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Use Your Will to Dictate How to Pay Your Debts

The main purpose of a will is to direct where your assets will go after you die, but it can also be used to instruct your heirs how to pay your debts.

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What Can We Do About Our Parentsí Credit Card Debts?

My wife and I have just become agents under a power of attorney for her parents. They are both in their late sixties, and her mother has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. We moved them into a retirement home so her mother can get the extra help she needs. After gaining access to their finances, we've discovered that her father has accumulated over $100,000 in credit card debt spread among several cards. We purchased their home, and they recently sold some land that was in a trust. Her mother just transferred to my wife a 25 percent interest in a farm, held with several other family members. They have approximately $50,000 in their bank account, and $20,000 in a 401(k), but otherwise have no further assets or income outside of Social Security. If they continue to pay their credit card minimums, they'll exhaust their entire savings at the end of next year and won't be able to pay their rent. At this point, is there anything we can do to settle the credit card debt? Can they walk away from it? We have no idea what options we have and are incredibly overwhelmed.

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Social Security Beneficiaries Will Receive a 2 Percent Increase in 2018

In 2018, Social Security recipients will get their largest cost of living increase in benefits since 2012, but the additional income will likely be largely eaten up by higher Medicare Part B premiums.

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New Yorker Article Highlights Abuses in the Guardianship System

Serious problems with the public guardianship system in the United States can lead to elder abuse, according to an in-depth article in The New Yorker. Court-appointed guardians can take control of an elderly person’s finances and life and become wealthy while doing so.

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Am I Legally Obligated to Continue to Care for My Mother Even Though She Is Mean to Us?

My 80-year-old mother has memory problems and has been living with my wife and me for about six months now. She keeps begging to go home, but I know she can't be left alone because she does not remember things like if she took her medications. She has ruined all her finances and cannot afford to have anyone take care of her at home. Now she is becoming very nasty to anyone who comes across her -- even our three-year-old granddaughter. Am I legally responsible for her well-being and care if I take her home as she wishes and wash my hands of the whole situation? We are all residents of New York State.

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Can the State Make a Claim on My Father's House if He Is Receiving Medicaid Home Care?

I just applied for Medicaid for my mom and dad to receive home care. I don't think either of them will move into a nursing home because they have friends and family nearby. My mom is confined to a wheelchair and needs daily assistance with eating and bathing. My dad will be starting dialysis soon. My question is, will Medicaid attach itself to my parents' home if they are receiving home aid? Currently the deed is only in my dad’s name.

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Nursing Home Costs Rise Sharply in 2017

The median cost of a private nursing home room in the United States has increased to $97,455 a year, up 5.5 percent from 2016, according to Genworth's 2017 Cost of Care survey.

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Now Is the Time to Review Your Medicare Options

Are you happy with your current Medicare plan or plans? Now is the time to think about whether you are in the right plan or whether a new plan could save you money. 

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