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The Talk

You have been dreading it, but you know when they reach a certain age it is time to have "The Talk". You know the choices they make (or do not make) now are critical to their future health and happiness, but the topics are so sensitive that you just do not know how to begin. Yes, both you and your parents are understandably reluctant to talk about such personal topics as end of life decisions, incapacity and finances.

Using Video for a Last Will & Testament?

Mary Randolph, J.D. explains that there really is no such thing as a video will or a digital will. It's still the law that to be valid, a will must be on paper and signed. And in most cases, a will must also be dated and signed by two witnesses who watched the will-maker sign it. (In one Tennessee case, a court accepted a will that had been "signed" electronically-but the will itself was still printed out.)

Power of Attorney: communicate well

Be sure you've had a conversation with the person who has named you as their Power of Attorney or Health Care Power of Attorney, so that you thoroughly understand their beliefs and desires about how they want to be medically treated, or not, in the future. There are many tools you can use to help guide the conversation.

Estate planning - knowing the basics

Most of don't know a lot about the law of wills, trusts, or probate-after all, they're topics none of us really want to deal with. But we should all know the basics, and we should know enough to recognize common myths when we run across them. Here are a few misconceptions that keep coming around.

Planning with Retirement Benefits

Planning with Retirement Benefits

More and more people are holding the bulk of their wealth in qualified plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Although most plan participants know that these vehicles provide income tax-free growth for assets held in them, few participants understand the rules for plan distributions. With proper planning, participants can make the most of this income tax benefit and even pass some of that benefit on to their beneficiaries.

Easing Into Retirement

In a recent article written for AARP, Eileen Ambrose writes that a phased approach allows older workers to start working shorter weeks

Life Insurance

If you own life insurance on your own life, you may either
(a) designate one or more beneficiaries to receive the insurance proceeds upon your death, or
(b) make the proceeds payable to your probate estate or to a trust created by you during your lifetime or by your will.

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