Protecting You and Your Family: A January Life Management Checklist
January is Life Management Time, for Families in Transition
Recently divorced people, parents, and the new and expecting mothers make time to get their house in order, literally and figuratively with a life management checklist and the right professionals to help when necessary. Divorce in Texas is a significant event and so is having a new baby or getting remarried. Especially for families with significant life events taking place around the holidays, it can be easy to forget some important life details needing prompt attention before being overlooked. Please start the habit of making an annual life management checklist and learn to appreciate the benefits of smart planning for the family.
Barrows Firm attorneys in Southlake give their advice and counsel to families in transition who need to update important documents, create new estate plans, modify or terminate child support, and make plans for the growth and needs of children. Successful parents think and plan well in advance, knowing just about anything can happen along the path of life and raising happy and productive kids. Attorney Leslie Barrows is well-known in the Southlake area for helping families adjust for their needs as they click off necessary items on their life management checklist.
Organization is important for good parenting. Part of being organized is notifying people who need to know certain information should they need to take action. Let people know if you have granted them power of attorney authority and under what circumstances you expect them to make decisions. For example, let people know where the important documents are located. Some keep copies of important documents with their attorney, and it is important to let important people know the name and contact information for the attorney or anyone else who needs to be identified in the case of a serious life event.
Fatherly.com: 8 Tips to Help You Become a More Organized Parent
Important Updates for the Recently Divorced
Recently divorced people should keep a list of every financial interest and be familiar with accounts and documentation, making sure that everything is updated to reflect a new marital status and name change if it applies.
Life Management Checklist & Common Post-Divorce Updates:
- Beneficiaries on life insurance;
- HIPPA releases at medical offices;
- Check bank accounts;
- Run credit reports;
- Update life insurance policies;
- Remove ex-spouses from life 360 tracking apps;
- Meet with your financial planner;
- Use a qualified CPA;
- Verify that the correct Final Order is on file with the child’s school;
- Make sure ex-spouses are no longer authorized users on any bank accounts, and
- Update all passwords.
Child Support Modifications
Child support can be modified every three years as a general rule, and the Barrows Firm frequently files modification cases when the prior court order needs to be updated to reflect a change in the income and net resources of the child support obligor. Especially in 2022, with so many people changing jobs since 2020 many parents receiving child support payments need a child support modification. In certain situations, it is also possible to modify child support before three years have passed since the last court order, and the Barrows Firm attorneys can assist with reviewing your child support situation and advise on different rights and options.
Special Needs Trusts
Parents of children with special needs such as autism, medical, physical, mental, and other disabilities, need special help and care for their children, young and adult. Where there is court-ordered support for a child with special needs, the Court can designate a special needs trust to receive direct support payments for the benefit of the special needs child.
Barrows Firm Article: Special needs Children and Divorce
Estate Planning and Trusts
Estate planning is for everyone, and that includes all of us. Whether it is your first time having a will or set of power of attorney documents prepared, or you need to make an update after a divorce or the addition or loss of a family member, January is a good time to take stock of life and get things in order while working through the 2022 life management checklist.
Understand that anyone who dies without a will or a trust is allowing the State of Texas to take control of and distribute your assets by statutory construction. Don’t let that happen. Get a proper will and estate planning documents like a living trust, power of attorney documents, and other trusts. Depending on the situation, we make referrals to a Texas Board of Legal Specialization-Board-Certified trust attorney for complex and high net worth management issues.
Nerdwallet: Estate Planning, A 7-Step Checklist of the Basics
We offer estate planning if necessary and can refer you to a board-certified trust attorney if you need further assistance. Family members are dying without wills and trust me you are letting the State of Texas what to do with your assets without a will which is difficult on your loved ones.
New Babies and Adopted Children
After bringing home a newborn baby or adopted child, don’t forget to make an appointment to update wills and estate planning documents. As Leslie Barrows mentioned recently, she has seen many newborn babies at church and she hopes they are all well covered and their parents remember to plan for their futures and update their wills, estate, and insurance plans.