Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to update my will or my beneficiaries on my retirement accounts and insurance policies?
Yes. By law, the assets in beneficiary accounts must be given to the person(s) named in your contract or account agreement. Neither your will, trust or divorce decree can override the law. That’s why it’s essential for you to review and update the beneficiaries on a regular basis and especially when the is a substantial change in circumstances, like a marriage, divorce or death to be sure that those assets will go to your intended.
Our estate plan was done pretty recently. Do I need to update after my divorce?
Yes. Now that your divorce is finalized you need to update your will or trust to be sure that it matches your wishes outlined in your divorce decree. There are other documents, as well, such as your living will and your durable and healthcare power of attorney forms that need to be addressed as well.
Our largest asset in our marriage is the family business and we don’t want to sell it. What are our options?
Splitting up the marital estate can be a long and complicated process, especially if one of the assets includes a privately owned business. You will need to address:
- How much is the business worth? Can it be sold?
- Do you need to be concerned about the issue of “double dipping” when considering the valuation of the business and the money spouses owe in support obligations. Most states have decided that it’s inequitable for a spouse to receive maintenance or alimony payments based on his or her’s spouse’s future income, in addition to a share of the business as an asset.
- Is the spouse that owns and manages the business deceptive when it comes to reporting his income for personal uses? Downplaying assets and income can lead to lower business valuations and thus, reduced payments for child support and/or alimony and vice versa.
I don’t think I will be approved for or be able to afford a refinancing of our home if I need to buyout my ex’s equity interest and add that to my refinancing for cash out? What can I do?
We could look at a “hybrid” or “offset” approach. This is where the ex to be leaving does not need all the cash now for a new home or cash flow purposes but would accept more of their retirement funds for keeping, for instance. This may not be equal on an after tax basis for a dollar for dollar exchange but we could adjust for future taxation to make more equitable.
Who can help me with my questions and coordinating the timing of refinancing of mortgage such that I can buyout my spouse’s equity interest?
As a Certified Divorce Lending Professional, CDLP, I encourage you to discuss with me during the process whether you have already filed or anticipate filing a petition for divorce in the near future so we can determine a game plan and set realistic expectations for a smooth closing.
The timing of filing a divorce petition with the court has a direct impact on mortgage financing. When a Petition for Divorce is filed, most mortgage lenders will require either a temporary settlement agreement or a finalized divorce decree ordered by the court in order to complete and close a new mortgage application and/or loan.
Why? Because many things can change during the course of the divorce process and when maintenance and/or child support are part of the settlement it has a direct impact on either the debt load or the income stated in the mortgage application.
How will a Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP) help me?
As a CDLP, I bring the financial knowledge and expertise of a solid understanding of the connection between Divorce and Family Law, IRS Tax Rules and mortgage financing strategies as they all relate to real estate and divorce. As a CDLP I am:
- trained to recognize potential legal and tax implications with regards to mortgage financing in divorce situations;
- skilled in specific mortgage guidelines as they pertain to divorcing clients;
- able to identify potential concerns with support/maintenance structures that may conflict with mortgage financing opportunities;
- able to recommend financing strategies helping divorcing clients identify mortgage financing opportunities for retaining the marital home while helping to ensure the ability to achieve future financing for the departing spouse;
- qualified to work with other divorce professionals in a collaborative setting; and,
- as a CDLP I can provide opportunities in restructuring a real estate portfolio to increase available cash flow when needed.