A lot can happen in a year. How was 2014 for you? Marriage, a new baby, a death in the family and a divorce are important changes with a lot of unanticipated details which are easy to forget. The New Year brings an opportunity to examine how these important changes can effect some of your most consequential decisions. (Note: If you are in the middle of litigation of any kind, get advice from an attorney before making any of these changes.)
Beneficiaries, Powers of Attorney and Emergency Contacts
From who receives the life insurance to who gets the call when you crash on the treadmill at the gym, you want to make sure that the right person is named. No one wants an ex-spouse making the decision about when to “pull the plug”! Most named beneficiaries, powers of attorney and emergency contacts do not change automatically with your marital status. Even though the holidays are over, make a list and check it twice. And, while you’re at it, have a new last will and testament executed with an attorney.
Credit Report and Financial Objectives
Whether you are combining finances with a new spouse or disentangling them, a clear picture of your obligations is essential to your financial health. A legal consultation might be helpful for newlyweds to understand the implications of Louisiana’s community property regime. If you have recently ended a marriage and have completed your litigation, make sure that your credit report reflects the recent changes to credit cards and other debts and assets that were part of your final judgment of partition. When one of these important changes occurs in your life, the financial impact can be enormous. Evaluate where you stand and what you need to do to maintain or reestablish financial security.
Personal Aspirations and Goals
Marriage, children, death, divorce – these are the big deals in life. They change a person’s perspective and priorities. Revisit how you define yourself and what brings you a greater sense self-worth. Talking to a mental health professional or a spiritual advisor about these changes might be a good exercise. Take the time to rest, recover and reassess this New You and how you want to relate to the world.
May the New Year bring the New You the brightest of blessings, prosperity and love!