In this issue

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 24, 2008 / 17 Adar II 5768

Beware secretive ‘advisers’

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: Since our childhood, our parents have been very secretive about their finances to the point of hiding their checkbooks. Neither ever had a credit card. While Dad worked, Mom kept the three children and family finances straight. Since Mom's death two years ago, Dad, now 84, has allowed a deacon at his church, who is also a financial adviser, to handle his finances. Dad won't share anything with me or my two sisters except to tell us that his "financial adviser" calls daily and takes Dad out to eat. None of us has ever been introduced to this man, despite his close relationship with our father.

As the closest child in proximity, it has always been the plan that Dad's care would be my responsibility if he had problems — or so I thought. When he recently began falling and having trouble living alone, he refused to allow me to do anything, calling instead his adviser. I tried to talk to Dad's physician, but I and all of my siblings had been blocked by Dad, who entrusted health decisions to his adviser.

I finally got Dad to a lawyer to try to reverse the powers of attorney, but he refused to provide the lawyer with any information about his finances, not even his income, and refused to sign anything. When the lawyer told Dad that he would like to speak with Dad's adviser, Dad refused and walked out of the office. He later told me that his financial adviser had told him not to tell the lawyer, or for that matter, anyone, anything about what he owned because they would try to take it away from him and put him in a nursing home. He has become more paranoid and secretive about his finances. We have never seen a statement from the financial adviser come to the house in the mail, and he has no other mailing address. Dad always complains that he has no money, so my husband and I are basically supporting him. We have run out of ideas but are very concerned.

A: As you should be! The situation here is a recipe for disaster — that is, if disaster hasn't already clobbered Dad's finances. 1) Daily contact with a client by a financial adviser, coupled with dinners out, is most unusual and may well connote undue influence; 2) a financial adviser also being a church deacon smells to high heaven, based on the quasifiduciary responsibility; 3) no statements being sent to your Dad is unheard of; and 4) telling your father not to discuss finances with children, lawyers or anyone else is outrageous since financial issues are tied closely to long-term-care planning. These warning signs, coupled with Dad's giving his financial adviser the responsibility over life-and-death decisions, are downright frightening.

While everyone is entitled to privacy in his/her financial dealings, and while we understand your father's desire to keep these matters private, when elderly people reach the point that they must depend on others for their care, it is time for them to be open and share information in case the unthinkable — incapacity — occurs.

Financial advisers and others in whom the elderly place their trust should foster and encourage — not discourage and denigrate — family relationships under these circumstances.

Taking the NextStep: While Dad may be vulnerable, he does not appear to be incapacitated, and for this reason, you will not be able to be appointed as his conservator or guardian. Therefore, we suggest the following: 1) Try to check out the financial adviser. With whom is he affiliated? Is he a registered investment adviser? Find out whether he holds insurance and/or securities licenses and has had complaints lodged against him. Does he have a criminal record? If he is not a Registered Investment Adviser, he may be a broker, and you can check them out at FINRA, the largest nongovernmental regulator for all U.S. securities firms. 2) Go to the probate or surrogate court where your mother's estate was probated and get copies of the estate inventories, which should show you what your mother owned when she died — her life insurance, etc. These records should give you some ideas about what your father started with financially when your mother died. 3) Try to have a have a heart-to-heart talk with your father about your concerns. 4) Consider reporting your concerns to your local adult protective services agency, as it appears that your father, 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.


© 2008, Jan Warner