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Dealing with Email Frauds: Greetings from Kuala Lumpur!

The caller was so excited about the email: somebody in Kuala Lumpur had died with the same last name as hers! Who left a $10 million estate! And the email’s gracious writer was happy to help my caller in finding out what part of the $10 million would be her inheritance.

She asked my advice on how to handle this, and was crushed by my answer: “Just delete it.” She didn’t email much, and I told her this was just the first of many inheritances, lost accounts in foreign countries, et al. that she’ll hear about.

And then I thought she might be helped by a composite of the email cons which lay ahead.  And so . . .

[Read more…]

New Tax Break for Caregiver Costs

Providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be an expensive, long-term problem.  (You know this already, right?  Or been thinking about it?  Sooner or later, everyone thinks about it.)

Now you can catch a break.

On July 5th, 2011, the United States Tax Court held that expenses you incur for providing unlicensed caregivers will be deductible on your income tax return.

[Read more…]

Who Will Make Your Financial Decisions if You are Unable to Make Them Yourself?

What good is having access to a safe deposit box if you don’t have the key and you’re not ont he signature card?

What if someone asked you to drive his car in an emergency but he didn’t give you the car keys?

What if a relative wanted you to handle financial matters for her, but the authorization she signed for you didn’t work?

In each case, you’re holding a firecracker but you’re missing the fuse. You have only half of what you need to do the job. Without the activation half — the “Launch Code” — you’re stuck where you are, and so is the person you’re supposed to be helping.

So, you can have very important-looking papers which authorize you to act if someone else is disabled. They have familiar titles, like “Financial Power of Attorney” or “Living Will.” They read right: you are to collect the income, pay the bills and do all the financial chores for that person. [Read more…]

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