Sunday, January 15, 2017

Should Estate Planning Be One of Your New Year's Resolutions?

With 2017 underway, many of us are eager to focus on making a change in our lives and resolve to follow through on those resolutions. If any of the following applies to you, then you may want add estate planning to your New Year’s Resolutions to ensure that your family and assets are protected.

 1)  You don’t have an estate plan. You have a job, a spouse, children, a car and a house, but you don’t have a will or estate plan. Without a will, you are placing your estate (and maybe your children) in the hands of the Court to make determinations on who will inherit your assets. An estate plan will go a long way in keeping your family out of court and out of conflict.

  2)  It’s been more than three years since you updated your estate plan.  You have a will, but it has been more than three years since it has been reviewed by an attorney. Since then you may have started or expanded your family, acquired real estate, moved here from another state, and/or changed your marital status. Further, the law has mostly likely changed. Changes in circumstances and the law now need to be reflected in your will and other instruments.

  3)  You were single and/or childless when you created your current will.  Now you’re married with children and you need to make provisions for your spouse as well as guardian designations and trust provisions for your children should something happen to you and your spouse.

  4)  You haven’t made end of life decisions.  Consider the Terri Schiavo situation and the ensuing 15-year court battle that pitted her husband against her parents. Estate planning allows you the opportunity to ease the burden on your loved ones by declaring your end of life wishes as well as specify your funeral arrangements.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Beginnings: Starting Over & Moving On

 The Women in Confidence Workshop has expanded its focus to bring expert advice to women in all stages of life and is held regularly on the 2nd Friday of each month from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM. Planned topics in the months ahead include legal and financial information for those who are considering starting a new business, getting married, downsizing and more.  Financial advisor Amy Colton and attorney Jennifer Cochran-Green will answer questions and address financial and legal issues for women at various stages of life. Participants are welcome to bring a Brown Bag lunch as well and encouraged to bring their own questions and concerns. Childcare is not available.

New Beginnings:  Starting Over & Moving On
Friday, January 13th
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
DSCL Meeting Room

Please RSVP by emailing adultservices@dscl.org to allow the Dripping Springs Community Library staff to plan ahead.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Child-Centered Tips for Co-Parents to Avoid the Naughty List this Holiday Season

The holidays can be tough for families experiencing separation. We’re all human and conflict happens despite our best intentions. Keep these tips in mind to create a great holiday experience for the children so that they remember this special time with fondness.

1.  Be nice and flexible with the holiday schedule.

The custody order specifies holiday arrangements, but be sure to talk about it so that there are no surprises. If you know your holiday plans with the kids are going to be different this year, then talk about it well in advance because nobody likes last minute holiday changes If your co-parent wants to deviate from the schedule this year, don’t be naughty and say no without consideration. Think of the children and consider agreeing to the change if it’s in their best interest - the more flexible you are the more it gets reciprocated.

2.  Be nice by offering to coordinate gifts.

As we all know, children love gifts and even more so now that they're celebrating two separate Christmases. Some coparents choose to split the list of gifts, and by doing so establish expectations and share the cost. Don’t be naughty and disparage your co-parent if they don’t want to do it, just try to remain positive and focus your energy on enjoying the holidays your way.

3. Be nice by sharing your children’s excitement. 

If the other parent gives a gift that you don’t approve of or is more expensive than yours, don’t be naughty and criticize the other parent. Share in your child’s excitement that they just got a great gift! They’re happy about the gift, not who gave it to them. Likewise, if they are excited about the gift that you gave them, don’t be naughty and demand that they leave the gift at YOUR house. Accommodate your child if they want to take your gift to the other parent’s house.

I know the above can be difficult when you're experiencing such strong emotions but applying the these tips will go a long way in helping your children adapt to having two homes and enjoy this special time of year with you and the other parent.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Jennifer Cochran-Green publishes Children's Book about Adoption

Jennifer Cochran-Green has released an updated version of her children's book, Will You Be My Forever Family?  The book is a storybook about adoption in which the Princess, a baby in utero, dreams about the family waiting for her on the outside and the lovely voice who comforts her and tells her all about the world. Jennifer hopes that the book will inspire adoptive parents to talk about adoption and the child's birth family with their children.  Jennifer wrote the book in 2014 and published it on Amazon Kindle in 2015 where the original ebook version is still available for purchase. You can purchase the new edition print version on Bookemon or directly from Jennifer by emailing her to request a copy. The cost is $10.80.