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Why women should protect their businesses from divorce

Traditional views of divorce often reflect the husband as the primary wage earner who is concerned about retaining those assets. However, more and more Ohio women are starting small businesses, and they are the ones seeking to maintain control post-marriage. That's why it's important for wives to take steps to protect their businesses from divorce.

Many states recognize the concept of marital property whereby any appreciation in the value of an asset during marriage is to be apportioned between the two parties. This may be true if the business was started during the marriage and also if the business existed at the time the couple entered into wedlock. Additionally, marital property may be applied even if the other spouse did nothing to contribute to the operation or management of the business.

Knowing all the topics to address concerning a parenting plan

Going through the end of a marriage can be an exceedingly stressful process, especially if you and the other party have children. While you might be ready, or even willing, to open a new chapter in your life, you may have concerns about how the coming process will affect the lives of your kids.

As such, you may choose to place a high priority on reaching an amicable and acceptable child custody agreement during negotiations. However, this might not be as easy as it seems, as there are a variety of topics to address concerning a parenting plan, some of which might not be immediately apparent.

Tax changes and expensive divorces

Ohio residents who are getting a divorce should be aware of how the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will impact divorces that are finalized on or after Jan. 1, 2019. There are provisions that affect exemptions, deductions, federal tax rates and Alternative Minimum Tax limits. However, divorcing couples may be most interested about the changes that will impact alimony and child support.

For people whose divorce agreements are signed after 2018, alimony will no longer have any income tax consequences. Beginning in 2019, it will be treated as a simple transfer of property to be conducted according to divorce settlement terms. Divorcees who will have to pay alimony will no longer be able to deduct the amounts of those payments from their taxable income. Divorcees who receive alimony payments will not have to include those amounts as part of their taxable income.

Considerations for creating an estate plan

Creating a will or more complex estate plan is something people do to help their loved ones. A well-drafted Ohio estate plan makes things easier for heirs and avoids potential conflicts during the settling process. However, it's possible to further lower the risk of a conflict by including personal property in a will, naming the right executor and explaining unequal bequests.

In some cases, it's a small thing like a belt buckle or a childhood toy that leads to conflicts among heirs. People who are going through the estate planning process may want to just ask their children and other loved ones what they want from the personal property. It's also a good idea to make a list and keep it updated.

Prenuptial agreements gaining attention of millennials

Previous generations in Ohio might have focused on romance more than money when getting engaged, but members of the millennial generation are taking a more practical approach. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers has reported that a growing number of millennials want prenuptial agreements. A survey conducted by the organization showed that 50 percent of responding attorneys had prepared an increasing number of the agreements for millennial couples.

One business owner explained that her desire for a prenuptial agreement arose from viewing marriage as a contract. She said that her fiance needed time to warm to the idea. He initially considered it a divorce contract but eventually accepted the practicality of deciding things ahead of time just in case they got divorced. By discussing finances before marriage, the couple had an opportunity to plan the repayment of his student loans.

The importance of having a will

Many people living in Ohio are aware of the importance of having a will. Unfortunately, this awareness does not always lead to taking action and consulting with an attorney to create an estate plan. Failure to do so can create multiple problems both before, and after, an individual passes away.

The recent death of singer Aretha Franklin has brought the issue of estate planning into the national news. Despite having an estate attorney, Franklin died without leaving a will. This means that potential beneficiaries, which in this case include her four sons, will have to go through the probate process to receive their shares of the estate.

Handling digital assets in an estate plan

Cryptocurrency and other digital assets have increased the complexity of estate planning. People in Ohio who are creating an estate plan should ensure that they take care of both the legal and technical aspects of making digital assets accessible to heirs.

One attorney suggests listing the assets and all the relevant information regarding them on a piece of paper that is kept with other estate planning documents. She advises this over putting them on a USB drive since technology is fallible. Information such as key locations, timelock or multisignature requirements, passphrases and PINs may need to be included. Depending on how much trading a person does, this list will need to be updated regularly. A frequent trader may need to update it weekly while someone who trades only occasionally might only do so annually.

Divorce: A challenging topic to broach with kids

If you're one of many Ohio parents who are currently preparing for divorce, you likely have a thousand things on your mind at any given moment. From thinking about your future and how to execute a fair and agreeable settlement to helping your kids adapt to a new lifestyle, divorce can be quite challenging at times. Regarding your children, like most good parents, you have their best interests in mind.

You may wonder what the best way might be to explain the upcoming changes in their lives. Divorce need not ruin your kids' futures. In fact, children are typically quite resilient and adaptable by nature. There is no one way to talk to them about divorce; however, by keeping certain issues in mind, you may have a more positive experience. It's also a good idea to know where to seek support if a problem arises.

Dealing with retirement funds during divorce

When older couples in Ohio decide to divorce, they may face different concerns than those who end their marriages at a younger age. While concerns about child custody and support may no longer be relevant, financial concerns can be a top priority for those approaching retirement. Divorce among Americans over 50 has doubled in the past two decades and continues to rise. For people in this demographic, a split in retirement investments can have a significant impact on financial outlooks for the future.

In addition, it is important for people going through a divorce to properly split these funds. Even in an amicable situation where the parties are fully prepared to divide a 401(k), the proper procedures must be followed in order to avoid a costly and unnecessary hit in taxes, fees and penalties. Some kinds of assets, like annuities, can be more difficult to divide. Therefore, it might make more sense to keep them in the name of one spouse in return for other properties or investments.

What to know about being an executor

Ohio residents who are named the executor of an estate may have many resources at their disposal to help them do the job properly. For instance, there is literature that explains different estate plan documents and what they do. An attorney may also be consulted by an individual who needs help settling an estate. An executor is more likely to need legal or other assistance if the estate is large or otherwise complicated.

The executor is the person who is tasked with overseeing an estate through the probate process. He or she will need to locate assets, distribute them according to the will and pay taxes. It is important for anyone in this role to act in the deceased person's best interests. Otherwise, the executor could face legal consequences. Those who are concerned with legal issues may refuse to carry out the role, and in this case, another person will be appointed to act as the deceased's representative in court.

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