Log in

Log in

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash


  • 14 Aug 2020 1:00 PM | AAML NJ Admin

    By Jeralyn L. Lawrence, Esq. 

    One of the most stressful things that parents are dealing with is parenting time issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. I came up with these general guidelines regarding custody and parenting time during this crisis.

    1. If there is an order in place addressing custody and parenting time, follow that order. The only exception is if the best interests of the child dictate otherwise.
    2. Courts do not like self-help and unilateral violations of court orders. How one behaves and co-parents now and the good faith, or lack thereof, shown to the other parent will matter. Courts will hold the parent acting unreasonably or in bad faith accountable, in time.
    3. Now more than ever, parents must work their hardest at cooperating, communicating, compromising, and co-parenting.
    4. Executive Orders issued by a State’s Governor must be followed. Social distancing, stay-at-home and all other COVID-19 directives are to be followed.
    5. Exposure alone to someone infected to COVID-19 is not enough to deprive a parent of their parenting time. Should someone show symptoms or evidence of illness, that may yield a different result and an expectation to self-quarantine away from the child.
    6. Your child is listening to you. Be careful in how you speak and what you say. Do not instill unnecessary fear or worry. Limit exposure to the media.
    7. Be creative. If one parent misses parenting time, offer virtual time and be generous with make-up time.
    8. Find ways to turn this crisis into an opportunity to create vivid, yet fun, memories with your child with stories for them to tell for years to come.

    The above guidelines are achievable. I recommend that you adopt them. By doing so, parenting time issues during the COVID-19 pandemic will be limited. Please let me know if you have any questions about this blog post.

  • 14 Jul 2020 12:42 PM | AAML NJ Admin

    Post by AAML NJ Electrum Sponsor Wilmington Trust 

    In this video interview by Family Law Magazine, Sharon L. Klein, Wilmington Trust’s President of Family Wealth, Eastern U.S. Region and Head of the National Matrimonial/Divorce Advisory Practice, and Mark Bank, Michigan Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, review their top tips & traps for negotiating divorce settlement agreements.

    Link to the interview:

  • 4 Jul 2020 9:00 AM | AAML NJ Admin

    By Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, Esq.

    New Jersey has entered Phase II of its reopening, and more and more people will be venturing out of quarantine, into what’s being called ‘the new normal’: six feet apart, outdoors, wearing a mask, etc. We urge you to follow CDC guidelines and take the necessary precautions, but also to enjoy some summer sunshine (for more on this, please see my previous blog post:

    Part of summertime is, of course, celebrating our country over the Fourth of July weekend. With the global pandemic still in effect, and each state at a different timeframe in their re-openings, we realize some of the July 4th weekend may look different: postponed fireworks, so as not to attract large gatherings; a car parade instead of a traditional parade; and smaller grill-outs that may include ‘doubling your bubble’ or only taking your mask off to eat.

    You can still, of course, celebrate the Fourth, and if you have children, and are in the middle of a divorce, or just in a rocky place in your relationship (heightened by quarantine!), here are three tips on how to celebrate nevertheless:

    1.      Consult with your co-parent/spouse/partner. Now more than ever keeping the lines of communication open are vital. It’s important to know what your co-parent is comfortable with: going to a public beach, and staying socially distanced? having a child’s best friend over to use the pool? venturing out to a theme park? Everyone’s going to have different opinions as to what’s safe to do this summer, and it’s best to consult with your co-parent, and respect his or her level of comfort.

    2.      Be creative! Use this odd time to find new ways to celebrate July 4th, and even educate your children about the history of America. That could mean writing and performing a short show in which your children play Uncle Sam, George Washington and Betsy Ross, or leaving it to the professionals and firing up Disney+, popping the popcorn, and settling in with your family for a quarantine-watch of the mega-smash, original cast Broadway musical Hamilton on Friday, July 3rd. Either way if you’re not yet comfortable gathering with folks outside your bubble— or if rain dampens your socially-distanced, outside celebration— there are plenty of innovative ways to celebrate the founding of the country.

    3.      Remember the ‘me’ time! Our Megan Hodes has written before on the importance of ‘me’ time as it relates to co-parenting (, and it’s even more relevant both during this global pandemic, and when a holiday weekend comes up during ‘the new normal.’ Everyone’s given to feelings of stress, exhaustion and overwhelmingness, and even though it can be tough to carve out just one hour to soak in a bath, take a walk, get lost in a novel or have a glass of wine and just sit, it’s more important than ever to take some ‘me’ time. Not just for you, but for your mental health, for your ability— and patience—  to parent, and for your ability to really relate to your co-parent.

    Everyone at our firm wishes you a safe, healthy, fun and Happy 4th of July weekend!

    A version of this article already appeared on my blog,


    Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, Esq. is the co-Chair of the Family Law Department at the New Jersey-based law firm of Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC ( Madeline is a Diplomate of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers. She is a prior President of the national American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, as well as past President of its New Jersey Chapter, and past Chair of the Family Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association.

  • 23 Jun 2020 2:00 PM | AAML NJ Admin

    In this video interview by Family Law Magazine, Sharon L. Klein, Wilmington Trust’s President of Family Wealth, Eastern U.S Region and Head of Wilmington’s National Matrimonial/Divorce Advisory Practice, and Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, past president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, reveal their top tips and traps for negotiating premarital agreements.

    Link to interview:

  • 19 Jun 2020 12:27 PM | AAML NJ Admin

    By Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, Esq. 

    Warmer weather and longer days are here— we’re officially in summertime— but let’s face it: this is weird. Coping with the ongoing novel coronavirus, and dealing with phased re-openings as the pandemic persists throughout summer, will feel different because it is different. And if you’re co-parenting, it may even feel more difficult than co-parenting through quarantine, because our— and our kids’— natural desires are to go out and enjoy summertime fun in the sun!

    And you still can. But there are a few things you and your co-parents should talk about, and do, before you all leave the house and enjoy the season.

    1. Prioritize health: Agree with your co-parent that everyone’s health and safety is paramount. If that means strict quarantining for 14 days before or after taking a trip or expanding your circle (or “bubble,” in our new pandemic language), so be it. If it means patiently explaining to a child that they have to wear a mask when they go to a park with a friend, it’s worth it. Safety first.

    2. Consult with your co-parent: With summer plans changing (okay, we’re not going on our usual getaway this year) or outright canceled (goodbye, summer camp! Maybe, to the beach?) it’s more imperative than ever to consult and talk honestly. It means being flexible and adaptive in giving your children— and your co-parent— a chance to enjoy a bit of my favorite season, and everyone a chance to make a summertime memory during the pandemic.

    3. Be creative: A day at the beach too crowded? What about a wading pool in the backyard, complete with all the make-your-own popsicles you can eat? You can even set up a lawn chair with amenities and escort your child to their reserved spot. An afternoon movie matinee at the local cinema out of the question? Screen a classic summer blockbuster and set up a snack stand, with admission tickets and hand-drawn movie posters. Family trip to the ice cream place after dinner out of the question? Set up a make your own sundae bar or, if you really want to go for it, make your own mason jar ice cream. Use your imagination this summer!

    4. Make it fun-damental: Just as it isn’t a ‘normal’ summer, it wasn’t a ‘normal’ school year. Most schools transitioned to remote learning at some point, and pretty much any teacher or parent will tell you something was lost in translation in Google Classroom, or over the transom of the Chromebook. Therefore, encouraging children to pursue a vigorous summer reading list, or keep a journal of their pandemic summer, or watch online educational videos relating to science, math, English and history could be a positive way to continue learning throughout the summer— especially if you and your co-parent can agree on how to jointly promote learning. The same way adults working from home many not realize what day it is, the lines between summer and school are going to be blurred this year. 

    5. Stay cool— and stay safe: Even without the ongoing threat of the novel coronavirus, we know, due to climate change, it’s going to be another hot summer. The temptation may be to flee to the beach or town pool immediately, but even if these facilities are open, it’s important to use them wisely. Wear a mask. Consult with your co-parent so that everyone’s following the same recommended guidelines. Stay 6 to 10 feet apart from other families on a beach. And if you don’t feel comfortable cooling off in a public place, see if you can make your home a cool one. That doesn’t mean you have to rush to add an expensive pool; an investment in a long, new hose, plenty of water balloons on hand, or a reasonably priced slip-and-slide might just do the trick.

    6. Give everyone a break: Just like a normal summer family trip or experience, there’s going to be meltdowns. Rainy days when no one wants to do anything but sulk. Tears over something not being the way it used to be— and not just from the kids. And that’s okay. It’s okay to be not okay this summer, and to try and simply get through it— and to try to enjoy what summer moments you all can.

    7. Remember: how we act toward each other, during this pandemic, will set a tone for after the pandemic. We hope you have a responsible, safe, happy— and healthy— summer!

    A version of this article already appeared on my blog,

    Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, Esq. is the co-Chair of the Family Law Department at the New Jersey-based law firm of Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC ( Madeline is a Diplomate of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers. She is a prior President of the national American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, as well as past President of its New Jersey Chapter, and past Chair of the Family Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association.

  • 12 Jun 2020 9:40 AM | AAML NJ Admin

    By Jeralyn Lawrence, Esq. Managing Member and Founder of Lawrence Law

    The main goal of divorce is to reach an agreement with your spouse. The terms of the agreement are memorialized, in writing, in a Marital Settlement agreement. This agreement is also known as a Property Settlement Agreement. A very high percentage, meaning almost all, divorce cases settle. In other words, a very small percentage of cases go to trial. At trial, a Judge will decide the issues relative to the divorce.

    There are two people that control how long a divorce takes and how much it costs. Those two people are the couple getting the divorce. As soon as they are able to agree upon terms, their case will be settled and a divorce decree obtained. To be able to reach an agreement, both parties will need to be able to communicate, cooperate and compromise. Any agreement reached will contain many compromises by the parties. As such, they will each have had to give up on issues to gain an advantage on other issues. It is important that both parties make concessions, not just one party. In the end, both parties must feel that they are reaching a durable and sustainable agreement. And that, the agreement meets both of their needs.

    Transparency is a Requirement

    It is important for both parties to feel fairly treated through the divorce process. This starts with full and fair disclosure of all financial records. Both parties need to be open and fully transparent about their assets and debts. The value of all assets must be ascertained to get a complete financial picture. This is common with business owners. A value of the business must be ascertained, as well as an accurate understanding of cash flow, before the settlement of a case.

    While a divorce is painful and emotional, there is no substitute for preparation. Preparation will allow you to negotiate and to reach an acceptable agreement. When settlement is impeded by the emotions of one of the parties, it may be important to bring a mental health expert into the process. This expert can address and strengthen the client throughout the process. Once the divorce is over, to goal is for the client to be able to embrace the next chapter in his or her life with a renewed sense of hope. And, a restored sense of self and security.

    As a lawyer, it is my job to lead the client to a better place. The goal of a divorce is to reach an agreement while positioning the client for long-term success. In my view, long-term success includes financial and mental health.

    Original post:

  • 29 May 2020 3:09 PM | AAML NJ Admin

    Sharon Klein, president of Wilmington Trust Family Wealth, Eastern U.S. region, discusses the urgency for estate planning while divorce is pending, particularly in light of COVID-19, with Dan Couvrette, publisher of Family Lawyer Magazine. Now is the time to confirm designated heirs are up-to-date and that the right people are named to make important financial and health care decisions on documents like Health Care Proxies and Powers of Attorney.

    Click on the link below to watch.

  • 20 May 2020 1:10 PM | AAML NJ Admin

    By Carolyn N. Daly, Esq. of Daly & Associates LLC

    With the onset of COVID-19 and Governor Murphy’s stay-at-home order, the court system has had to implement a number of procedures and protocols in order to allow courts to continue functioning while we all continue to social distance.  Although jury trials and other criminal proceedings are suspended, most other dockets are continuing.  The court system has indicated that, come May 10th, they have enough confidence in their online operations to largely proceed “as normal” (albeit a new normal), with more and more proceedings happening every day.  According to Morris County, they are conducting an astounding 420 virtual proceedings each week, or 60 per day.

    However, with these virtual proceedings come questions on the ability of the judiciary and the attorneys to perform the same functions they would be performing in the courtroom.  How does an attorney deal with scheduling meetings while also needing to parent young children?  How do litigants, particularly in divorce matters, attempt to work out parenting time schedules and other issues related to the children when the children may be there, listening?  It’s a difficult situation that everyone has had to adapt to, but there’s no denying that some proceedings are better able to adapt than others.

    Take trials, for instance.  While jury trials are postponed indefinitely, other types of trials and testimonial hearings are moving forward.  The judiciary has made clear that divorce trials, custody hearings, domestic violence trials, and more should proceed forward.  In fact, if the court is ready to hear your matter, they will hear the matter by Zoom, or other video teleconferencing platforms whether you consent to proceeding in this matter or not.

    When it comes to testimonial proceedings, this can be particularly concerning.  In a courtroom, a judge can see all the parties – the witness, the litigants, the attorneys – and make assessments in real time.  He or She can assess credibility not just from the witness testifying, but also from the parties, when they are sitting at counsel table and listening to the testimony, and perhaps even from the attorneys themselves.  But on a video call?  A judge can often only see a portion of any individual on a call and they may not be looking at the camera or in front of the camera all the time.  In court, the judge knows exactly what a witness has in front of him.  On a zoom call, the court has no idea what the witness has in front of them or who may be in the room with them helping them, outside of the view of the camera.  It raises some sticky questions, and in some cases, some serious due process concerns.

    In what can now be viewed as an ironic coincidence, the court actually set the table for allowing virtual hearings in a decision published in January, just before entry of the stay-at-home order, in Pathri v. Kakarlamath, Docket No. A-4657-18T1 (you can read the decision for free here).

    In the Pathri case, the parties filed for divorce in 2018, and the matter was scheduled for trial in June of 2019.  (Attorneys and litigants who are currently going through divorce proceedings will likely express shock at the speed of this trial as most divorce cases take significantly longer than one year to proceed to trial.)  Mr. Pathri, the Plaintiff, moved back to India after filing for divorce.  One week before the trial, he informed the court he could not get a Visa to fly back to the United States, and asked to instead appear and testify from India via video conferencing.

    The Judge denied Plaintiff’s motion to testify from India.  In doing so, the Judge relied heavily on a case from 1988 entitled Aqua Marine Products, Inc., v. Pathe Computer Control Systems Corp., 229 N.J. Super. 264 (App. Div. 1988).  In Aqua Marine, the court ruled that telephonic testimony could only be taken in limited circumstances where (1) the party testifying telephonically could somehow verify that he or she was who he or she claimed to be, and (2) there was some exigency, or emergency, that required testimony by telephone, unless the other party consented.  The court ruled there was no exigency, and thus denied Plaintiff’s motion in Pathri.

    Plaintiff appealed, and the court reversed.  Noting first that Aqua Marine came from a time when video conferencing was not only unavailable, but largely unfeasible, the court set down factors for a court to consider when determining whether to allow testimony via video or telephone, although the court clearly expressed a strong preference for video technology:

    • The witness’ importance to the proceeding;
    • The severity of the factual dispute to which the witness will testify;
    • Whether the factfinder is a judge or a jury;
    • The cost of requiring the witness’ physical appearance in court versus the cost of transmitting the witness’ testimony in some other form;
    • The delay caused by insisting on the witness’ physical appearance in court versus the speed and convenience of allowing the transmission in some other manner;
    • Whether the witness’ inability to be present in court at the time of trial was foreseeable or preventable; and
    • The witness’ difficulty in appearing in person.

    The court then walked through each factor, providing guidance to judges of the importance of each factor and considerations a judge should take into account when evaluating each factor.  Left untouched, of course, is the continued requirement of authentication; the court still must confirm that the person testifying is in fact who he or she says he or she is.

    This decision and the factors set forth therein can assist us in determining whether, in fact, we can proceed via Zoom or other video conferencing platforms, even after this pandemic has ended.  There is no question that there will be significant delays caused by insisting on the witness’ physical appearance in court (as of now, we don’t even know when courts will reopen for in person appearances) versus the speed and convenience of allowing the transmission by video or telephone.  Many cases have been impacted and delayed because of the unavailability of a witness or party.  This decision favors continuing proceedings, unless there are serious issues with respect to the other factors.  For example, in domestic violence cases, attorneys (particularly for Defendants) are already honing arguments that their client’s rights under confrontation clause to a full and complete cross examination is hampered by having all parties proceed via video.  Therefore, consideration should be given, if the Defendant wants, to simply continue the TRO until trials can occur in person as the victim is not negatively impacted by the delay since the restraints remain in place.

    The bottom line is that it is clear parties will be required, for the foreseeable future, to conduct their conferences, trials, and other hearings via video conferencing or telephone.  Parties and attorneys are going to have to adapt to this new normal and work together to ensure their matters proceed in a manner that ensures the best outcome for them.

  • 13 May 2020 12:42 PM | AAML NJ Admin

    By: Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich Esq. 

    How to Protect Your Child During a Pandemic Situation

    “Mommy, Daddy says you are overreacting, and I can go with him to Aunt Joanie’s wedding reception in two weeks— it’s only a short plane ride.”

    “Daddy, Mommy says I don’t have to keep washing my hands that much. And she says you are wrong about the monkey bars at the playground— they’re clean enough.”

    “Mommy… Daddy… is Disneyland really closed?”  

    Co-parenting is not a myth. It is not just an idea. It is not just a goal. Co-parenting is real, and you need to be able to do it, no matter how you feel about your spouse/partner or former spouse/partner. You need to avoid putting your child in the middle, and, most importantly, you must decide together how you are going to handle certain situations—including our current one, a pandemic.

    How can you handle protecting your child and his/her family when that family, and that child, is split between two homes?

    The first thing you need to do is talk to your co-parent. You need to agree on whether you both recognize the severity of a situation, and, if you don’t agree, you must decide that exercising caution is less detrimental to your child than not exercising caution. If you both agree on the severity of a situation but disagree on how to handle it, avail yourselves of the information and resources of individuals or institutions with more knowledge of the situation than you. If that information is overwhelming or even contradictory, call a trusted advisor—your child’s pediatrician, a psychologist, a family relative to you both trust.

    You can both decide to follow the same rules in both houses— not forever, but for the time when special rules are necessary. If you are able to purchase items that will help keep your environment, and your child, safe, now is the time to share with your co-parent. When many others around your child may be expressing worry or even panic, you can both decide to have a united calm front. You can talk to each other about how to talk to your child and how to soothe, comfort and assure your child. If your child expresses fear or questions their health or yours, share those concerns with your co-parent.

    Bergen County, NJ schools are being closed indefinitely. This obviously creates a burden for employed parents, but it also creates a further opportunity to co-parent meaningfully and successfully. Whether you currently enjoy a shared physical custody arrangement or a division of parenting time whereby one parent enjoys more or less than 50% of the time with your child, talk to your co-parent about sharing this unexpected and unique time with your child. Which of you has a more flexible work schedule?  Which of you has an at-home spouse or partner? Which of you has other children whose school is also closed? Which of you is better equipped to assist with the on-line schooling which many districts are implementing? Which of you can work remotely?

    You both only want what is best for your child, and now is the time to recognize and acknowledge that in each other. This is not your divorce. This is co-parenting.

    Discuss all this with your co-parent. Do not be afraid to involve your co-parent’s current spouse or partner in the discussion. These are special times which call for special action. Your child deserves no less.

    What a child needs are consistency and love, and you each can give that to your child— even now, in a time of uncertainty and caution.


    You can contact author Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, Esq. at 201.488.1161. Post originally posted at:

  • 4 May 2020 9:54 AM | Anonymous

    By Sharon L. Klein, Family Wealth Strategist, Trusts & Estates Attorney

    The dissolution of marriage is one of the most stressful and difficult experiences your clients may face. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the already challenging and uncertain journey of divorce more complicated for families and their advisors. With unpredictable court closings, hearing delays, the impact on employment and spousal support, and custody arrangements that involve child movement between households—now more than ever, trusted guidance and collaboration are key.

    As your clients transition from one chapter of life to the next, what follows is our pick of the top 10 financial considerations to address with them.  For seamless and integrated advice, your client’s financial advisory team should work collaboratively with you and your client’s other advisors, and have the breadth and depth to provide a full spectrum of services.

    Here Are 10 Important Financial Considerations in Divorce

    1.       Have your clients established their own individual banking accounts for everyday financial needs and reviewed their new balance sheet?

    Clients likely will need to open accounts in individual names and develop a list of revised assets and liabilities.

    2.      Do your clients need financing that is customized for their unique situation?

    Custom credit can provide your clients with a reliable source of funding for unforeseen expenses, real estate purchases, and business investments. They will need an experienced professional to evaluate their options and provide lending based on their assets—including specialty or illiquid holdings. Solutions to consider include:

    • Marketable securities-backed lines of credit, including restricted and concentrated stock, which may be a valuable option to consider for preserving an underlying portfolio, instead of selling at a time of crisis
    • Bridge financing to help with a significant purchase
    • Specialized asset-backed loans secured by partnership interests, fine art, yachts, and aircraft
    • Residential and investment real estate financing, including lines of credit
    3.       Have your clients projected how their settlement will sustain their lifestyle?

    An experienced financial advisory team should offer a comprehensive financial plan analyzing the changes in your clients’ cash flows from assets received, alimony, changes in expenses, and other cash flows expected after the dissolution of marriage. Having detailed financial projections may be particularly important given the pandemic’s dramatic impact on market volatility. By providing a comprehensive overview of the following factors, an advisor can help your clients balance their projected expenses while maintaining the lifestyle they seek:

    • Cash flow planning for income and expenses

    • Alimony/child support

    • Asset sustainability study and portfolio risk analysis

    • Tax situation review and appropriate planning

    4.       Have your clients reviewed their estate planning documents to make necessary changes?

    An experienced financial advisory team can help your clients review all their important estate planning documents and feel confident they are providing for their chosen heirs, updating beneficiary designations, and naming new designees for healthcare and power of attorney documents. With court closings and potentially long delays in finalizing divorce, the need to have documents updated to reflect your clients’ intent is increasingly important. Some documents can be changed while divorce is pending, others must wait until the divorce decree is issued. Documents to consider include:

    • Will and trusts (usually can be changed while divorce is pending)

    • Power of attorney and healthcare directive (usually can be changed while divorce is pending)

    • Retirement accounts and plans (usually cannot be changed while divorce is pending)

    • Jointly named real estate and financial accounts (usually cannot be changed while divorce is pending)

    • Authorizations to access digital accounts, including financial accounts, email accounts, social media accounts, etc. (usually can be changed while divorce is pending)

    5.      Do your clients have a fiduciary they can trust to oversee their trusts and assets?

    When trusts are utilized to protect settlement payments, it is important to select a trustee who will be your clients’ fiduciary: A trustee whose first and foremost responsibility is to protect the best interests of your clients and their family.
    6.        Is there a business valuation involved in your clients’ settlement agreement?

    The preparation of a business valuation is a lengthy and expensive process. As you well know, valuation reports can be very lengthy and difficult for even seasoned professionals to understand. The coronavirus pandemic may have substantially impacted business values. For any business that has been appraised as part of the settlement process, you will want to confirm that your clients’ financial advisors can review the appraiser’s valuation report and provide insights that may answer questions such as:

    • Is the appraiser a qualified professional with experience and valuation credentials?

    • Is the appraiser’s financial analysis of the company thorough and explained?

    • Are the methods used appropriate and the reasons for their selection discussed?

    • Is the value conclusion reasonable, based on the factors presented in the report?

    7.       Do your clients have the tools to set their short- and long-term investment strategies?

    If your clients are receiving a settlement, particularly through times of crisis, they will want to be certain that their short- and long-term needs are met through the creation of a customized investment portfolio. It will be important to have a dedicated financial advisory team that can tailor a portfolio based on each client’s specific parameters, including liquidity and spending needs, time horizon, risk tolerance, cost sensitivity, tax efficiency and other factors.

    8.       Do your clients need to update their insurance coverage?

    The coronavirus pandemic, with its tragic attendant death toll, has focused people’s attention on mortality. Now more than ever, you will want to ensure that your clients’ settlement entitlements are secured with appropriate life insurance, or potentially probe the value as a marital asset. Insurance review is very important to be certain clients have the appropriate coverage, have named the correct beneficiaries, and that the premiums are being paid. Health, life, disability, property & casualty, and long-term care insurance should all be reviewed to identify what actions might be recommended, including revising policy ownership and beneficiary designations, and understanding who has responsibility for premium payments.

    9.       Are your clients’ children’s college expenses covered?

    An experienced advisory team can establish projections and analytics helpful to the settlement process by delineating the future costs of college based on the ages of the children and the potential colleges under consideration. This data can be coupled with merit-based aid scholarship strategies and other financial aid analytics. Often, trusts can be designed and created specifically (or in concert with other goals) to fund education.

    10.   Are your clients aware of the charitable techniques available to them?

    A financial advisor should review any existing private foundations and charitable trusts to be certain they are still in line with your clients’ goals and wishes. The advisor should also review potential charitable techniques that could be utilized to support philanthropy and minimize taxes in the settlement process.


    Wilmington Trust’s core objective, dating back over a century, is to serve families. We can help parse through complexity and manage, grow and protect wealth. In offering a broad spectrum of wealth advisory services, delivered through a dedicated team, our guiding philosophy is clear: It is our clients’ best interests that drives us. We can help you navigate the challenges you face today and prepare you for a new beginning, and a successful future.

    To learn more:

    Sharon L. Klein is president of Family Wealth, Eastern U.S. Region, for Wilmington Trust. She is responsible for coordinating the delivery of all Wealth Management services by teams of professionals, including planning, trust, investment management, family governance and education, family office, and private banking services, to high-net-worth clients in the Eastern United States. Sharon also heads Wilmington Trust’s National Matrimonial Advisory Solutions Group, a team of Wilmington’s professionals from across disciplines who collaborate with family law practitioners in offering a comprehensive set of services for those considering or maneuvering through divorce.

    Beginning her career as a trusts & estates attorney, Sharon has over 25 years’ experience in the wealth advisory arena and is a nationally recognized speaker and author. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. She chairs the Domestic Relations Committee of Trusts & Estates magazine, where she sits on the Board, and is a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Matrimonial Committee.

    This article is for general information only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the sale of any financial product, service or other professional advice.  Wilmington Trust does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. Professional advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. Wilmington Trust is a registered service mark used in connection with various fiduciary and non-fiduciary services offered by certain subsidiaries of M&T Bank Corporation. Wilmington Trust traces it roots to the founding of Wilmington Trust Company in 1903.

    © 2020 M&T Bank Corporation and its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software