Jewish World ReviewSept. 8, 1999 /27 Elul, 5759
DEAR J.A.: The easiest thing for you to do is to turn this matter over to a broker of your choice, who will handle the funds when you roll them into an IRA. It's part of their job to shuffle this kind of paperwork. They should know what buttons to push to make things happen. I don't think that there is any need at this moment for an attorney.
DEAR BRUCE: I am 71 years old and in poor health. My house is worth $80,000 and I have no relatives or charities that I care to leave my property to. I am thinking of taking a reverse mortgage. At best, I have about two years to live. It seems that it would be profitable to someone who is interested in making a good investment. I have discussed this matter with an attorney, who thinks that this is a good idea. If I follow through with this deal I will make a $1,000 contribution to your favorite charity. Can you suggest a fair amount that I might ask for the property? What are the risks? Your opinion and advice would be appreciated. -- E.T., Cynthia, Ky.
DEAR E.T.: I appreciate the offer for the donation, but that isn't necessary. Since you have no one to leave your assets to, why not find an investor who will pay you perhaps half or more of the value of the house and give you life rights to live there? They will pay the taxes, insurance, etc. If the house is really worth $80,000 you will get $40,000 in cash. The house is sold to the investor, who, in turn, allows you to live there for the rest of your life. After you pass away, whatever profit he or she makes in selling the house is of no concern to you. You will have had the use of the $40,000 in cash to make your life a lot more comfortable. This kind of an arrangement doesn't happen very often, but it certainly sounds like a win-win situation. Perhaps you have opened up a new idea for investments. Something like this might be of interest to many folks, and I am no exception.
DEAR BRUCE: I received a refund check for $150 from a company. I went to a bank and cashed it. Two hours later, the bank called and said that I would have to return the money because the check from the company was not signed. They told me that it was not their responsibility to get a signature. Is it my responsibility to go to the bank, return the money and send the check back to the company for one that is signed? -- J.R. Clifton Park, N.Y.
DEAR J.R.: You bet it is! Obviously the teller that cashed your check neglected to see that the paper was not signed. You have a responsibility to give "good paper" to the bank. Since there was no signature, it is not good paper. It would be much easier for you to go down and give them the $150. If the company is local, just take it to them and have it signed. If not, then mail it to them for a signature. This is not an uncommon problem, and it shouldn't take that long to straighten
09/03/99: How can I work out my IRS payments?