Planning for New Beginnings

2017 is here. A fresh start, a clean slate, a chance to do everything right. An opportunity to implement New Year’s resolutions, and to think about all of the things you want to accomplish in 2017, the places you want to go, the relationships you want to improve, the ways you can make your life better, richer and fuller.

A lawyer can help you do that…

Really?

Many people only see a lawyer when they are going through a difficult time in their lives like a divorce or some other difficult, conflict-driven issue. But, much of the work that lawyers actually do focuses on positive events in people’s lives, and assisting in planning processes that will improve people’s lives.

There are many positive legal planning tools. Here are a few. One important one is the prenuptial agreement. The common view of a prenup is that it is for couples who don’t trust each other, or trust that their marriage will last. The truth is, a prenuptial agreement can actually ensure a lasting marriage.

Big issues surface in a marriage around money and assets. Couples who sit down together and iron out the details about how they will handle their finances in the marriage before they walk down the aisle can prevent years of frustration and fighting about money matters. Committing all of that to paper in a prenuptial agreement solidifies a pattern of honest and open communication about money and can create healthy, lasting marriages. If you are getting married this year, you may just want to enlist the help of a lawyer.

If you are exploring a new business venture, it would also be to your benefit to enlist the help of a lawyer, who can help ensure you are doing all the right planning, such as properly completing your business registrations and drafting an operating agreement. Like the prenuptial agreement, an operating agreement for your new business is essential to ensuring a smooth “marriage,” especially when multiple business partners are involved.

Finally, of course, don’t forget your estate plan. While wills and trusts are for planning for death and endings rather than beginnings, having one can help you turn over a new leaf, providing a sense of peace and security that your family will be taken care of into the future, no matter what may happen to you.

So, in this season of new beginnings, I encourage you to take steps to make life better, richer and fuller, which may just involve seeing your lawyer.

Bob Good has practiced law in Jackson County for 23 years, specializing in family law, estate planning and administration and business law. Contact him at his Ashland office at (541) 482-3763.