Kennedy Law Associates

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What makes a good health care power of attorney?

If you are like many in North Carolina, your health is important to you. Even if you don't always make the right diet choices or exercise as much as you should, you know that, once your health declines, your quality of life may never be the same. If the time should come when poor health prevents you from making your own decisions about your medical care, do you know what will happen to you?

You can have more certainty about this if you have a health care power of attorney in place in case you should become incapacitated at some point in your life. Understanding what a health care power of attorney can do for you is the first step to obtaining this peace of mind about your health. The next step, choosing the appropriate agent, may be more difficult.

Why some entrepreneurs may want a prenup

People in North Carolina who are considering starting their own businesses may also want to consider a prenuptial agreement. This can keep the company separate from the couple's joint property in case of a divorce. According to some attorneys, there is a rise among young entrepreneurs asking for a prenup even if they do not yet have a company in place.

Prenups have already been used in a number of prominent couples' divorces. For example, Sergey Brin, a Google co-founder, retained his shares in the company following his divorce. Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison has retained his shares in his company through multiple divorces. However, it is important to keep in mind that a prenuptial can be subject to challenges. The wife of Zynga's founder did so, but since court records regarding their divorce were sealed, it is unclear whether she was successful.

Basic steps to determine the value of a pension plan

Dividing assets is a huge part of the process that North Carolina couples go through when getting a divorce, especially if it is a high-asset divorce. It is important to understand the value of an asset before it can be divided fairly. One of the most difficult assets to value is a pension plan. Here are basic principles that apply to dividing pension plans in a divorce.

The first step is determining the type of pension plan a person has. A defined benefit plan guarantees a monthly benefit when a person reaches retirement age. A defined contribution plan is based on the performance of an investment fund.

Establishing a positive coparenting relationship

After a divorce, former spouses in North Carolina might have trouble raising their children together. While coparenting can be complicated, there are ways exes can work together and ease the tensions. It's wise to establish a positive coparenting relationship for the good of the children.

Coparenting often works better with an established routine. A set schedule tells everyone what to expect and removes uncertainty about when a child will see each parent and who will take children to different obligations. Setting and sticking to a schedule is one sign of a healthy relationship between divorced parents. However, flexibility is also necessary for a strong coparenting arrangement.

Credit separation and budgeting for one in wake of divorce

Divorcing couples often find that starting life anew as a single person brings serious financial challenges, including those related to the former marriage. A newly singled person can succeed by addressing the need for a budget that takes into account separation of debt, court-imposed expenses and rebuilding credit. North Carolina residents who have untied the knot should keep several things in mind.

Most importantly for the newly singled, the end of marriage often means a cut in income. Though there is less money to spend, people tend to hang onto their old possessions out of habit. However, the vehicle bought by the two-income couple may need to be sold in favor of a cheaper alternative. The money for annual club memberships may no longer be available in light of new expenses, such as child support. Though painful, making budgetary cuts will ultimately improve one's financial outlook in the years to come.

Co-parenting at school when you can't be around your ex

The North Carolina school year is underway, and you may be seeing only the beginning of how your divorce will affect your child. It was likely a difficult time for you, and you may be making your best effort to protect your child from the emotional turmoil that divorce often brings.

Ideally, you and your ex are on the same page about how to handle matters involving your children. Unfortunately, if the wounds from a difficult divorce are still fresh, you may find this school year to be rough when it comes to showing a united front for your child. As uncomfortable as it may be to interact with your ex-spouse, there may be times during this school year when, for the sake of your child, you have no choice.

Increase in millennials protecting against divorce with prenups

Prenuptial agreements seem to be gaining popularity among millennials throughout North Carolina and the rest of the U.S. Some may view the change, which was found in a study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, as a sign of maturity or increasing responsibility. Others have pointed to an economy that increasingly requires both spouses to participate in the job market.

The Pew Research Center claims economic factors have played a pivotal role in driving more millennials to protect their assets in case of divorce. Millennials entered the job market around the 2008 recessionary crisis, and this may have caused some to place a bigger importance on smart financial decisions.

Why digital currency can complicate a divorce

Cryptocurrency has been available to those living in North Carolina and elsewhere since 2009 when Bitcoin was introduced. However, digital currencies are now getting more time in the spotlight as they have increased in value and have gotten more attention from the media. For couples who are going through the divorce process, valuing a digital coin can be a contentious issue. It can also be tempting for an individual to sell or hide the asset from a spouse.

Digital coins may be difficult to hide if they were bought through an online exchange. Of course, it is still possible to hold them in a digital wallet offline, and the process of finding such holdings can be lengthy and expensive. If hidden assets are found, a judge could impose sanctions such as jail time or financial penalties. The other spouse could also receive a larger share of any assets that have already been disclosed.

Tips for older couples who are divorcing

As people get older, their finances can get more complicated. For older couples in North Carolina who divorce, there are several potential complexities in the process of property division. One of these is calculating alimony. In addition to a salary, the individual who pays alimony may have additional income from an executive compensation package or stock options.

Since North Carolina is an equitable property state, assets are supposed to be divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Couples may want to try mediation instead of heading straight into the more adversarial process of litigation. After decades of marriage, it can often be difficult to determine what counts as separate and marital property. For example, inheritances are usually considered individual property, but if the inheritance has been mingled with marital property over the years, it could be classed as shared property.

Are you worried about the inflexibility of trusts?

When thinking about the possible options you want to use to create a comprehensive estate plan, using a trust may come to mind. However, you may also have reservations about utilizing this planning tool because there seems to be little flexibility in terms of changing the document once you have created it. Fortunately, that does not have to be the case.

You can take steps to make your trust more flexible, even if the flexibility applies to how the trust is handled after your passing. Putting certain details in place could allow you to feel more comfortable in using a trust to protect your assets and have more control over property distribution later.

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Are quality legal services available in your Charlotte neighborhood? Yes, our offices are located in Ballantyne, so you do not need to fight traffic driving uptown or deal with the inconvenience of paid parking decks. We are just minutes from the Ballantyne Corporate Park right off of I-485. An initial domestic consultation with Kennedy Law Associates is a positive step toward creating a roadmap to a better future.

14835 Ballantyne Village Way, Suite 225
Charlotte, NC 28277

Phone: 704-512-0619
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