Widows and widowers face unique financial challenges when approaching their future. The sudden loss of a spouse can represent a distinct change in their life emotionally as well as financially. When one spouse passes away, it is very common to see the division of an estate cause tension inside of family, and certain family members may even try to manipulate a surviving spouse into deviating from the plans previously established by the couple.
Widows are left to assist or support children, handle disputes, honor their spouses wishes and manage financial assets all on their own. Appropriate estate planning is necessary to minimize the opportunities for family members to take advantage of a surviving spouse. Estate planning tools such as putting together a trust can help to ensure that the deceased spouse’s wishes are followed while maintaining a relationship as a friend or family member rather than as a bank or connection.
Couples can work together in advance of the loss of one or more person to figure out how to best avoid challenges down the road. Conflicts that arise because of family members can often be avoided well in advance with the support of an experienced estate planning lawyer. Knowing the options at the outset and planning for the future can ease a lot of fear and pain in the process.
As the economy tip-toes back in the right correction, businesses must still be sure to implement contingency plans in the event of another economic recession. As a recent article in Forbes explains, a recession can cause a business not only sales and profits, but time as well.
The first step of contingency planning is to make a list of the major decision-making areas that will be subject to short-run change during any recession. Although all companies are different and will therefore create different lists, some areas that most companies will include are prices and terms, labor, materials and inventory, capital spending, and financing.
The next step in contingency planning is to create plans for each decision-making area for mild, moderate, and extreme economic downturn. In the area of prices and terms, for example, it is often wise to tighten credit terms during a mild recession. Although sales representatives may wish to offer eased credit terms to consumers during harsh economic times, it is important to ensure that your accounts payable do not turn into write-offs.
In a moderate recession, it may be necessary to lay off workers and cancel expensive projects. If the economic situation becomes extreme, your company must enter survival mode. In this final category, it is most important that the company survives. Often, extreme measures are necessary.
The advantage of having three levels of contingency plans in place is that, should there be an economic downturn, you will be able to act quickly to reduce losses.