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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 July 25, 2005 / 18 Taamuz, 5765

How do I secure my financial future

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: After divorcing more than 15 years ago and swearing I would not remarry, I did — 12 years ago. Each of us is 62 and, although we have no premarital agreement, we made verbal arrangements that have been carried out to the letter, but never put in writing. My husband has taken care of all living expenses, and we keep our assets separate. His assets are probably a lot more than mine, but since I have not had any living expenses for the past 12 years, I have been able to increase my assets. He has two children by his prior marriage, both grown, and I have three grown children.

He was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Although he is still competent, able to communicate and get around, and although we both know that we must do some planning, he continues to procrastinate. He keeps telling me that I have been named in his will to receive one-third of his estate, and that each of his two children will receive one-third. I don't want to sound mercenary, but I am becoming more concerned about my future because his children have become much more attentive to him since his diagnosis — even though they have had little to do with him since he and I began dating. I want to make sure he is cared for properly, and that I am OK financially. Are there ways in which I can be protected when he dies?

A: Your husband can change his will at any time before he dies — assuming that he has the mental capacity to do so. And what you believe is one-third of his estate could well be one-third of his "probate estate" being placed into a trust, from which you would receive only the net income during your lifetime with no right to the underlying assets.

While the law says that you cannot be cut out entirely, your husband — with or without the guidance of his children — could try to remove probate assets from his estate. If accomplished, your one-third (or one-third in the trust) would be minimal. In effect, you could be "cut out" almost entirely. And although you may have a legal remedy, suits of this nature against estates are expensive and difficult.

Since Parkinson's is a long-term, debilitating illness, we believe that you should also be concerned about being cared for during his lifetime since the eventual cost of his care could strip his assets — and yours — before he could qualify for Medicaid benefits. Because you are married, you are each responsible for the other's "necessaries," which include food, shelter, clothing and medical expenses.

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Therefore, assuming he has the mental capacity and assuming he wants you to help take care of him, he should sign a health care power of attorney and a durable financial power of attorney appointing you as his agent and fiduciary. And if you and he sign reciprocal wills that can't be changed unless both wills are changed simultaneously, your chances of being taken care of will increase. Because his children could try to put a damper on your plans, either before or after the fact, we suggest that you and he contact an attorney who can help you both sort through your options and prepare appropriate documents.

Your situation illustrates the caveat that your options are fewer as the end of the road gets closer. Because you will have conflicting interests, the attorney will probably request that you both sign a waiver of conflicts before the document preparation process begins.

Taking the Next Step: It is important to know that while a properly prepared and executed premarital agreement may give protection at divorce or death, it will not provide any protection when it comes to Medicaid, which ignores such agreements and looks at the assets of both spouses.

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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