October 2011 Archives

Marriage of Dewberry: don't do your prenup this way.

October 27, 2011, by

TE BLOG. Wedding couple and money coins.10.25.2011.iStock_000015774569Medium[1].jpgEmanuel thought ahead and got burned. Carla was careless (or at least carefree) and got away with it. Why?

Budding music executive Emanuel insisted on certain conditions to marry recent law graduate Carla, who was then working in a big CPA firm. They must keep their incomes and assets separated, and Carla would not get fat (!). The Marriage of Dewberry, decided in 2003 by the Washington Court of Appeals, leaves us wondering about fulfillment of the second condition, but Carla did get fat on the first.

It turned out she was the one who needed a premarital agreement, not Emanuel. His music career foundered, and he ended up working part time for United Parcel. She became a partner in a Seattle law firm, making over $1 million in 2000. [Editor's note: this is not a typical income for a lawyer.] They invested separately, mostly in real estate, although they did have a joint account for expenses of their kids and other shared items.

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It doesn't hurt that Lars has a rich and childless Uncle Nils.

October 20, 2011, by

TE BLOG. Bride and groom. 08.23.2011.iStock_000003319084Medium[1].jpgNils isn't the main reason things are pretty good for Lars. But it doesn't hurt.

Nils had been a lifelong bachelor, mostly obsessed with accumulating real estate, initially in the grocery business but eventually as a thing in itself. He's now worth millions, and not just a few of them.

Lars is Nils's CPA, and helps to keep track of the real estate holdings and their management, more so as the years go by. Nils is in his eighties.

Lars tries not to think of it this way, but it's convenient that Lars is childless. It's less convenient that Uncle Nils is recently married.

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Francom v. Costco: how to sink a family.

October 13, 2011, by

TE BLOG. Moving day boxes. 08.23.2011.iStock_000008388519Medium[1].jpgGary and his employer Costco were both sued by Kim for sexual harassment of her. Gary's wife Sherry was also sued, not for participation in the alleged acts but to make Gary and Sherry's community property available to satisfy the claim.

Community property is net worth developed during the marriage by the work of either or both of the spouses. The idea is that, even if only one spouse is working for money, he or she couldn't do it without the support of the other. Separate property is what is brought into the marriage, or gotten by gift or inheritance while married. Separate property may be made into community property by commingling (mixing together with community property) or by agreement.

Kim sued Gary and Sherry's community on the notion the harassment occurred at work, where Gary was working to gain community income. Did the Court make Gary and Sherry's community property available to the suit?

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Phrases: things fall apart.

October 6, 2011, by

TE BLOG. Stairs to beach. 50 percent. 08.23.2011. Stock_000008724773Medium[1].jpgIt seems to Lars that a lot of his friends and acquaintances are having serious issues. Marital. Health. Financial.

Lars is realizing, or at least thinks he is, that he and Kyra can improve their chances for health and happiness by sound positive steps in certain directions. The beach property is maybe a second-tier factor in their lives, but it's something they can focus upon and improve. Lars decides to talk with his estate planning lawyer friend Duncan about a good way to keep the beach in the family.

Kyra has a phrase for people being overcome by issues: "Things fall apart." She says it's from poetry by a guy name Yeats. She had been an English major. The next line is "The center cannot hold." Lars admires Kyra's perspective on things. He majored in accounting. He's not sure how Kyra perceives him, or for that matter how women perceive men generally. It's a mystery to him.

Anyway, for a lot of people Lars knows, the center isn't holding. For Lars and Kyra, though, it pretty much is.