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夫妻财产分开的潜在隐患 [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-12-5 21:12:53 |Display all floors
For some couples, togetherness extends only so far. And one place it may not extend to is their financial assets.  
        对一些伴侣来说,“共同”只限于一定程度上的合二为一。他们没有“共同”的地方之一就是金融资产。  
        Spouses and couples who live together without getting married often keep separate bank or brokerage accounts, and they might hold real estate and other property in their own name rather than jointly.  
        夫妻以及同居的伴侣常常会各用各的银行或经纪账户,他们还可能将房地产及其他财产放在各自名下,而不是联名持有。  
        That can be a smart strategy. For instance, there are significant estate-planning advantages to separate ownership of assets.  
        这种策略有其明智之处。比方说,资产所有权的分离在遗产规划方面有显著优势。  
        But separate assets can present some problems as well, particularly when a spouse dies or a couple is divorced, and especially if couples aren't aware of all the legal issues involved.  
        但配偶财产分开也会带来一些问题,特别是在配偶一方去世或者夫妻离婚时。而如果配偶双方未能认识到所有相关法律事宜,则问题会更加严重。  
        Here are some potential pitfalls to keep in mind for couples who are thinking of keeping some or all of their assets separate.  
        考虑将部分财产或全部资产分开的伴侣应该注意以下一些潜在隐患。  
        1. Those assets aren't necessarily separate under the law.  
        1. 分开持有的财产可能在法律上并不是分开的。  
        You may think the account that has only your name on it is yours alone, but state law may disagree.  
        你也许会认为,只写着你一个人名字的账户是属于你自己的,但你所在州的法律可不一定认同。  
        'If you live in a community-property state, all of the assets you acquire after you get married are the property of both parties,' says Nancy Skeans, managing director at Pittsburgh-based Schneider Downs Wealth Management Advisors LP.  
        总部位于匹兹堡(Pittsburgh)的财富管理咨询公司Schneider Downs Wealth Management Advisors LP的董事总经理南希・斯基恩斯(Nancy Skeans)称:“如果你居住在一个实行共同财产制的州,你婚后取得的所有财产都是双方的共同财产。”  
        'But even in a non-community-property state, there's always the judge' in a divorce case, she says. 'Just because you keep your assets separate doesn't mean those assets cannot be used if you decide to go your separate ways.' That is, a portion of what you consider yours may go to your ex-spouse.  
        她说:“即使是在一个实行非共同财产制的州,离婚案中也总会有法官判定财产归属。仅仅因为你把资产放在自己名下,并不意味着在你决定离婚时对方不能动用这些资产。”也就是说,你自认为属于你的资产有一部分可能会归你的前配偶所有。  
        State inheritance laws also can surprise couples, Ms. Skeans says. For example, say a married couple in Pennsylvania owns assets separately, and neither of them has a will. Upon one spouse's death, some of that partner's assets may go to the children -- even if the deceased spouse intended everything to go to the surviving partner.  
        斯基恩斯说,州继承法也有可能会让夫妇们感到意外。比方说,假设宾夕法尼亚州的一对已婚夫妇分别拥有一些资产,且双方都没有遗嘱,那么配偶中的一方去世后,这名配偶的部分资产可能会归孩子所有――即便已故一方本想将所有资产都留给健在的配偶。  
        Another example: A couple, both married before, choose to simply live together and keep their assets separate. When one of them dies, any assets held in the deceased partner's name may go to that person's parents.  
        再举一个例子: 有一对伴侣,之前都结过婚,现在他们选择只同居而不结婚,并分开持有资产。当其中一方去世时,已故方名下持有的任何资产都有可能会归这个人的父母所有。  
        In Pennsylvania, 'if I am not married and I have no children, my assets go back to my parents if I do not have a will,' Ms. Skeans says. (There are exceptions, such as a beneficiary named in a life-insurance policy.)  
        斯基恩斯说,在宾夕法尼亚州,“如果我没有结婚,也没有孩子,在没有遗嘱的情况下,我的资产会回到我父母那儿”。(不过也有例外情况,比如人寿保单中指定的受益人。)  
        Given the legal complexities, it makes sense to talk to a professional to create an estate plan.  
        鉴于法律问题的复杂,与专业人士谈谈如何制定遗产计划还是颇有必要的。  
        2. Separate accounts may foster a failure to communicate.  
        2. 分立账户可能会增加沟通障碍。  
        Owning accounts individually may encourage spouses to manage those accounts in isolation, rather than taking the couple's financial situation as a couple into consideration.  
        分立账户可能会促使配偶独自管理这些账户,而不是从双方作为一个整体的角度来考虑财务状况。  
        This is often a problem with retirement accounts, which generally are owned by one person. Couples should discuss their financial objectives and risk tolerance and then make sure their combined holdings in their retirement accounts -- and in any other accounts -- are designed to achieve those goals, Ms. Skeans says.  
        退休金账户一般都在个人名下,所以常常会存在这个问题。斯基恩斯表示,伴侣应该讨论他们的财务目标和风险承受能力,然后确保他们退休金账户(以及其他所有账户)上持有的资金合在一起能够实现这些目标。  
        Communication is critical. One spouse 'may be controlling their investments without having a conversation with their spouse,' Ms. Skeans says. One of her clients, a widow, is still bitter about how her husband managed their investments. 'Every time we talk, she will bring up the fact that her pension would have been twice as big had he not been so aggressive,' Ms. Skeans says.  
        交流是至关重要的。斯基恩斯说,配偶中一方“可能会控制他们的投资,而不与对方讨论”。斯基恩斯有个客户的丈夫已经去世了,但她仍对丈夫管理双方投资的方式感到恼火。斯基恩斯说:“我们每次谈话的时候,她都会提到,要是她丈夫投资风格不那么激进,她的养老金会是现在的两倍。”  
        Failing to plan together also can lead to higher costs, says Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Minneapolis. For example, if both partners hold the same mutual fund in separate accounts, they might be able to lower their fees by having one spouse hold the combined amount or by holding the combined amount in a joint account, because some funds charge less for larger accounts.  
        明尼阿波利斯Ameriprise Financial Inc.的财富策略部门副总裁苏珊娜・德巴卡(Suzanna de Baca)表示,伴侣如果不能共同规划,还可能会产生较高的费用。比方说,假设伴侣双方用不同的账户持有同一只共同基金,他们如能把基金全部交由一方持有或者设立联名账户来持有,可能就会降低费用,因为一些基金对大额账户收取的费用较低。  

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Post time 2013-12-5 21:13:08 |Display all floors
3. Separately owned property may be at greater risk in a bankruptcy or lawsuit.  
        3.如果遇到破产或诉讼,单独所有的财产可能面临较大风险。  
        Joint ownership can protect your nonfinancial assets if you file for bankruptcy or a lawsuit is filed against you, because creditors and plaintiffs tend to steer clear of property in which they'll end up owning a half interest. Property owned separately isn't automatically protected in that way. But there is a way to shield individually owned assets in those situations.  
        如果你申请破产或者受到起诉,财产共同持有的形式能够保护你的非金融资产,因为债权人和原告往往会避开他们最终只能拥有一半权益的财产。而单独所有的资产则不能以这种方式自动获得保护。但在上述情况下,还是有一种保护单独所有资产的方式。  
        Joint ownership is a 'very good way to serve as a deterrent for people going after some of your primary assets,' like a house, says John McManus, founder of law firm McManus & Associates in New Providence, N.J. 'They don't want that asset in a plaintiff's action against me because they cannot easily force my wife to sell,' he says. 'And now they're stuck with a one-half interest in this property.'  
        新泽西州新普罗维登斯(New Providence)的律师事务所McManus & Associates的创始人约翰・麦克马纳斯(John McManus)表示,“对奔着你的住房等主要资产的人来说,共有形式是一种很好的遏制方式。”他说:“他们在起诉我的时候不会想要那个资产,因为他们无法轻易迫使我妻子将其出售,最后他们也就只拥有该财产一半的权益。”  
        However, for estate-planning reasons, Mr. McManus prefers that his clients hold assets in separate names so they can be placed in individual trusts, which can make it easier to direct where those assets end up after you're gone. (Separate may mean each spouse owns various assets outright, or that they share ownership through a 'tenants in common' designation -- a form of co-ownership where each owns his or her share independently.)  
        然而,从遗产规划的角度来说,麦克马纳斯觉得他的客户在各自名下单独持有资产会更好,这样资产就能放在个人信托中,便于安排去世后这些资产的去向。(单独持有的意思是配偶双方各自拥有完全不同的资产,或者是通过“按份共有人”的形式来分享产权――“按份共有”是一种配偶双方单独拥有各自份额的共有形式)。  
        For example, he says, a trust could be set up this way: 'If my wife dies, she leaves me as trustee. I can spend it, I can use it as I need to, but when I die, the only place that that's going is to our children and not to my new spouse.'  
        麦克马纳斯举例说,可以用这种方式建立一个信托:“如果我妻子去世,她就立我为受托人。我可以花钱,我可以在需要的时候用钱,但我去世时资产只能归我们的孩子所有,而不能给我的新配偶。”  
        Meanwhile, the assets are protected against creditors or litigants. Mr. McManus uses his house as an example: 'I'll put my half interest in trust today,' he says, so his interest goes to his wife when he dies. 'And if I'm sued, I've already surrendered my interest in the house, so I'm protected.'  
        与此同时,这些资产也不受债权人或诉讼人影响。麦克马纳斯以他的房子为例:“今天我要把我持有的一半权益放在信托里”,这样在他去世时,他的权益就会归他的妻子所有。他还说:“如果我受到起诉,由于我已经放弃了我在这座房子中拥有的权益,所以我能受到保护。”  
        4. Separate accounts can lead to administrative difficulties.  
        4. 分立账户可能不便管理。  
        The death of a husband or wife is overwhelming. Having separately owned assets can aggravate an already challenging situation.  
        配偶去世的打击是巨大的。而资产单独所有制会让已经够困难的局面雪上加霜。  
        For example, if a checking account is in one spouse's name, the surviving spouse may be forced to provide a death certificate and wait to be approved as an account signer, a time-consuming process.  
        比方说,如果某个支票账户是在夫妻一方的名下,则健在的一方可能不得不提供死亡证明,还要等上一段时间才能获准成为账户签署人,过程非常耗时。  
        'The day-to-day checking account we keep as a joint account,' says John Voltaggio, a senior planner with Northern Trust Corp. 'If one spouse dies, you won't interrupt the flow of making bill payments, so there won't be any administrative hassle.'  
        信托公司Northern Trust Corp.的资深规划师约翰・沃尔塔焦(John Voltaggio)表示:“我们的日常支票账户应该设成联名账户。即使配偶中一方去世了,支付账单也不会受到影响,这样就不会有任何管理问题。”  


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