Chapter 12

Financial Matters: Money Management, Wills, and Trusts

In This Chapter

arrow Taking responsibility for someone else's money

arrow Creating wills and trusts

arrow Understanding probate

arrow Protecting vulnerable people with guardianship

In many families, money is a taboo topic. Talking about bank accounts or wills happens only when a crisis occurs. All too often, when a person dies, he doesn't even leave a will to guide the heirs. “Why make a will,” some people reason, “when it will be expensive and complicated? My family will know what I want.” And predictably, conflict and confusion ensue.

Wills are only one of the legal and financial instruments that should be discussed, created, and periodically reviewed as part of a long-term care plan. Managing money is a huge issue when dealing with elder care. Knowing how to deal with an older person's funds is essential for handling home care or assisted-living expenses. This chapter reviews general reasons for the primary legal documents and suggests some points to consider. However, it doesn't substitute for the advice of an experienced attorney, ...

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