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Ignoring debt is not an effective management solution

When a person has become used to a situation for long enough, it can be difficult to want to change it, even if it is a negative one. You may have become someone who has struggled with outstanding debt for so long that you want to simply ignore it and not think about trying to overcome it. However, this tactic has likely only led to more issues, such as constant creditor calls and other persistent collection efforts.

Now, you may have reached your breaking point, and you no longer want to simply ignore your debt problems. It may be a goal of yours to actively address your outstanding liabilities and work toward a fresh financial start. However, how can you best do that?

What should you know about foster-to-adopt programs in Iowa?

Adoptions can be wonderful. They can help you bring new children into your family or to adopt your husband's or wife's child as your own. Adoptions can happen in many ways, and they're fantastic when the right people get paired with the correct children.

Like in other states, Iowa has a state foster care and adoption program through the Department of Human Services. If you want to adopt, you should know that many people start with foster care. This may not be in your plan, but it can be one of the more affordable ways to adopt. You have the right to pursue international, private or foster-care adoption once you're approved to adopt, but be aware that foster-to-adopt programs do have a goal of reunification with the child's original parents when possible. In around 70% of cases, children in foster care in Iowa do end up back with their parents or a relative.

Don't let your debt ruin your financial security

Bankruptcy is something that can scare people, but it really shouldn't. This legal path to eliminating debts can be a huge help to those in need. When your finances are out of control and debts are overwhelming, there's no reason to turn away from the potential for a fresh start. That's what bankruptcy offers you.

Bankruptcy is a good way to get back on your feet if you're dealing with overwhelming unsecured debts. Some debts that you may be able to eliminate with bankruptcy include:

  • Medical debts
  • Private loans (unsecured)
  • Credit card debts

Here are 4 kinds of guardianships you should know about

Guardianships and conservatorships are important legal designations. They can be assigned to protect disabled children or minor children. The individuals who are placed in a guardian's or conservator's care are called wards.

There are a few kinds of guardianships and conservatorships. There are:

  • Limited guardianships
    • A conservator or guardian only has limited power, such as helping with a ward's finances
  • Standby guardianships
    • A guardian or conservator takes on the role only when necessary, such as in the event that a parent of a child passes away.
  • Public guardianships
    • These are guardianships where the court appoints a county government agency or state agency to care for the ward
  • Private guardianships
    • A guardianship with the court appoints a private citizen, like a family member, to care for the ward.

Start estate planning early to protect yourself and your assets

As a person in your there 20's, you may be starting to think about life in the future. What will you do to protect your family as it grows? How will you guarantee a comfortable life well into retirement?

Estate planning can be complex, but it's a great way to work through the questions you have. It's advisable to work with an attorney and tax advisor as you begin estate planning since it will help you maximize the protective properties of the estate.

Should you be scared to seek bankruptcy?

A personal bankruptcy is not something to be scared of. It's a simple process and one that can get you back on your feet when you are in over your head with debt.

Bankruptcies do have some negatives, like affecting your credit and hurting your ability to get financing or credit in the following years, but that doesn't mean that they can't be beneficial. If you've already missed payments, the chances are that your credit is already suffering the side effects of an income that does not match your financial responsibilities.

Are you ready to admit your debt is out of control?

If you feel overwhelmed by your debts, you are not alone. Most of America carries a considerable debt burden, and many find the weight of it to be stressful. However, knowing that you belong to such a large group of financially stressed people may not bring you comfort.

Carrying significant debt may not be such a burden if you also earn enough money to pay your bills each month. If you are finding that your paycheck is covering fewer and fewer of your obligations, you may be considering your options for getting out of debt.

Trust options when estate planning for a blended family

Many people in Iowa have been married more than one time. This may be due to the death of a spouse or to a divorce. When even one person in a new marriage brings a child into the relationship with them from a previous marriage, the decisions they must address when it comes to making an estate plan can become more complicated than for people in a first marriage. 

As explained by Forbes, a standard thought process for many people is that when they die, their assets will go to their surviving spouse and then eventually to their children when the spouse later dies. In the case of a family where the surviving spouse is not the parent of the children, this should not be an automatic assumption. Without a clearly outlined and legally documented estate plan, there is nothing mandating the distribution of assets to the decedent's children at any point in time.

Important aspects of international adoptions

When Iowa residents consider adopting a child, they may want to adopt internationally. Before starting this process, though, there are many things people should understand so they know whether this kind of adoption is right for them.

When people first consider international adoption, they may think they can adopt a child from any country. According to Adoption.org, not every country allows international adoptions. Those that do sometimes have strict requirements that people have to meet. Some countries, for example, may want parents to live in the country and foster a child before proceeding with the adoption. Other countries may want people to be married and in good health. When people decide they want to adopt internationally, it is a good idea for them to research different countries and their adoption policies.

How does guardianship work and why is it sometimes necessary?

Your parents raised you to adulthood and may have given you sound advice and financial help after you went out into the world. Like many other Iowa residents with aging parents, you may find it difficult to see your loved ones age and become less independent. You may even worry about them being victimized in financial scams or unable to take care of their daily needs.

The law allows adult children or other responsible people to care for the financial, physical and medical needs of elderly or disabled people who are no longer able to care for themselves, as FindLaw explains. Perhaps your parents are suffering from age-related cognitive conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, or maybe your parent was suddenly incapacitated after a stroke or a car accident. Being appointed as a guardian gives you the ability to manage their finances and other important aspects of their lives. If you are appointed a guardianship, you may be responsible for such tasks as setting up doctors’ appointments, paying their bills, buying food and clothing and ensuring your loved ones’ hygiene needs are met.

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