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First-time estate planning: Here's what you should know

Estate plans are essential for all Americans, whether you have many assets to protect or not. Estate plans contain a number of important pieces of information that your loved ones need as they deal with your estate following your death or during your disability.

Some of the pieces of information included in an estate plan include:

  • Instructions for your care if you are disabled
  • Instructions on passing your valuables on to your beneficiaries
  • Documentation for the transfer of your business
  • Guardian and inheritance manager information

Get a good emergency plan in place to protect your child

When you leave your child with a third party instead of your ex-spouse, you and your ex-spouse need to have plans on how to react if an emergency takes place. There are many times when parents leave their children with day cares or babysitters. Those individuals are usually given information on who to call to pick up the child, but you may not have thought about what to do if you or the other person listed isn't available.

In some cases, facilities and individuals are limited in who they can contact. While it's typical in a typical family for both mom and dad to receive calls when a child is hurt, a day care may have only one parent's phone number or be told only to contact one of the two parents on that day due to custody arrangements.

What does AI have to do with burgers and fries?

To say you have never eaten at McDonald’s could be astonishing to some. Like many people, you are probably accustomed to quickly driving through and picking up a variety of familiar, inexpensive food items.

Although they may not be gourmet, they sell. People continue purchasing nuggets, shakes, coffee and pies around the globe. But as one of the largest food chains in the world, why is McDonald’s interested in acquiring a technology company?

Home flipping: There are risks you can't ignore

Selling property can be a great way to bring in extra income, especially if you're skilled at flipping homes. Buying property at a low price and making changes that increase the value is a technique many people have used to bring in extra income.

If you're interested in doing the same, consider your actions an investment. When you buy a home at a low price point, it might be because it's a foreclosure or because it has much work that needs to be done. It could be costly to fix up the property, so you need to know that you have the financial backing to do so in addition to supporting any other living arrangements you have.

What should you do before seeking a divorce?

You have had enough of your life with your spouse, and you know that you want to get a divorce. However, doing so isn't really as easy as just asking for one. There are lots of things you can do to prepare for a divorce that will make it easier in the long run.

If you don't take the time to prepare before asking for a divorce, you might find you can't access certain documents you need or that you're not getting the cooperation you'd expect from your spouse. How can you avoid this? Here are some tips.

Community property: Divide your marital assets equally

A divorce can be hard to deal with, especially if you're not the spouse initiating it. You're blindsided by your spouse's wish to separate, and you hope you can work things out. However, if your spouse isn't willing, then you do need to start to move forward with the divorce process.

As the person served with divorce papers, it's a good idea to take them to your attorney. You need to make sure you're signing documents only after you know exactly what they will or will not do.

What should you expect when buying a home?

Buying your first family home is an exciting step, but it can also be frightening. What if you buy the wrong home? How do you know that this is a good deal? What happens if you change your mind?

These are all great questions, and they're part of the reason why it's a good idea to work with your attorney before agreeing to any contracts.

Preparing your children for divorce

If your marriage is headed for divorce it's important to guide the children through the situation as easily as possible. Divorce is never easy when there are children in the marriage. You need to let them express their feelings and thoughts about what is happening. They must also know that they are not the reason for the split. Here's how you can prepare your children for divorce.

Have an open, honest discussion with your children and your spouse. Everyone should be present for this talk. Make sure you set aside enough time to have a long discussion so you don't have to rush your children through such an incredible revelation.

How might you go about becoming an adoptive parent?

Many adults want to become parents. This often happens through a natural pregnancy. However, some people step into a parental role when they get married. Others may not have a prospective co-parent. And it is not uncommon for people to want to grow their family after they have taken preventative measures, or after their natural children have moved off to college.

Regardless of your personal situation, adoption may be an option for you. If adopting a child has crossed your mind, you might want to consider what the process entails.

Help your children through your divorce

Most people have watched the scene multiple times in the movies. A couple sits down with their children. She is crying. He fidgets awkwardly. Together, they explain to the children how much they love them. Although it may seem stereotypical, informing your children about your real-life divorce may not be that different than couples who do so on screen.

While you and your spouse may not be able to make your relationship work, you probably both want to protect your children throughout your divorce process. But do you know how you can help your kids through the impending changes in your family?

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