Less Happy Events – Divorce & Death

Life inevitably throws some punches at each of us. For the ones that have financial implications, learning what those are and how to navigate them in advance can make all the difference. Now, let’s be real – none of these are topics anyone wants to prepare for. But when a rough patch hits, I’ve yet to meet a single person who regrets the fact that they had at least some familiarity with how to respond financially. If for no other reason than it opened up some extra space to be able to emotionally process these events.


Financially Ever After is a must-listen podcast if you are contemplating – or in the process of – divorcing. Hosted by the award-winning financial advisor Stacey Francis of Francis Financial, this podcast (and especially many of the archived episodes) are pure gold. In them you will find answers to all sorts of questions that may be on your mind,and some you may never have thought of! Francis interviews experts from all aspects of the divorce process. Added bonus: her firm has an innovative offering where you can hire her team on a project basis to guide you through the financial side of your divorce, which can often get complex when it comes to dividing assets.

Divorce & Money: Making the Best Financial Decisions During Divorce by tax and financial expert Violet Woodhouse and Lina Guillen, JD. So this is not the kind of book you’ll want to make a cup of tea and cuddle up in your favorite chair to savor. Rather, it’s an incredibly comprehensive playbook for all the various types of financial matters that you will want to consider to maximize the future for yourself and your children. In its 13th edition, it’s got the most up-to-date guidance on issues ranging from how child support and alimony are calculated, and  when and how to pull professionals into the process (lawyer, CPA, estate attorney, financial advisor). NOLO


LegalZoom: wills, trusts, healthcare directives for everyone People often say, why do I need a will? I don’t have that much money,and attorneys are expensive! If your financial situation is complex, you will absolutely want to work with an estate attorney to create the structure that enables you to both dispense your assets as you wish while also doing so in the most tax efficient manner possible. But what if your financial life is simple? Do you still need these documents? Yes You Do! This is extra true if you have children,as your will is the place where you designate who you want to be the guardian of your children if something happens to you. You’ll also want to make sure you have a document detailing whether or not you want extraordinary measures taken to keep you alive in case of serious injury or illness where you are not conscious or capable of making a decision. And there can be a variety of reasons why “regular folks” may want to have trusts set up,as assets trusts by-pass probate. If these words are mumbo-jumbo, you are not alone. Contact LegalZoom and for a very reasonable price you can knock out these key estate planning documents.

The Executor’s Guide: Settling a Loved One’s Estate or Trust by Mary Randolph, JD. As my mom (who is a PhD in Biology and thus very pragmatic about the life cycle of all living creatures including plants and animals!) has always taught me, “Life is a death sentence.” That phrase is a bit of science humor to encourage you not to waste the gift now fearing an ultimate outcome that occurs to all. Given the inevitability of death, you’d think there’d be a streamlined process given all the centuries we’ve been on earth for not just honoring a person’s life but also executing on the disposition of their assets in accordance with their wishes. Well there is a process. But it sure isn’t streamlined. If you have been named the executor on an estate and are at a loss for where to start your duties, look no further. This book will be your GPS.


There are a variety of types of insurance that can help protect you from some of life’s less happy events. Property & Casualty insurance such as homeowner, renter, car, and umbrella liability insurance is one group. Another grouping includes life insurance/annuities, health insurance, long & short term disability, and long-term care. If you have your own business there are separate insurance policies you’ll want to have to protect that side of your life as well. And then there are specialty coverages such as travel insurance which can be very helpful on overseas trips. To get a bird’s eye view of this topic I recommend the insurance article libraries at NerdWallet, the insurance article archives at Get Rich Slowly (scroll all the way down to the bottom to see article names), and the overview pieces from the Insurance Information Institute.