Newsletter for April, 2012
An interesting event recently took place - the Divorce Expo! Start Over Smart: A Modern Divorce Expo was held a few weeks ago in NYC. The ADFP had a well-visited booth, drawing attention from media personnel, retail visitors and follow exhibitors. The sole purpose of this exhibition was to help people START OVER SMART- a concept that those of us in the divorce financial planning field are both well-versed and focused on throughout the divorce process. I have a friend and client who is a famous diet doctor, also in NYC (full disclosure- I lost 20 pounds on his diet and feel terrific, name and info available upon request), and the premise of the book is that diets are much more than watching what you eat. It is also about the social, environmental and psychological aspects of our lives. Divorce finance is very much in the same realm- it doesn't exist in and of itself- it is part of an overall picture that all the professionals design and coordinate with each other for the client's benefit. Teamwork works, and judging by the turnout of the number of professionals at the Divorce Expo, there is a solid support system to guide the client on a multi-disciplinary basis. Good stuff-
Let's Make a Plan." CFP Board eNewsletter, March 2012: March to Financial Success
On the following page: http://www.cfp.net/enewsletter/March2012.html
From CFP Board Ambassador JT Hatfield Smith, CFP®
Financial Planning for Couples Who Are Not Married
Financial planning for committed couples not recognized by the federal government as 'married' creates significant planning challenges. Couples should work with a CFP® professional to ensure that they have the appropriate protections in place. Items that might appear to be insignificant today may have adverse effects later, such as inadvertent taxes, loss of control in the event of incapacity, or negative consequences for a surviving partner.
Financial planners are seeing a greater trend in couples cohabitating without the 'marriage' wrapper. Whether it be the younger generation living together to give their relationship a 'test run', members of the Gay or Lesbian community who are not privy to the protections of marriage by the federal government or a Baby Boomer who has lost a spouse and chooses not to remarry but live with a companion; the need for advanced financial planning for these population segments is increasingly more important.
Under federal law, marriage provides several automatic rights, protections and privileges. However, the federal government defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. This means that 'partners', 'lovers' or even individuals in states now permitting same-sex marriage can be treated as nothing more than 'legal strangers.' Special steps need to be taken to ensure that the wishes of a non-married couple are honored and the partners are protected.
There are more than 1,100 differences between a married couple whom the federal government recognizes as married and those couples not so recognized. The list below, while not at all inclusive, highlights the most important considerations often missed in planning for these Americans:
FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY (POA)
Valid in all states, these documents give one or more persons the power to act on another's behalf. The power may be limited to a particular activity or general in its application. The POA may take effect immediately or upon the occurrence of a future event, most commonly a disability. Without this document, family members typically take precedence if someone needs to step in. However, the goals of the family member are not necessarily in-tune with that of the partner.
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE
In the event of a medical emergency, a durable power of attorney for health care stipulates who has hospital access and visitation rights, and designates an 'agent' to make medical decisions on the individual's behalf. The law in many jurisdictions does not recognize unmarried couples as family; accordingly, a durable power of attorney for health care is vital for something as simple as permitting entry to the hospital room to comfort a partner or for something as important as getting medical information and assisting in the decision making process.
DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT
A domestic partnership agreement (DP agreement) is a legally enforceable contract between two unmarried people. The DP agreement sets forth the rights and obligations of each partner with regard to the property each partner brings to or acquires during the relationship. The DP agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement for married couples and helps to lay out the process for handling assets should one of the partners decide to leave the relationship, or predecease the other.
A revocable trust, also called a "living trust," can be an additional tool for unmarried couples when doing incapacity or estate planning. While there is not necessarily a tax benefit to using this vehicle, a significant benefit of the revocable trust is that assets held 'in trust' do not get 'held up' should an individual become incapacitated or die. The individual, or grantor, creating and funding the trust has total access to the assets during his or her lifetime and can name a successor to take over should they not be able to make decisions on their own. Since there is typically a lot of emotion involved in the event of incapacity or death, this vehicle helps to eliminate the possibility that the grantor's wishes are not respected in the estate settlement process.
Assets are typically considered "mine," "yours" and "ours." It is important to understand the difference between titling options as unexpected gift or estate taxes could be incurred if not done properly. Also be aware of potential creditor issues that could compromise one partner's assets due to unforeseen circumstances brought on by the other partner. Be aware of the rights and limitations of any form of titling, and where necessary seek advice on the best form of titling for a given set of circumstances and intentions.
REAL ESTATE OWNERSHIP
It is important to ascertain who holds the title for a residence as well as who is responsible for the mortgage. If the mortgage is held in one partner's name and each partner pays half of the monthly mortgage payment, only the partner on the mortgage may deduct mortgage interest and may be limited to half of the mortgage interest deduction. Aside from the potential tax benefit, putting both partners' names on the mortgage may be desirable so that a surviving partner does not have to obtain a new mortgage at possibly higher rates. Furthermore, if the partner who owns the property passes away, ensure that proper steps are taken to prevent family members from turning the remaining partner out of the home against the deceased's wishes. A financial advisor or tax professional should be consulted when making any changes to real estate to ensure that an unanticipated taxable 'gift' has not been made.
The New ADFP Greater Boston Area Chapter
Meeting Notes: April 5, 2012
The NEW ADFP Greater Boston Area Chapter held it's third meeting at the office of Chris Chen, located at Integrated Financial Partners, 300 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Floor, Waltham, MA 02451.
The Guest Speaker on April 5th, was Katharine Greeley, Senior Loan Originator at Greenpark Mortgage.
Current market conditions may make it very difficult for divorcing couples to come to an equitable and acceptable settlement with regards to the marital home. As Katharine told us, there are several trends and obstacles that stand in the way for divorcing couples. The most prevalent one being, not be enough equity in the home to allow for refinancing in the event of a buyout. Another obstacle is difficulty in using unearned income (support) in order to qualify, either for a refinance or a purchase. These and other factors add to the difficult decision of whether to sell or hold the marital home.
Interest rates continue to be at historic lows, but lending guidelines are stricter. What's a client to do?
Katharine offered the following:
- Know your FICO score- your credit score is the single most important factor in a loan review
- Make credit management a priority-both during and after a divorce
- Establish a traceable receipt of regular support payments and other income sources
- Know the guidelines-A buyout is not considered a cash-out refinance, allowing for higher LTVs
- Be informed of your rights as a consumer with regards to the appraisal process
Katharine also explained that an informed consumer and working with a trusted professional who is aware of the current lending guidelines and programs is the best way for both the client and their CDFA to find equitable solutions.
Thank you Katharine, for such an informative presentation.
Katharine can be reached at
- Please note new meeting time- 12:00pm, bring a brown bag lunch!
- The group has decided to explore ways to promote our profession and establish our credibility within the professional community. We are in the very beginning stages of planning a divorce financial planning conference for later in the year. We are looking for volunteers for this exciting, albeit time-consuming venture. More to come in the months ahead.
Meetings for the ADFP Greater Boston Chapter are held every other month on the first Thursday of the month. The next meeting will be held at the address above on June 7th at 12:00 pm-1:45 pm.
ADFP News: Just a reminder- the ADFP Newsletter is only a short briefing. Please visit www.DivorceAndFinance.org for more information!
ADFP Conference News - Save the Date
As a follow-up to last month's announcement, this year's annual conference will be held September 20-22 at the Doral Arrowwood in Rye Brook, New York. This is the same site as last year's conference, which was extremely well received. We are just beginning to plan content for the conference and welcome any suggestions you might have for topics or speakers. Suggestions or nominations for this year's Pioneering Award are also welcome. Remember, as with the ADFP as a whole, this is YOUR conference, and YOU can play a role in once again making it a great event for the divorce financial planning community. We welcome your participation and the opportunity to learn state-of-the-art information and processes and renew relationships with colleagues from across the United States, Canada and elsewhere.
ADFP Northern Greater New York Metro Chapter
The next ADFP NGNYM Chapter Meeting will be Wednesday, May 16th from 12:00-1:30 at the offices of Andrew Samalin, Samalin Investment Counsel, 297 King Street, Chappaqua, NY 10514. At this meeting we will begin planning a joint event with another divorce group in our geographical area and brainstorm ideas for future chapter meetings such as Family Law Software trainings or workshops. We will also set up a schedule for future chapter meetings. A more detailed agenda will be sent shortly before the meeting. Please RSVP to Pam Humbert at 888-838-7773 or ADFP@DivorceAndFinance.org. Please also give her suggestions you might have for agenda items or future chapter activities. Our last meeting was a huge success! Let's keep the momentum going!
ADFP Greater New York Metro
2012 ADFP GNYM Chapter Meetings will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Benjamin Steak House, 52 East 41 Street, New York, New York (1 block south of Grand Central Station). Meetings are held every other month on the second Wednesday of the month. Please mark your calendars for: Wednesday June 13th, 2012, Wednesday August 8th, 2012, Wednesday October 10th, 2012, Wednesday December 12th, 2012
$25 includes meeting and a full breakfast buffet. Hosted by Chapter Chairs Cindy Thompson & Stacy Francis. To RSVP or for more information call 914-906-2919.
Organizational Meeting for an ADFP Nassau Chapter
An Organizational meeting for an ADFP Nassau Chapter is being held June 13 from 8 - 9:30, at the Marcum, LLP Offices, 10 Melville Park Road, Melville, New York 11747. The meeting is being hosted by ADFP member Jennifer Reik.
For directions and more information please call 631-414-4486 or 888-838-7773.
At this meeting we will have brief introductions including sharing a little about yourself and your interest and/or experience in divorce financial planning and other areas of potential mutual interest (5-10 minutes). Discussion will also include 1) potential activities and benefits for chapter members, e.g. speakers/topics for education sessions (continuing education credits), study groups, ideas for co-operative marketing, case studies, case consultations, mentoring, mixers and other networking events, charitable and pro bono work, courtroom observation, share ideas and experiences, 2) logistical issues such as when and how often to hold meetings and 3) benefits of ADFP membership.
Family Law Software Webinar Series:
6-Module Training and Certification Program
Presenter: Dan Caine, MBA, JD, President, Family Law Software
Accumulated Savings and Liquidation. This session explores the inner workings of the software with respect to Accumulated Savings and Liquidation. What is Accumulated Savings? How is Accumulated Savings calculated? How do we deal with income and appreciation on accumulated savings? How do we calculate liquidations? Tax payable on liquidations? Tax losses?
Video & Recording
Negotiating Property Division. Again, the screen looks simple, but there are subtleties. Some include: pie chart vs. bar chart. Different ways of dealing with pre-tax vs. tax-advantaged assets. Property settlement. Children's assets. Dealing with 529 plans.
Video & Recording
Real Estate Transactions. Mortgages, sales, refinancing, separate property, short sales, sale and purchase of new residence, using refinancing to achieve property equalization.
Video & Recording
Defined Benefit Pensions. This session covers the concepts behind pension valuation. What is a mortality table? What factors affect pension value? What factors affect coverture? What is the impact of the "works until" date? What interest rate is appropriate? What about adjusting for race, genes, etc.?
Video & Recording
What If Analysis. The "What If Analysis" screen looks simple (by design) but there are many subtleties. This session goes through the importance of the "start" date, what "copy from actuals" does and does not do, single-year vs. multi-year display, the five result-display options, tiers of spousal and child support, options for keeping support "always current," and how to ask "what if" with wages, exemptions, and filing status.
Video & Recording
Other "What If" Tools. This session explores the less-used, but useful and powerful "what if" tools in your Family Law Software arsenal. Alimony Needed, Scenarios, Alimony break-even, Alimony trade-off, and Alimony Present Value (how calculated, discount rate used, marginal vs. average tax rate).
Video & Recording
Each recorded module is about 90 minutes in length and designed to function either as a standalone or an integral part of the series.
Cost: $69/module ($59 for Members). $369 ($319) for the entire series, if initially purchased as a package. Modules can be taken in any order.
Family Law Software, Inc. will also be offering a new certification in Family Law Software for those who complete the program and pass a certification exam.
Cost for certification exam and grading: $129 ($119 for Members).
Entire program purchased as a package (includes all 6 modules, recordings and visuals and one certification exam: $485 ($425 for Members).
To purchase the Video & Recording please click on the links below. Secure links to the module will be e-mailed to you.
Accumulated Savings and Liquidation
Negotiating Property Division
Real Estate Transactions
Defined Benefit Pension
What If Analysis
Other "What If" Tools
Bundle of 6 Webinars:
Certification exam and grading:
Entire Program/Certification Package
Update from the Education-VP
Many ADFP-CDFA members have been asking for help in reporting earned education credits to the IDFA to fulfill their CE requirements. Note that, for the moment, ADFP does not report your credits to the IDFA (for attending the Annual Conference). For now, it is up to the designee to report his/her own credits. Remember you need to fulfill your 15 credit hours every two years per IDFA requirements.
For those Conference attendees needing to do so for past credits earned:
- Go to the ADFP website and click on the blue "Conferences" tab in the left-hand column of the homepage.
- On the Conferences page, you will see links to the last three conferences (2009-2011). Clicking on these will bring you to the agenda for that conference.
- If you attended that year's Conference, you can use this agenda to report your CE's earned that year to the IDFA. IDFA will require you to list the title of the workshop, a short description, hours/time earned and the date/place of the workshop. All of this information is provided on the ADFP Conference agenda. This is an 'honor' system presently regarding attendance.
- The "credit hours" listed are 1 credit = 50 minutes as approved by the CFP Board and NASBA, so these are also accepted as such by the IDFA. As most workshops are divorce-related, the IDFA will most likely accept all workshops submitted (though ADFP cannot guarantee it).
As announced by ADFP President, Lili Vasileff, and in the ADFP newsletter earlier this year, ADFP and IDFA have been working together to make CDFA credit reporting easier between the organizations. For the 2012 Annual Conference and going forward, ADFP will be reporting earned CDFA CE credits to the IDFA for attendees, (similar to how ADFP reports CFP® CE credits to the CFP Board of Standards).
ADFP is also working to improve the CE system at future conferences. One idea I'm kicking around is to establish a "CE Table" in the presentation room where everyone can access the attendance sign-in/out sheets, rather than passing these around the room during each workshop. In addition, we plan to have attendance sheets for CDFA members as well for later reporting to the IDFA. I'd also like to acknowledge Pam Humbert for her huge assistance in helping me with all matters-CE. Thanks Pam!
During this year, we hope to expand the Education program to include more web-based CE workshops. Currently, ADFP is only approved as a "Live" CE sponsor for CPE credits, but one goal for the year is to also get approved for 'web-based' CPE as well. More on that initiative later in the year.
I'd also like to encourage ADFP Regional Chapter leaders to hold CE workshops at your periodic meetings with ADFP members. CFP and CPE credits can be earned and all that is required is for you to contact me a month or so in advance of the meeting date to get the workshop approved for credits, keep a sign-in/out attendance sheet at the meeting and send this attendance sheet to me afterward. The subject base is pretty broad for both designations and your chapter members will appreciate having this option to fulfill their CE requirements. CDFA members should also be able to earn credits in the future as well.
If any member has a question about CE, feel free to contact me by phone (800-585-8696) or via email: Kevin@retirementplanningco.com. Thanks for your support of ADFP.
Kevin R. Worthley, CFP®, CDFA™
2012 Long Island Chapter Meetings
The dates for 2011 Long Island Chapter of ADFP meetings are as follows:
Meetings are located at: Suffolk County Bar Assoc, Hauppauge, NY
Time: 8:30 - 10:30am
Light breakfast served
Cost: $15 members, $25 non-members
Speakers at each meeting to be announced
Thanks to Jane at Suffolk County Bar Assoc for all help! For more information contact:
Maria T. Carrara CPA, CDFA, PFS
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst
9 Bellport Lane
Bellport, NY 11713
Phone: +1 (631) 776-1308 Fax:+1 (631) 286-1118
Mobile: +1 (516) 443-3204
AICPA/AAML Conference on Divorce
Date: May 10 - May 11, 2012
Location: Aria Resort & Casino
Las Vegas, NV
Recommended CPE Credit: 18 (main), 3 (optional)
Pre-Conference: May 09
The 2012 AICPA/AAML National Conference on Divorce is a comprehensive, high-level event designed to offer a broad array of key insights and diverse perspectives from experts in both the accounting and legal worlds. Gain the additional value of dual perspectives on divorce issues, as top CPAs / financial experts and attorneys lead the way with cutting-edge insights and analysis.
Jointly sponsored by the AICPA and the AAML (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers), this intensive program provides innovative ideas and timely solutions to help you succeed in a myriad of circumstances - to settle cases, value businesses, split marital assets, identify fraud, utilize electronic discovery & evidence, locate foreign assets and develop strategies to handle high-profile and unique cases. Most sessions will be presented by both a CPA or financial expert and an attorney, who will present a diverse set of perspectives and insights. This format allows both CPAs and attorneys to expand their knowledge base and gain key insights. As a result, you'll walk away with new solutions to fit your clients' needs, and new methods to achieve proficiency, growth and profitability to your firm.
ADFP Ohio Chapter Meetings
The remaining ADFP OH Chapter Meetings will be:
Friday June 1, 2012
Friday August 3, 2012
Friday November 2, 2012
Generally they take place in Columbus but that is subject to change based on attendance. We meet from 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM. Lunch is available for a charge. For more information, contact:
Amy L. Whitlatch, CFP(R), CDFA(TM)
The ADFP Is Now Social!
Join us on LinkedIn and Facebook!
NOTE: You must already be in Facebook and LinkedIn to join each group.
1. Go to www.LinkedIn.com
2. Sign in using your credentials.
3. Go to the search bar on the top, right-side of the screen. Click on the drop-down menu and select "Groups."
4. Then type "Association of Divorce Financial Planners" and you will see it in the list.
5. Select the group and look for the "Request to Join" link.
1. Go to www.Facebook.com
2. Sign in using your credentials.
3. In the search bar at the top of the screen, type "Association of Divorce Financial Planners."
4. Click on the word "Like" on the top of the screen. In Facebook you join the community by clicking "Like".
Both the Facebook and LinkedIn groups are open so feel free to invite other professionals and anyone else you think may benefit from the information we are sharing there.
Other Divorce News:
Alimony Laws Changing Again
Be Careful What You Text If You're Heading for Divorce
Research Shows, After Divorce Women More Likely Than Men to Lose Health Insurance
Divorce Lawyer: How to Find, Retain, & Manage a Lawyer
10th Annual ADFP Conference
September 20-22, 2012
April - May 2012 Event Calendar:
|Association of Divorce Financial Planners (ADFP)
Greater NY Metro Chapter Meeting
Long Island Chapter Meeting
Greater New York Metro Chapter Meeting
Long Island Chapter Meeting
|National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
NAPFA National Conference
|Financial Industry Regulatory Authority(FINRA)
Half-Day Compliance Boot Camp
Boca Raton, FL
District Compliance Meeting
Long Island, NY
District Compliance Meeting
New York, NY
District Compliance Meeting
Long Island, NY
|Society of Financial Service Professionals
Life Insurance in a Retirement Plan: Why Now? Why Not?
Central Illinois Mini-Institute
Retirement: Your Client's Last Change to Get It Right
|American Bar Association (ABA
Spousal and Domestic Partner Issues in Pensions and Retirement Income
Section of Family Law 2012 Spring CLE Conference
Miami Beach, FL
20-Hour Advanced Family Mediation
Get a Clue: The Ethical Use of Private Investigators in Family Law
|National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC)
The Year in Review: An Estate Planner's Perspective of Recent Tax Developments
Legislative Update on Estates & Trusts
1/2 Day Seminar: The Effects of Divorce on an Estate Plan
Family Wealth Counseling
Santa Ana, CA
Any questions? Comments? Please feel free to contact our Editor-In-Chief Andrew Samalin, CFP® Andrew.Samalin@SICounsel.com.