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Use This Document to Keep Health Care in the Family

Caring for aging parents can lead to some tough decisions. Sometimes, family members would prefer to provide the care for a loved one themselves, but job responsibilities (and their own bills!) can prevent them from doing it. Paying an adult child or a friend to care for an elder can work for people who find themselves in this situation. There are potential pitfalls, however. These include family conflict, public-benefits complications, and tax concerns. All these can be minimized, or avoided entirely, by putting the employment agreement in writing, just like you would for any job. A well-considered written agreement is a must, for the following reasons. Avoiding family strife. Making a cont

Four Essentials for Every Estate Plan

It's important to have an estate plan in place, even if you are young, and even if you aren't rich. But it's also easy to fall into the trap of avoiding estate planning. We don't want to think about the end of life or failing health and disability. On top of that, it costs money. However, the short-term costs of putting a plan in place almost always outweigh - and sometimes vastly outweigh - the costs of reaching a major crisis without one. In its most narrow terms, your estate is all the property that you own, either individually or jointly, including bank accounts, real estate, jewelry, etc. More broadly, however, when we are usually also talking about planning for our own disability as we

How to Identify Fraud Targeting the Elderly

Identity fraud scams are bad enough, but when the scammers target the elderly, some of the most fragile and vulnerable in our population, their actions are particularly offensive. The US Department of Justice recently reported the largest coordinated sweep of identity fraud involving US seniors. The perpetrators scammed money and information from more one million elderly people. To give you some idea of the scope of their activities, 200 out of 250 defendants identified in the sweep were charged with crimes. These third-party scam artists account for 27% of seniors who are financially exploited. Con artists and scammers employ a variety of schemes to defraud seniors of their identity informa

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