The Dangers of Joint Bank Accounts

Emily, 67, is seriously thinking about adding her adult daughter, Katie, as joint owner of her bank account. She is considering this because she wants to ensure that Katie would have easy access to her money in case of an … [Read more...]

When Safe Deposit Boxes Aren’t Even Safe

Q. I read an interesting article about safe deposit boxes in the New York Times recently. It is focused on a man who had a valuable watch collection stored in a safe deposit box managed by Wells Fargo, possibly worth millions, who … [Read more...]

Critter Corner: What if the Bank Refuses to Accept a Power of Attorney?

Dear Bebe, My friend’s brother had a stroke and is now incapacitated. As his agent under his Power of Attorney, my friend needs to take over his finances. She recently went to his bank and was told that the bank will not accept … [Read more...]

Live a Legacy for Your Grandchildren; Then Leave One for Them

Q. The discussion of leaving a legacy recently came up in conversation among our friends and family. It seems our friends are way ahead of us on what they will leave future generations and how they hope to instill values in their … [Read more...]

Critter Corner: Making Your Legacy Letter Meaningful

Dear Magic, I hope to pass down my values and beliefs to future generations as part of my Estate Planning documents. I heard about a Legacy Letter as a way to do so. I want to be prepared before I embark on my planning and I … [Read more...]

A New Miracle Machine Can Keep You Alive Even When Your Heart Stops

Q. My husband, Phil, and I have been married for thirty years. We were faced with a heart-wrenching situation recently, when Phil’s father had a heart attack and was on life support in the hospital. He didn’t have an Advance … [Read more...]

What it Really Means to Be an Agent Under a Power of Attorney

Q. My lifelong friend, Declan, has a family that has a history of early-onset Alzheimer’s. Declan is worried that he will get sick when he is still young and will not be able to pay his bills or make other decisions about his … [Read more...]

Critter Corner: How Much Should an Agent Under a Power of Attorney Be Paid?

Dear Ernie and Jannette, Both my parents signed Power of Attorney documents naming my sister as their financial agent. They now both have dementia and live in an assisted living facility. My sister wants to pay herself to do … [Read more...]

Is a Handwritten Will Ever Valid?

Q. My brother, Larry, doesn’t like to spend money on anything. His family never went on vacation, never bought a new car, or never remodeled their 1970’s kitchen (or any other part of their home, for that matter). His attitude is … [Read more...]

Critter Corner: Choosing a Guardian for Our Children

Dear Hayek, We have young children and are considering doing a Child Protection Plan for each of them. We know we need to name guardians for our children, should we die or become incapacitated. The problem is that I cannot … [Read more...]