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Welcome to Katie's Blog! I will be sharing information regarding family law, document preparation, and alternative retirement planning. I will also be sharing guest posts from experts in the industry. I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge, and receiving feedback from you!

Bankruptcy: How to Value Your Assets
Sunday, February 24, 2013

I have been reading and hearing different reports about how a large number of people are expected to file for Bankruptcy nationwide during this first quarter of 2013. So when I came across a website with a great article on how to understand valuating your assets when filing for Bankruptcy, I felt that I needed to share it! Click here to read full article.

This site has a lot of great educational articles pertaining to Bankruptcy, and also lists attorney's that you can contact for advice by their state.

If you are ready to file for Bankruptcy, my mom and business partner, Dawn Kaiser can assist you with filing all the documentation. She has more information on her website:

Myths about Divorce

Sunday, December 30, 2012

For anyone out there going through a divorce, or thinking about filing for one, I would suggest this article as a quick read that will give you some realistic numbers and information about Divorce in this day and age. The article is entitled 7 Divorce Myths, and I discovered it on Yahoo.

When you hear about the topic of divorce, a lot of numbers and statistics may immediately come to mind. I ran across an interesting article that researched seven of the biggest myths related to Divorce, and its statistics.

Divorce and Taxes
Thursday, August 2, 2012

Divorce can already be a tricky and complicated matter, but can become even more so when you add tax implications to it. Most couples going through a divorce have not looked ahead to see how their taxes will be affected through child support, alimony, and division of assets. I came across a Time magazine article recently that gave a lot of great information on the subject.

Dependents: When going through a divorce with children, only one parent can list the child or children as a dependent per tax year. Therefore, it is helpful to have that information listed in the divorce decree, so that both parties will know how to proceed when tax time comes. While there are many variables to consider, a popular option is to rotate years that parents can list children as dependents. For example, mother is awarded tax dependency for children in even years, farther is awarded for odd years.

Alimony: Spousal support is a taxable event. Therefore the spouse providing the payment can use it as a tax deduction, where the spouse receiving it will be required to count it as earned income on their taxes, and will therefore be taxed on it. Failure to report alimony on either spouses’ tax return, could have serious tax implications.

Other taxable issues to consider would be division of property, and the time of year when your divorce was finalized. Anytime that someone is going through an event such as a divorce, a meeting with a CPA or a tax planner would be a great way to understand your options, as well as to strategize your requests in the divorce petition.

Wills…. Do you Have One?
Thursday, February 2, 2012

When talking about wills, some find it uncomfortable, others find it awkward, and some are even superstitious about the conversation. I agree, the topic of what you want to have happen when you die is never an easy discussion, but in the long wrong it is best for all parties involved. The laws that the State of Arizona has in place do not always reflect our modern family dynamics, and can be quite a burden for those with blended families. A will not only protects the surviving family members from some of these outdated laws, but it also helps to make a difficult time for a family, a little bit more bearable.

In order to establish a will, you will want to list all your assets, tangible and intangible. You will also want to choose a person to be your ‘personal representative’ and they will be responsible for carrying out your directions provided in your will. It is always a good idea to list an alternate person as well, in case the first selected person is either no longer alive, or they decline the role of personal representative. You also want to check any accounts that have beneficiaries attached to them (such as savings or retirement accounts and life insurance policies) are up to date with the correct people.  There have been some circumstances where people get divorced and remarried, but forget to change their beneficiary information to their current spouse. That is definitely an issue you do not want to have your surviving families members sort out!

These are some of the basic points to why having a will is so important. While it may cumbersome and uncomfortable, planning for the future and organizing your assets is a good idea for all parties involved. It can help make a sad time be a little bit easier to handle.

Retirement Plans for those just Starting Out
Monday, January 23, 2012

When I was in my early twenties I had no clue what the difference was between a Traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, and a 401(k). I had worked part-time jobs through high school and college and had never thought about using those funds to put money away into a retirement account. I knew that these accounts existed, I just figured that was something that ‘old people’ did, and that I wouldn’t need to worry about that stuff until years down the road. Then I got my first job at a retirement planning firm, and my viewpoint changed drastically.

It’s amazing how large a young person can build their retirement if they just start early on. In fact, starting with just a small amount contributed as a 25 year old, you can make a drastic difference when compared to a 35 year old starting with the same amount. You can actually put away less and make more, (thanks to compound returns) just by starting now!

I read an article from Yahoo Finance, where they discuss the six key steps for young people to take to get started. I thought it was a great article, as it goes into specific dollar amounts and what the return would be if you start at age 25, 35, and 45. Also, it explains the different types of plans, and which ones are best for younger people. For example, a Roth IRA makes a lot of sense for people just starting out. It is a retirement account where you pay taxes on the money before you put it in, and then all your gains grow tax-free. Even better, when you retire you can pull that money out, also tax-free. For people that have plenty of years to save, and will most likely have a higher income when they retire, a Roth IRA is a great investment too.

Whether you a choose a Roth IRA, a 401(k), or something else, the most important thing is to  start something NOW!