.
To read more about what to look for with Alzheimer’s disease, click here to download our publication.
Posted on Feb 23, 2012 in Family Protection
Experts estimate that families need approximately 70% to 90% of current gross income should something happen to the breadwinner. Because your family’s financial situation continually evolves through various life stages – birth of children, need to fund education, career advancement and salary increase, higher mortgage expenses – you should regularly review your life insurance needs.
This guide is specifically designed to help you determine whether you have enough life insurance coverage based on your immediate expenses, debts, available assets, existing coverage and other key considerations.
How Much Life Insurance Is Enough? – North Richland Hills, TX
Posted on Feb 17, 2012 in College Education
There are many questions surrounding saving for college education such as:
- How much can I invest?
- Who controls the account?
- How is a college account treated for tax purposes?
- Are there restrictions on the money?
529 College Savings Plans
Posted on Jan 21, 2012 in Estate Planning
Looking For Opportunity In A Year Of Uncertainty
Current estate tax rules are scheduled to expire at the end of 2012. As a result, there is a strong possibility that estate taxes will change in 2013 – but no one know how. This is an election year, and the political parties are sharply divided. Compromise, while always possible, seems unlikely. What does this mean for your estate plan?
In this report, we will:
- Review the tax rules in effect today
- Look at possible future outcomes (realizing that it’s impossible to predict what will happen)
- Consider how individuals at different net worth levels might approach estate planning during 2012