Category: Divorce

Protect Yourself and Family from Scams and Fraud

Our firm is located in Castle Rock, Colorado, currently rated as one of the most desirable places to live in the U.S. As our community has grown it has attracted an assortment of scammers, fraudsters and con-artists. Each year we publish an article on the latest tips you can use to protect your family and yourself from getting scammed. Here is our 2019 update on avoiding fraud and cons.

Here are some of the latest frauds to watch out for:

1) Fake families begging at local stores.
2) Fake notices on obtaining recorded documents about real estate.
3) The ever popular robo call now also on your cell phone.
4) Skimming machines at local gas stations.
5) In good weather the always annoying door to door sales person.
6) Internet scams now appearing on your facebook and twitter pages and in the groups you follow there.

There are many more and scammers get bolder and more sophisticated each day. Your job, with these tips is to outsmart the con-artists. Here are several tips to use:

1) Any time and in any place that you feel threatened or uncomfortable, call the police or sheriff’s office. Nothing makes rats run away faster than the cops arriving.

2) If you are unsure about an offer or sales person, check them out before signing anything or giving them money. Use these links to get more detailed tips:
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0060-10-things-you-can-do-avoid-fraud

https://www.bbb.org/avoidscams/

https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/get-help/protect-yourself-from-scams

3) Ask your lawyer or CPA for their opinion before you hand your hard earned money over to someone. Your lawyer and CPA owe you what is called “fiduciary care” so they are required to have your interest paramount.

4) As hard as this may be to do, NEVER EVER give money to someone who is begging at the store. If you fail to follow this rule you will probably see that fake family at the car dealer buying their next car with your money!

5) As fun as it is to follow advice on facebook, twitter and nextdoor, don’t buy ANYTHING just because you see it there. I recently purchased a tool for my bike on facebook and, to my total dismay it was a total piece of garbage and I should have known better!

The basis rule in our law is Caveat Emptor. This means that only you can prevent fraud and only you are the best means to protect yourself from scams and con-artists. Remember this: Be careful out there!

3 (Of Many) Reasons Why Estate Planning is Not Only for the Wealthy

Before I became an estate planning, I did not fully understand the importance of having an estate plan.  I thought that estate planning was only for the wealthy.  Nothing can be further from the truth!
So, here are 3 reasons why you should consider meeting with an estate planning attorney, regardless of your wealth:
1. You have children under the age of 18.
A good estate plan protects your children from an uncertain future.  For example, a comprehensive estate plan for families with young children will include an Appointment of Guardian, which allows you to nominate a guardian to care for your children when you die or become incapacitated and are unable to care for them.  They also include an Authorization for Care of Minor Children, which allows you to appoint an another adult to temporarily care for and make decisions on behalf of your minor children when you are on vacation, unavailable, or become incapacitated.
2. To appoint decision makers to take care of you and your finances should you become unable to do so.
Not all estate planning concerns death.  For example, power of attorney documents are important estate planning tools.  These documents allow you to name people you trust (agents) to make medical and financial decisions for you while you alive, but are unable, or don’t want to, make such decisions for yourself.
3. The State in which you live has already created an estate plan for you.
All 50 states, and the District of Columbia, have laws that dictate how your property will be distributed after you die.  These laws are called the laws of intestacy and apply when you die without a will.  These laws may not match how you want your property to be distributed after your death.
Greta Suneson

Is Your Estate Plan HIPAA Compliant?

HIPAA compliance runs through most of our daily lives and activities. Having an estate plan which is HIPAA compliant is now mandatory in order for your wishes to be carried out.

Here are some things to check in your documents:

  • Are the documents dated prior to 2010? Older documents are often not HIPAA Compliant.
  • Do your documents mention HIPAA? If they don’t the documents are not compliant.
  • Are HIPAA Personal Representatives named? If not then the documents are not HIPAA compliant.

K&G can review your plan documents to ensure effective compliance. Contact our office at 303-688-3535 to schedule an estate plan review meeting today.

Becky Photo Castle Rock Law Firm

Rebecca Goldmanis Named Rising Star By Colorado Super Lawyers

K&G is pleased to announce that firm partner Rebecca Goldmanis has been named a Rising Star by Colorado Super Lawyers. Becky heads the firm’s Family Law Department and specializes in family law, complex and high conflict divorce and post decree matters.

As a former district attorney Becky is experienced in high conflict matters and is recognized as one of Colorado’s top family law specialists. Becky also presented to the Colorado Family Law Institute in the summer of 2017 with K&G partner Bernie Greenberg on how trusts can impact divorce.

5 Essentials for Your Divorce Property Settlement

Before entering into a divorce property settlement, you should consider the following financial matters:

  • Tax Implications

It is be beneficial for you to consult with an accountant to learn what the tax implications of the property settlement are before signing the agreement.  Some things to think about regarding taxes matters are: tax basis of property, losses carrying forward on previous tax year, claims on tax returns related to children and real estate, capital gains, how maintenance will be treated for tax purposes, and many more concerns.

  • Insure Financial Support Obligations

If there is an ongoing financial obligation such as child support or maintenance the person designated to pay the obligation should obtain a life insurance policy in an amount that is sufficient to insure the financial obligation.  Including such a provision in the settlement agreement makes certain that if the person obligated to pay the financial obligation dies, then the recipient is not left without that income, which could put him or her in financial ruins.

  • Permissible Retirement Division Options

There are many types of retirement plans.  You will need to get a copy of your plan to ensure that agreements included in your property division settlement are permitted under your retirement plan.  It is also important to look at options regarding survival benefits.  Keep in mind that there are consequences with early withdrawal of these funds and receiving $50,000 in cash is not the same as receiving $50,000 in retirement funds.

  • Value of Investment Assets

Some investments have penalties, taxes and other financial consequences if liquidated.  This means that if you enter into a 50/50 property split and these items end up on your side of the property division, you may not be getting the equivalent of your spouse’s property settlement.  You should consult with an attorney to determine whether your property division is fair given the type of assets you are allocated.

  • True Pension Values

The value on your pension statement can be misleading.  A pension may be one of the most valuable assets you have.  Some pensions will require a trained expert to determine its true value.  As with other retirement assets, it is important for you to obtain information regarding the rules and regulations related to your plan.  Failure to correctly value your pension could be a costly mistake.

Dealing with a Spouse’s Substance Abuse Addiction

Being married to somebody with a substance abuse addiction affects the whole family.  A spouse with a substance abuse addiction may:

 

  • have an excessive need for privacy;
  • be dishonest;
  • behave secretively or suspiciously;
  • lose interest in family activities;
  • have a hard time paying attention and focusing;
  • lose his/her job; and,
  • become physically abusive.

 

Dealing with your spouse’s behavior could be difficult and may even endanger your family.  If your spouse has a substance abuse addiction and refuses to seek treatment, you may need to consider a divorce.  If you have children, it is imperative that you take appropriate action to ensure your spouse’s addiction does not endanger your children.  By leaving your children alone with your spouse, you may be putting your parental rights at risk.

 

Below are links to helpful resources to assist you in deciding whether a divorce is appropriate and information on how your spouse’s substance use can be monitored during the pendency of a divorce:

 

 

If you decide a divorce is right for you, you should contact an attorney with experience handling cases that involve substance abuse addictions to advice you regarding your options and what action will best benefit your family.