Today’s guest post is from Paula Novac about wills:
When you marry, your circumstances change considerably. Instead of being two single people, you become one, financially, although many will argue this point and maintain their finances separately.
Until a recent change in legislation, some states’ laws said that when you marry your will becomes invalid and you need to make another. Under the Uniform Probate Code rules of 2009, a will is no longer made invalid on the completion of the wedding vows. Some states were a little slow in enacting the law, but by January 2nd, 2012, a will anywhere in the United States is valid the day before you marry and the day after.
However, you may wish to update it to take into account the many changes to your financial circumstances as you start reassessing your bank accounts and making a savings rates comparison.
Writing your first will
Despite the law, getting married does make some legal changes to where your estate goes if you do not have a valid will. More of the estate will go to your newly married partner. Before you were married, your partner would have received much less than expected if either of you had died without writing a will.
Writing your will isn’t only for those with millions of dollars in their bank account. As soon as you have assets you need to get your will written so you can name exactly who gets what from your estate should you die.
Writing a will may save you tax by planning the content of your will correctly and introducing trusts where required to gain maximum advantage from the tax laws.
One of the main reasons for writing a will is for the sake of your children if they are under the age of eighteen. If both parents should die together or within a short time of each other, you wouldn’t want a government department to make major life decisions about your children, especially if this concerns who they will live with and under what rules. If your will is up to date it will contain guardianship information to ensure that your children are looked after in the manner and with the people you choose.
Will writing rules
When your will is being written there are some rules you must abide by. The first says that in most US states you need to be at least 18 years of age. You must be of good mental standing and be making your own decisions. You must not be influenced to write your will to benefit others when that is not your wish.
You will name people who you trust to manage the administration of your will – possibly your married partner if one of you remains in good health – perhaps a good friend or close family member who will become your executor.
You don’t need to notarize your will, but doing so can be a good safeguard against anyone making claims that your will is invalid for whatever reason. To ensure your will is valid, it must be signed by two independent witnesses, not your married partner or close family members.
Choosing your executor(s)
Often an overlooked part of the process, it is vitally important to choose people you trust and who understand your after death requirements for your partner and your family. Executors are the responsible people who will settle your estate for you after you die. You should also name an alternative person – contingent – to take over if your first choice is unable to do the work at the time.
They will have a number of key roles in administering your estate after you die. They will take the register of your property and belongings. They will source valuations for your assets and distribute them in the manner your will directs. They will pay your outstanding taxes and liabilities, from your finances.
The first choice of executor is always the other of a married couple, unless they are too old, too fragile or could not carry out the tasks associated with the role.
They have a legal duty to carry out the role in your interest which is why the writing of the will should be completed with the help of an attorney unless your estate is quite simple.
Finally, once your will is written, it is very important that you review your will from time to time to ensure it is up to date and matches your current requirements.
Paula Novac is a UK-based personal finance writer. She works on behalf of a number of clients, including a current account comparison service and a business loans provider.
Issues that arise in marriages can be very complicated. Few issues are simple.
There are, however some very simple ways to keep your relationship positive and help you work your way through a lot of difficult situations.
Use these 7 tips to help you continue to nurture a positive relationship.
1. If you want your marriage healthy and positive, you have to really want to keep it that way. You have to decide that the marriage is important in your life and give it the time and attention it needs. Ask yourself daily, “Am I spending enough time and energy on the relationship?”
2. Focus on what you like and love about your spouse. Forget the negatives. We truly do get more of what we focus on. If you are having problems, begin focusing on the positive in your relationship and not the negative. Most importantly, stop when you start to criticize your spouse. Turn your thinking to what you like about them and begin to see how your marriage gets better.
3. Kindness matters in marriages. Be kind. Very often, people in relationships treat the people closest to them worse than they treat acquaintances or even total strangers.
Go the extra step first. This week, do something kind for your spouse that you wouldn’t normally do and without expectation of anything in return.
4. Show appreciation for your spouse. Make a habit of expressing appreciation. If you do, you’ll find your marriage to be filled with much more happiness and joy. It might be something as simple as “I like your smile” or “Thank you for cooking dinner last night.”
5. Ask for what you want. Most people expect the people who are in relationship with them to be mind readers. If you’re expecting others to be psychics, you’re in for a painful ride if you’re in relationship with them. If you want your needs to be met, you have to tell people what these needs are.
6. Listen without judging or getting defensive. Be open to the possibility that someone else’s opinion or way of doing things may be just as valid or important as yours.
Just because their way is different, doesn’t make them or you wrong. If you’re constantly judging, being defensive and building walls, you’re not open to possibilities and to the love that is possible between two people.
7. Be willing to risk opening your heart and letting your spouse in. We can be in a relationship for many years and still not allow another person to penetrate our walls of protection. If you want to have a marriage that is alive and growing, being willing to risk is a prerequisite.
While these steps will not solve every issue they do lay the groundwork for a strong and healthy relationship. * Be sure to talk about the money it is just as important as any of these steps. Don’t let your marriage become a divorce statistic because of money.
If you’re relationship is struggling and marital problems are beginning to intrude into your everyday life then now is the time to put a stop to it, decide if what you perceive to be marital problems are really that much of an issue and if so do something about it.
Relationships are never perfect and some appear less perfect than others but just because you don’t always see eye to eye and just because you have let the relationship slide it doesn’t mean to say that you weren’t meant to be together.
Marital problems become a head at some point in most relationships with the stresses and strains of every day life making it hard to enjoy quality time with your partner. Without intimate moments, little treats and romantic evenings that help your relationship feel magical and special, couples tend to naturally loose that bond that bought them together and start to question the state of their marriage. If you have begun to doubt your relationship, don’t panic, even if your marital problems have reached a new height and you are beginning to feel that your marriage is a shell with nothing left to recover, with the right advice and a little positive determination you can save your marriage.
There is nothing wrong with having negative feelings about your partner, like you, they aren’t perfect, we all make mistakes, we all have our off days and we are just what we are. That doesn’t mean to say you have to like and appreciate everything about your partner, you just have to focus on what bought you together in the first place, love them for what they are, appreciate the good points and accept the bad and acknowledge that no one is perfect.
Marriage is all about teamwork, there is no point expecting one partner to take care of the finances, for example, if they are useless with money and then get upset when the bank account is empty half way through the month. If they are useless at finances now the odds are they have always been that way, that is what you married and you just have to learn to work around it, not focus on it and not let it eat you away inside.
I was speaking to someone the other day who is due to get married in a few months. He was getting really wound up over something his fiancé had done. The trouble was she was acting exactly as she always does, no different so if it is going to let it wind him up now what is the point of getting married in the first place!! People rarely change, she will probably always react to situations in the same way, it’s there at the start so unless her ‘husband to be’ can learn to accept it and not get wound up they will struggle with marital problems almost from the outset.
You have to enter into marriage with your eyes open. Emotional intimacy and marital bonds develop over time with partners generally being drawn together as they journey through life. Your partner becomes your sole mate, the person you rely on and the person that is there for you whenever you need them but they don’t change!
Don’t let common marriage problems get you down, do something about them, it doesn’t matter what has happened, or how it happened, you have to learn to tackle it marital problems head on. Don’t wait for someone else to sort it out, there is only you and your partner in the marriage, no matter what has happened and what either you have done when it comes down to deciding if you can and if you want to save your marriage then no one else counts.
You have the power at your finger tips, even if your partner isn’t motivated to do anything about it, with the right marriage advice you can resolve your marital problems, make decisions, sort out your life and save your marriage.
If you thought that a marriage could succeed on love alone, please rethink. Love is transitory. The mutual attraction or the infatuation that comes in the initial phase of love disappears soon. Then you know the honeymoon is over. Once money issues start, love tends to go out the window. After that what is left is the feeling that he/she is mine and I am his/hers. We have to journey together.
How a marriage changes in character after love disappears? This can occur in many ways. For example, the couple may begin regretting the marriage after the finishing of initial love phase. Or the couple may continue together as a sense of duty with each other and begin making a life together without passionate love. That needs caring for each other.
If you look back and think of marriages few decades back, most of the couples cared for each other. They called it love. It was essentially caring. A mother cares for her children because they are her responsibility and they belong to her. Similarly, partners care for each other because they got married. This kind of thought process can take the marriage last forever. The different thought processes of I want my freedom. I made a mistake. I am not happy with you. I must search for somebody better and so on leads to break-up. This thought process is I centered, where as the earlier one I described was care centered. You are mine and I must care for you.
We have to learn to respect human beings. We have to set aside our selfish desires for some time. We have to think about destruction that takes place by frequent marriage and divorce. Developing the thought of care for each other can surely help in making a marriage last longer.
Have you taken time to stop and smell the roses? Fun time with the kids always gives me an opportunity to keep things in the right perspective. This past weekend was filled with bowling, movies and walking around model homes. Sure enough, a lot of times I will work on the weekends so that I can get ahead for the week, but this previous weekend I wanted to take a break.
The kids are always so surprised when I am coming because they are used to me working. Do not under estimate the value of teaching your children hard work AND a good work ethic when they are young it will truly go a long way. I look at different people now and saw how they were in school and how the lackadasical attitude has carry over into their adulthood. Heard the saying hard work is its own reward. It is true. Don’t get caught in the trap of waiting for someone to give you anything – GO OUT there and GET it for yourself!
Incorporate some fun into your life each and every day, so you don’t look back with regrets.
Jealousy in marriage is destructive, a real relationship killer and one of those common marriage problems that needs to be resolved.
If you let feelings of jealousy develop and escalate the mind will run wild, imagine the enemy around every corner, question everything your partner thinks, says and does. In worst case scenario’s unresolved and unchecked jealousy has developed beyond the end of a relationship, into a long-term vendetta and in extreme cases extended to the loss of life. It gets even worse when money is involved. If one person is jealous over what the other one makes, they could begin sabotaging their financial dreams and every day budget.
As much as we would like to deny it, most people struggle with jealous emotions at some point in their lives and, in marriage, it is a one of those common marriage problems that can develop from feelings of insecurity or neglect. When it comes to money, a person has to be secure in their talents and abilities and not compare themselves to the other.
We now live in a society where marriages are often as a result of a second, a fifth or any number of relationships and are, in many cases, second or subsequent marriages. This is just society as we now know it but it can leave spouses insecure, especially when a previous partner is still around, and particularly in the case when children are involved.
People can enter into marriages with so much previous baggage that it often hard to settle into a secure, trusting environment full of self worth and self-belief.
Marital jealousy develops from numerous situations and no matter how much you try and tell yourself there is no need for concern your mind just doesn’t listen and all the while your partner continues with the behaviour that is instilling the feeling of insecurity throughout your very soul.
• Some people are natural flirts who draw the opposite sex like magnets, which, once the ring is on the finger, leaves partners totally insecure and just waiting for the moment when they are dumped for the next person that comes along. The partner who flirts often has no idea what impact their actions have on their relationship. They don’t actually believe that they are doing anything wrongs but perceive their actions to be friendly and not harmful.
• No one could ever be accused of being unnecessarily jealous in the case of infidelity beyond which, if the marriage survives (and in many instances they do), strong measures need to be put in place to enable the cheated partner come to trust their partner again and control the feeling of jealousy.
• Following the break up of a marriage, children need to feel that the split isn’t as a result of anything that they have done. This leaves parents over protective, desperate to make amends for one parent environment and often at the expense of new relationships.
• Another of the common marriage problems is that husbands feel neglected when a new baby arrives no matter how much they wanted the child in the first place. A baby’s mere existence is totally life changing with more attention towards the child and a complete ‘nose dive’ in marital relations. With the bond between mother and child being that much closer it can leave fathers feeling neglected, unwanted and a total spare part.
• Too much time at work can leave your partner feeling very insecure, especially when your hours at work increase and you spend less and less time at home for the sake of your family but if we think about it is it really for the sake of the family…..
People get fixated on their goals and have no concept on how this is perceived or how it impacts on their relationship and their family life.
Without the 100% backing of both parties, long hours and continuous travel can prove to be a real relationship killer and, if left unchecked, one of those common marriage problems from which there is no return.
The list is endless and jealousy in and of itself is not a bad thing, it’s strong indication that you really care. The main thing we need to remember is not to let the jealousy consume, arouse fury and become destructive.
If you are suffering from feelings of jealousy look at the cause, question your feelings and determine whether they have any foundation. Is your partner actually doing anything wrong, have they really done anything to drive your jealous emotions or have you just let your emotions spiral out of control.
If the fault is on your side, learning to recognize the fact is the first step towards controlling such an emotional and destructive thought process. It allows you to discuss your fears with your partner, explain how you feel and seek there help in enabling you to over come your jealous emotions, strengthen your marriage and build a more solid foundation for the future.
Communication is the foundation to marital success. If you can learn to communicate then you can express your emotions in a non-confrontational, non-accusatory, understanding and supportive environment.
Don’t just blurt your fears out such as ‘I think you are having an affair’ it might not be true and it will just add fuel to the fire. Explain that something seems to have changed in your relationship, explain what has changed and what makes you think your marriage is different, don’t blame, don’t get emotional just explain to your spouse what is going through your head and seek their help in trying to sort it out.
One of the most common marriage problems is expecting our partners to always know what we want and how we feel. But even with a ring on our finger we aren’t always mind readers, if we haven’t communicated our feelings and our partner doesn’t know they have, in our eyes, done something wrong, how do we expect them to do anything about it!
Tell them now, save your marriage before its too late. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Even if the answer isn’t what you want to hear knowledge is power and with knowledge comes the ability to turn your life around.
Advice for a good marriage can in some cases seem a little obvious, but in a lot of cases it can seem like just the advice you need. When you are involved in a long term relationship, sometimes it’s hard to see the wood for the trees, and it takes only the most basic advice for us to see what is wrong. Check this article out for more information.
Advice for a Good Marriage 1
The best piece of advice is to be honest with yourself about when it is and isn’t working. If you kid yourself that everything is fine when it isn’t, things are hardly likely to get better-in fact you will usually notice things getting steadily worse. Don’t wait and let things fester. The sooner you spot and admit to problems, the sooner you can move past them. Half the work is done as soon as you admit something is wrong, so don’t be afraid.
Advice for a Good Marriage 2
Learn to communicate effectively. Too often relationships degenerate into accusations and fighting as the default method of interaction. Can you honestly hope for things to last if that’s how you both behave? If you have something under your skin, sit down and talk it out. Talking about things sensibly rarely makes things worse-unlike accusations and arguing! People let their minds run away with assumptions and that leads to more trouble. Talk and get the facts. Don’t assume!
Advice for a Good Marriage 3
Understand that you can’t fix the problems in your marriage by solely fixing your partner’s behavior. A marriage is exactly that the joining of two people. It’s not healthy to make one person do all the changing and adapting. This will not lead to a healthy relationship. It’s much better to sit, talk it out and then work out how you can both make things better for each other. It’s also a lot easier this way, as each of you will usually only need to make small adjustments to keep the other happy.
Advice for a Good Marriage 4
Learn the difference between being in love and falling in love. When you fall in love, the person can do no wrong and people are able to behave in ways that their partner may not necessarily agree with in a normal state of mind. That’s why it can take work to stay in love-the love is still there, but you can’t expect to act however you please and for it to still be there. Love is like a fire, it sometimes needs to be tended to make sure it still burns.
Advice for a Good Marriage 5
Understand the principles of marriage karma-you get what you give, so if you go the extra yard for your partner and prove yourself to be kind, caring and considerate, the chances are they will act a lot more like that toward you too. Think about when you see couples that are really in love-it’s rarely just one of them doing the kind things is it? You can see that they genuinely love each other and sometimes its the least likely expected pairing.
Hopefully this advice for a good marriage will help you out.
A few days ago my husband and I watched Jumping the Broom and it was so much fun to get his take on this. Some of you may recall I saw this movie when it first came out and did some reviews with a Mary Chatman, President of Blackbride.com. We had a ball on Bride Groom Money Talk radio. So let me jump right into this and share his take.
When the movie started he was somewhat okay with it and about midway through, he stopped the tape and said there is a huge communication problem in this movie. I said yes it is and was apparent on all sides. The bride and her parents. He was getting really perturbed with the bride. He said she was a spoiled brat which was annoying him. But because she was needy to him, this would impact her marraige because she had that behavior. Then he started the movie back up. So we continued watching the groom’s mother and her continued dislike for the bride. This was primarily because she felt she had been disrespected by the bride not coming to meet her ahead of time. Later we found out that was the groom’s choice based on the mom’s past behavior with previous girlfriends.
Another point that he was sharing was that the groom didn’t know about his bride’s family secret until it came out that his mother put it out. The only person that knew his mom overheard the bride’s family secret was his mother’s best friend. The bride wasn’t even aware there was a secret until his mom made it a point to reveal that tidbit of information.
Of course he and I talked about the money aspect. It was ashame that the bride’s mother felt the husband was having an affair when at the end of the day it was about their investments. Yet, they don’t really touch on any of this in detail but it is sort of an underlying story. There are so many marriages that are impacted by finances that it warrants more discussion.
Overall it was a good movie.
“For two people in a marriage to live together day after day is unquestionably the one miracle the Vatican has overlooked.” This observation was made my Bill Cosby and perhaps speaks more truth than humor.
Marriages come and go every day. Marriages that are happy and love filled are hard to find and even more difficult to maintain. Those who are married know it takes a constant effort to remain together and exhibit a union of love and happiness. Couples employ diverse ways to strengthen their marriage and live together in harmony.
Some find solace and strength in meaningful quotes about marriage and love. Wisdom of a wise person who has the ability to express in words how you feel can bring support and the desire to move through another day. When the day has gone bad and you feel no one understands you, particularly your spouse, evocative quotes can renew your enthusiasm and rekindle a love that’s grown cold.
Ogden Nash had good advice saying, “To keep your marriage brimming with love in the loving cup, whenever you’re wrong admit it, whenever you’re right shut up.” The winner of any argument is more often than not the first one who admits wrong and takes the blame. A wise spouse holds their tongue even though they may be right and never says I told you so.
You may be feeling like Katharine Hepburn when she said, “If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married.” This feeling often fills young couples soon after the wedding. They regret what they did and doubt marriage is for them. It was fun dating and now they’re tied to one person for the rest of their life.
If this thought has crossed your mind, remember what Pearl S. Buck said. She said, “The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration.”
Dick Gregory may have found a reason for the feeling of doing wrong when he said, “Political promises are much like marriage vows. They are made at the beginning of the relationship between candidate and voter, but quickly forgotten.” Perhaps it’s time to renew your marriage vows and pledge your love again for one another.
No doubt you’ve heard the best advice for marriage quoted many times at weddings which is taken from the Bible in First Corinthians 13. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
And as your marriage matures, whisper to your spouse the words of Robert Browning: “Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be. The last of life for which the first was made.”
Dating is a lot like watching previews of a new romantic movie that’s about to come out. The scenes switch swiftly from one intriguing part to another while seductive music fills the theater and makes the emotions soar.
You watch extreme close-ups of beautiful people while they pledge their undying love for each other. In one scene they’re on a sun drenched beach frolicking in the surf, while in the next they’re holding hands across the table at a candle lit dinner. Finally, his lips meet hers as they fall into a pillow laden bed while the director fades to black.
When you pay to see the entire movie you discover the relationship is not all love, passion and kisses. The love struck couple wakes up the next morning or soon thereafter to a life of reality that’s not all bronzed bodies, expensive dinners and deep breathless kisses. They usually find they’re not right for each other at all and regret the blind love that led them into this mess.
Be aware that dating is a preview of coming attractions but you have to keep your eyes open to learn what’s to come as the relationship progresses and eventually leads to marriage.
When you’re dating, you put your best foot (and all the rest of you too) forward. You’re both on your best behavior and constantly trying to please the other. If only marriage could continue to be like this. The good news is, sometimes it is.
One of the main differences between marital and dating relationships is marital relationships are supposed to be forever. With a date you can simply say get lost but with a spouse it’s a little more difficult and complicated. So, do your dating homework and enjoy selecting a lifetime partner.
Ask yourself if both share common lifetime goals. Marry someone who wants the same thing in life as you. Marriage is hard enough pulling together, much less going in different directions.
Notice how your date treats other people. Are they nice to their parents as well as waiters and sales clerks? Is your date considerate of your feelings and concerned with giving you pleasure? Hopefully, these things will remain the same whether married or single.
Is your date appreciative of the things he or she has or do they think the world owes them a living? If your date is comfortable with the status quo and you’re a more aggressive goal oriented person, this may cause a conflict when you enter into the marital relationship. Are they seeking growth or are they content to be comfortable and let the world pass them by?
If you can’t trust them and communicate with them while dating, it likely won’t change after marriage. Communicate by sharing your thoughts and dreams and learn if you’re on the same wavelength for the future. Be objective and ask questions. While you’re dating you seek the perfect mate who gives you respect, love and truth. When you’re married you expect it.