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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 13, 2006 / 13 Adar, 5766

Mom's financial secrecy may get her swindled

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: As far back as I can remember, my parents have been secretive about their finances. Since my father's death five years ago, my mother, who is now 84, has allowed a man she calls her "financial analyst" to handle her finances. I found out from a neighbor who has been concerned that my mother met him at a group seminar for seniors, became enamored with him and has given him free reign with her funds. The neighbor tells me that he is very attentive to Mom and calls her daily. She even told me she though my mother might be "sweet" on him. Not wanting to divulge my source, I asked Mom about introducing us, but she always finds an excuse.


Recently, Mom has begun to have physical difficulties that make living alone too risky. Because she did not want to go to an assisted living facility, she finally agreed to move into a spare bedroom at our house early this year. I finally convinced her to go to a lawyer to get a power of attorney for health care or finances, but she flatly refused to provide the lawyer with any information about her financial situation — not even her income or what assets she owned.


When the lawyer asked permission to speak with her adviser, she became indignant and walked out of his office. She later told her neighbor — who, in turn told me, that her financial adviser had instructed her not to tell the lawyer, or for that matter, anyone, about what she owned because they would try to take it away from her and put her in a nursing home. Mom has become more and more paranoid and secretive about her finances, going so far as to have her mail sent to a private post office box company. But neither my wife nor I have ever seen a statement from the financial adviser. Mom's checking account always has a minimum balance each month, and my wife and I think she is getting ripped off. Is there anything we can do, as we are very concerned?


A: The circumstances you describe are the ingredients of a recipe for disaster — that is, if catastrophe hasn't already clobbered your mother's investment portfolio. In fact, red flags have been waving in the wind that your mother has chosen to ignore. For example, daily contact with a client by a financial adviser is most unusual and may connote undue influence, and telling your mother not to discuss her finances with you, her lawyer, or anyone else is outrageous since financial issues are closely tied to long-term-care planning.


While everyone is entitled to privacy in their financial dealings, and while we understand your mother's desire to keep these matters private, when elderly persons reach the point at which they must depend on family members for their care, it is time for them to be open and to share information just in case the unthinkable — incapacity — occurs. Financial advisers and others in whom elderly persons place their trust should foster and encourage — not discourage and denigrate — family relationships under these circumstances.


Since your mother is not incapacitated, you will not be able to be appointed as her conservator or guardian. Therefore, we suggest the following: 1) Try to have another heart-to-heart talk with your mother. Tell her about your concerns. Tell her that while you and your wife are certainly willing to continue to help her, you expect her to trust you and, if she does not, then it might be a good idea for you to help her find an assisted-living facility where she can move.


If she won't discuss it with you, try to get her former neighbor involved. 2) Check out the financial adviser. With whom is he affiliated? Is he a registered investment adviser? Does he hold insurance and/or securities licenses? Has he had complaints lodged against him? Does he have a criminal record? Much of this information is readily available as public information through the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), your state securities agency and your state insurance commission. 3) Go to the probate or surrogate court where your father's estate was probated and get copies of the estate inventories that will show you what your father owned when he died, his life insurance, etc.


These records should give you some ideas about what your mother started with three years ago. 4) Consider reporting your concerns to your local adult protective services agency, as it appears to us that there is a reason to believe that your mother, a vulnerable adult, may have been taken advantage of by an unscrupulous predator.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.

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