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Seattle Family Law Law Blog

Is technology destroying your marriage?

Cellphones, computers, tablets and other devices may seem to make your life easier. You may even have a smart house in Washington that you can control through a handheld device or by speaking to a digital assistant. It is an exciting time in which to live because inventions and improvements place entertainment, communication and the answers to our questions right at our fingertips.

However, the one thing technology may not be helping is your marriage. If you feel like your spouse is more interested in his or her screens than in you, you are not alone. Recent studies are showing a disturbing rise in divorce rates that, not surprisingly, correlates with a rise in the use of technology. According to one survey, the average American adult spends as much as 11 hours a day on a computer. That does not leave much time to build a relationship.

When is it the right choice to keep the house in a divorce?

If you are going through a divorce, you probably have many questions about how this process is going to change your life. One of your main priorities is where you are going to live and whether you will have to move. In fact, you may prefer to keep your family home.

Wanting to keep your home and being able to afford to keep your home are two very different things. Historically, it was not as affordable for one person to keep the home, but things are different now. Thanks to lower interest rates and lower home prices, you may be able to stay in your house if that is what you prefer to do. However, this is a very important choice, and you would be wise to give it careful consideration before making any choices that could impact your future

Why do I need an estate plan?

For many, having an estate plan means writing a will to distribute one's assets after death. This is certainly an important part of planning your estate. You want to make sure your loved ones obtain their fair share of what you leave behind and that you articulate any special bequests you have in mind.

However, this is only the beginning of the ways in which an estate plan can benefit you and your family. You may not even realize how many tools exist for protecting yourself, your family and your assets.

Should the same person serve as your executor and trustee?

When estate planning, you need to make a number of important decisions. It can take time to come to the right decisions, and in some cases, you may have a difficult time knowing which is right. From the types of planning tools you use to the people you put in charge of your final affairs, you have a lot to consider as you detail your end-of-life wishes.

You may have already decided that your estate plan could benefit from having a trust or multiple trusts. Now, you may wonder who you should put in charge to act as the trustee after your passing. You already know who you want to act as the executor of your overall estate, and it may cross your mind to use the same person as your trustee.

Before you opt for just a will, consider the uses of a trust

As you prepare to start your estate planning journey, you may think that a simple plan will be enough for you. After all, you may live by modest means, and though you have a few significant assets you may want to leave to loved ones, you believe that a will can cover what you need.

Before you decide to create a will and nothing else for your estate plan, you may want to consider other planning tools. For example, you may think that you do not need to create a trust because you do not have considerable wealth, but it is a misconception that trusts are only for affluent individuals.

Discussing important estate planning documents with your parent

As your parent ages, you may have more and more concerns about his or her well-being. While you may not have any problem stepping in and making important decisions on his or her behalf if that time comes, you know that you need legal authority to do so. Though you know that your parent has already done some estate planning, you may not know the details of the plan.

As an adult child, you want to ensure that your parent's affairs are in order and that plans are in place to handle difficult situations in the future, such as if your parent becomes incapacitated by illness or injury. Such a time can be stressful, and you want to make sure that you know what to do.

What will happen to the family business after your divorce?

If you and your spouse are business partners facing divorce, among your major concerns is no doubt the fate of the company.

The business will likely become the focal point of the property division phase of your divorce. Here are three options for you to consider:

Only 18% of older Americans have this estate planning trio

Virtually everyone knows what a will is and how it works, but this understanding has not motivated everyone to actually create one. CNBC reports that only 55% of people over 55 years old have a will. The numbers are likely lower for those who are younger and think a will is not yet necessary.

However, even having a will is not enough. A will can only address some of your end-of-life wishes and protect only some of your assets. You need other estate planning documents to fully safeguard yourself and your family in the event of your incapacitation or death.

Key facts about wills and trusts

Estate plans can be quite beneficial. However, if people do not fully understand the aspects of the tools available to them, they may not garner the full benefit.

While most people are more familiar with wills being a part of proper estate plans, trusts may be more appropriate than wills in certain instances. It is important to understand the facts about both options.

Is legal separation or divorce best for you?

Most people get married believing that they will have a lasting relationship. However, that is not always the outcome.

In certain situations, parties may not be completely ready to enter the divorce process, or they may benefit from other separation methods. There are a few key considerations that may help to determine whether legal separation or divorce is best.


Mark A. Brown, P.S.
1325 4th Avenue, Suite 940
Seattle, WA 98101

Phone: 206-686-4466
Fax: 206-515-2084
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