There is no better time to take a good look at the “big picture” of your financial life than when you are facing a debt crisis. You are going to be unearthing all your important documents anyway to prepare your bankruptcy schedules, so to not look at all that information from a wider perspective than just debt relief would be to miss a great opportunity. A “fresh start” that comes from the debt relief may not be sufficient. You may need to plan a path forward to prosperity as well.
I earned my Certificate in Personal Financial Planning from the University of California, Irvine by attending classes there at night from 2001 through 2003. Additionally, I’ve been a member of the Orange County Financial Planning Association after I completed my formal education. As I’m going through your financial affairs I am also looking through the wide angle lens of a financial planner instead of just the narrower focus of resolving your debt crisis as your bankruptcy attorney.
That being said, I only practice bankruptcy law. I do not practice financial planning as a discipline in the same way I do bankruptcy law. Staying up to speed with the latest in bankruptcy law, honing my skill set and staying in the bankruptcy problem solving mindset is really more than a full time job. My financial planning mindset is only to discover issues, point them out and get you to take the next step in addressing those issues. I do not, however, monitor or help you execute them as your financial planner would. On the other hand, you will be getting a lot of financial planning advice as we prepare your bankruptcy, as appropriate.
Bankruptcy is the critical care debt management part of a financial plan. It should not be your entire financial plan. I strongly encourage you to have a financial plan and will point out the most critical deficiencies and opportunities I see for you based upon my training as a financial planner. Then you can act on that to maximize your fresh start. For those wanting further assistance in financial planning, I will make the introductions to find you someone who can expertly guide you and coach you over the longer term when elaborate planning is necessary for high net worth individuals. For other clients, I will remain your personal financial planning touchstone long after your case is closed.