Just about anyone who goes through some life changes needs to reevaluate his or her personal financial situation.
We certainly cover a lot of these events here on Fool.com. (See our Personal Finance and Retirement areas for some tools, resources, and hand-holding.) But sometimes you need a second or third opinion. Here are some life events, and how a financial advisor might help you through them.
- Death of a parent. You may be the executor of the estate, but now may not be a good time to bone up on all the complexities involved. An independent advisor might be able to guide you.
- Marriage. You've just tied the knot and decided to blend your finances into one. There are certainly ways to cash in on coupledom.
- Divorce. Do you still file taxes jointly this year? Can the stay-at-home former spouse still make an IRA contribution? You'll need to get answers to these questions.
- Complex financial products. You should figure out whether disability insurance, long-term care insurance, and/or an umbrella liability policy make sense for you.
- Buying and selling a house. The hallmark of these transactions is a sudden string of big-dollar decisions with little time to think them through (our Home & Real Estate section offers some tips).
- Saving for college. You'll have to figure out how to make the most of Junior's college fund. This 60-Second Guide will get you started.
- Estate planning. Who will manage the kids' inheritance, should you die unexpectedly? Should you set up a trust? What are your other options?
- Retirement. Perhaps four brokers have shown you four different plans; two say you can retire, and two say you can't. An objective review of all four plans might come in handy. (Learn more about retirement issues from our Rule Your Retirement newsletter.)
- Employee stock options. What are the tax implications of exercising your options?
If you're interested in finding a good financial advisor, talk to some friends and see if they have one they recommend highly.
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This article was originally published Jan. 25, 2007. It has been updated by Foolish personal finance expert Dayana Yochim. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Fool has a disclosure policy.