Most financial advice focuses on investing. However, without some legal protections in place, our finances can be decimated! Here are a few tips to keep your money where it belongs:

1. It doesn’t matter how much we earn and save, if we can lose everything to legal liabilities. When the economy is wobbly, frivolous lawsuits spike. Good legal planning will keep other people’s mitts off of our money! My late Grandmother was a lawsuit Queen.

2. Don’t Leave $ directly to a minor. Ever since Jackie Cougan’s parents stole all of his “Little Rascals” earnings, Courts insist on overseeing children’s monies. Better to do a trust for kids. This will keep outsiders away and prevent any inheritance from interfering with college financial aid.

3. Never put your home into your kids’ names. This will saddle them with taxes, and leave you vulnerable to their divorces or other legal liabilities.

4. Avoid a ‘one size fits all’ will. A good trust allows us to customize planning, so that assets are protected from probate, taxes and long term care costs, while retaining control.

5. A broken heart should not break the bank! Consider a PreNup, PostNup or Cohabitation agreement, which provides financial security for both parties