Online Legal Documents are Deficient

A recent article in Consumers Reports featured a blind test of online legal documents by three law school professors.  Their conclusion:

Using any of the three services is generally better than drafting the documents yourself without legal training or not having them at all. But unless your needs are simple — say, you want to leave your entire estate to your spouse — none of the will-writing products is likely to entirely meet your needs. And in some cases, the other documents aren’t specific enough or contain language that could lead to “an unintended result.”

Bottom line is people don't know what they don't know, so they have no way to judge the quality of legal documents on their own.  This particularly a problem for Wills and Trusts, where the deficiencies may not come to light for many years. Caveat Emptor!

See this post on the article by attorney Robert Ambrogi.

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Don't Let Them Boss You Around!

Dealing with financial institutions is not always easy; nor are the institutions always in the right.  This is a big frustration in practicing estate planning and probate law.

Financial institutions often set policies or mandates for their customers that are not always consistent with the law or even the institution's own prior agreement with the customer.  Let me give you an example:

Last year one of my long-time clients died.  He had an IRA of about $800,000 that named his grandchildren as beneficiaries.  Given their young ages (around 30), they had the potential of stretching out the account over their life expectancies, which would allow for tremendous tax-deferred growth.

However, the life insurance and annuity company that served as IRA custodian refused to cooperate. After first saying that while they could not accommodate "stretching" themselves, they would allow a rollover to a beneficiary IRA in another company, they then said the account had to be paid out in one single, taxable payment.  This position was contrary to the company's IRA/Annuity agreement put in place when the IRA was established.

Luckily, after a sternly-worded letter pointed out that the company was in breach of its contract and that my client's grandchildren intended to sue for the more than $100,000 in damages they would likely incur in extra taxes and loss of growth, the company quickly relented.

The moral of the story is that one should not always give up easily when in a dispute with a bank or insurance company.  Sometimes one can even score a victory with a minimum of time or attorneys fees.

 

Long-Term Care Insurance Industry Shakeout

Those considering long-term care insurance should be aware of recent several changes in the long-term care insurance industry. Guardian stopped offering the insurance as of December 31, 2011, and Prudential will no longer be offering individual coverage after March, 2012. MetLife exited the market at the end of 2010. In addition, John Hancock and UnumProvident are no longer offering group coverage. Consequently, underwriting is becoming more stringent.

Anyone in the market for long-term care insurance may not want to delay much longer, and should work with a long-term care professional to help ensure that they obtain suitable coverage with a financially strong company.

Note: Certain companies have "Partnership" status in North Carolina - the Partnership program allows those covered by long-term care insurance to protect  the amount that will be provided by insurance from Medicaid countable assets.

LegalZoom Files Suit Against NC State Bar

The online legal forms provider LegalZoom.com recently filed a lawsuit against the North Carolina State Bar in Wake County Superior Court, requesting that a judge rule that the company is entitled to sell standard legal forms on its website and  be allowed to register in North Carolina to sell prepaid legal services.  See this article on the Raleigh News and Observer website.

The underlying issue is really consumer freedom versus consumer protection. Being an actively practicing attorney, one could say I am biased, but the problem is that consumers don't know enough about the law to make informed choices about putting together estate plans, business entities, contracts, etc. on a website.  Handling your own legal matters through LegalZoom.com is like diagnosing and treating your own illness using WebMD.com.

I have talked with folks who have used LegalZoom, and reviewed the documents.  In some cases they might be minimally satisfactory, but again, the problem is that a layperson doesn't know enough to spot all the defects in the document and the issues that have not been addressed.  I have one client that used LegalZoom before coming to see me.  He told me that someone from LegalZoom called him to help him with his will.  I'm sure that person was not a North Carolina licensed attorney, much less an experienced specialist.  Can you say unauthorized practice of law?

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IRS Offers Tips for Protecting Documents from Disaster

Here in North Carolina we know all to well that disasters can strike at any time.  In this YouTube video, the IRS provides guidance for protecting tax and other important documents from natural disasters.

Our firm has nightly offsite backup - now that we are (semi) paperless, I worry a lot less about something happening to all my office files.

 

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NC Estate Planning Blog Nominated as Top 25 Estate Blog

The North Carolina Estate Planning Blog has been nominated as a 2011 Top 25 Estate , Probate and Elder Law Blog by LexisNexis.  If you are a reader, please vote for our blog.  Registration is required, but it's free and easy.

From the LexisNexis Estate Practice & Elder Law Community:

To "talk up" or nominate your favorite Estate, Probate, and Elder Law Blog, you'll need to be a registered Community member and be logged in. If you haven't  registered previously, follow this link to create a new registration or use your sign in credentials from your favorite social media site. Registration is free! Once you are logged in, scroll all the way to the very bottom of this page. You should see a comment box similar to this one:

Add a comment in the box at the bottom of the page to vote or nominate your favorite blog, and that's it! If you are having problems registering, click here, or please contact us at lisa.mcmanus@lexisnexis.com.  I'm the Communities Manager, and I want to make sure that everyone gets to vote!

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Am I Ready to Die?

I'm at home today, sick with the flu.  Last night was rough, fever, chills, cough, and inability to sleep, but I feel a bit better right now.  However, during the worst of the night, a thought came to mind that it might actually be a relief if my mortal existence ended.  Not that I really wanted it to, but it made it easier to imagine truly feeling that way in the event of a painful terminal illness.

As I often say, estate planning involves sometimes difficult discussions.  This post is no exception.  This morning I thought to myself, that while I by no means wish to die any time soon, if the time came now, I am ready in many respects:

  • I tell my family members regularly that I love them.
  • I have some regrets, but for the most part I've had a life well-led.
  • I believe that I have been forgiven for the few times that I have regretfully hurt others.
  • My family members know my wishes for a memorial service (party!) and disposition of my remains.
  • My will and trust are up to date and reflect my wishes.
  • The beneficiary designations for my life insurance and retirement are coordinated with my estate plan.
  • For my few important personal possessions - family antiques, Winchester .30-.30, paintings and prints, etc. - I have specified which items will be given to daughter and which to my son. 
  • I have made arrangements for a meaningful charitable gift. at my death.

So, while I hope the rider on the pale horse does not appear on the horizon for me for a few decades, if he comes I will know I have prepared the best I can.

North Carolina Senior Helpline

Legal Aid of North Carolina has a Senior Legal Helpline for citizens age 60 and older. The toll-free number is 1-877-579-7562.  Intake hours for new callers are 9:00-11:00 a.m. and 1:00-3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Matters covered include Housing Law, Consumer Law, Employment Law, Pubic Benefits, Alternatives to Guardianship and Wills.

Organ Donation in North Carolina

 

Do you want to be an organ donor? Do you know how to become one?

There are three ways to become a donor:

1. Request that a heart be placed on your driver’s license at the DMV.

2. Register online at www.donatelifenc.org.

3. Complete a paper enrollment form and mail it to Donate Life North Carolina. To obtain a form, call 1-800-200-2672.

If you want to donate, and you have a heart on your driver’s license, you have already consented to organ donation. That may seem obvious, but what many people don’t know is that until a few years ago, the heart on your driver’s license only indicated your intent to donate organs. In order to actually donate, “first-person consent” was required. That meant that another person, usually a family member, would be responsible for actually making the decision and giving their consent for the donation.

This was often problematic because there is a short window of time in which to preserve organs for donation after death. Having to locate and burden a grieving family member with the decision many times prevented the organs from being donated because too much time elapsed. The Heart Prevails Law, enacted in October 2007, changed the law so that the heart symbol on your driver’s license is now legal consent for the donation of your organs after you die.

Representative Dale Folwell, is responsible for this legislation, which passed unanimously. Since the law went into effect, “North Carolina has seen a 58% increase in organ transplants,” http://www.project-compassion.org/nc-initiatives/stories/68-the-heart-prevails-legislation-in-nc-personal-tragedies-result-in-legislative-change. Click on the link if you want to learn more about Rep. Folwell’s story and what led him to introduce this legislation.

The heart symbol indicates organ and cornea/eye donation only, not tissue. The organs that can be donated include the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, kidneys, and small intestines. If you want to donate tissue, you should register online or contact Donate Life North Carolina. Tissues that can be donated include skin, bone, corneas, heart valves, and veins. Skin grafts are used for burn victims, dental surgeries and reconstructive surgeries; bone, tendons and ligaments can be used in reconstructive surgeries; corneas are transplanted to give sight; heart valves are used in valve replacement surgery, common in children, and leg veins can be used in heart bypass surgery.

Visit the Carolina Donor Services website for more information: http://www.carolinadonorservices.org/index.php

 

Is LegalZoom Selling Your Personal Information?

The Attorney General of Washington instituted an investigation of LegalZoom for the unauthorized practice of law and the release of personal and financial information of customers to third parties, resulting in LegalZoom entering into this Assurance of Discontinuance.  Check out this article on the topic.

The North Carolina State Bar has also determined that LegalZoom is engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, and has ordered it to cease and desist.

I hardly need to say it, but caveat emptor, LegalZoom customers!

On the lighter side - a funny video about growing older

Most of what I write about relates to death, disability and taxes, and planning for those things.  Pretty heavy stuff.  So I'm glad to share this video with you, which features a 72 year old woman giving a hilarious deadpan testimony to growing older.

Thanks to my colleague Jennifer Garner for bringing this to my attention.  Below is a picture unrelated to the video linked to above, but in keeping with the tone of this post.  Enjoy!

 

 

FDIC Insurance Permanently Increased to $250,000 per Depositor

Here's the text of the press release from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation:

Note:  for the rules that apply trust owned bank accounts (and other types of ownership, click here.

On July 21, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which, in part, permanently raises the current standard maximum deposit insurance amount to $250,000. The standard maximum insurance amount of $100,000 had been temporarily raised to $250,000 until December 31, 2013. The FDIC insurance coverage limit applies per depositor, per insured depository institution for each account ownership category.
The temporary increase from $100,000 to $250,000 was effective from October 3, 2008, through December 31, 2010. On May 20, 2009, the temporary increase was extended through December 31, 2013.
 

Continue Reading...

Stipulation Leads to Directed Verdict in Fraud Case

Here's a summary of Burton v. Williams, a recent North Carolina Court of Appeals case (adapted from today's NAELA eBulletin):

Plaintiff sued defendant as attorney-in-fact for decedent, alleging that an addendum and payment agreement release entered into between decedent and defendant regarding the sale of decedent’s property were void and unenforceable.  The grounds were that (1) At the time the documents were signed, decedent lacked the mental capacity to assent to the addendum and release; (2) the agreements were obtained through undue influence and duress; (3) they were procured through fraud; and (4) they were not supported by consideration.  After presenting his evidence, plaintiff moved for a directed verdict, and the court granted on grounds that the release was void and unenforceable for lack of consideration.  Defendant claimed this violated his right to trial by jury. However, because plaintiff established his claim through documentary evidence, which both parties stipulated was authentic and correct, the Court of Appeals ruled that the trial court properly directed the verdict in favor of plaintiff despite plaintiff having the burden of proof at trial. No consideration for the payment agreement was specified, and the document which was the basis of the agreement, as a matter of law, was not a valid contact. 

Burton v. Williams, 2010 N.C. App. LEXIS 93 (January 19, 2010)

Family of NC Man Wrongly Declared Dead Sues Medical Examiner

Sounds like a nightmare, but it's true.  After an auto accident, Larry Green was put into a body bag and refrigerated.  The medical examiner dismissed paramedics' claims of signs of life from Green's "body."  He was later determined to be alive, but now is in a nursing home and has limited brain function. Green's family has already recovered $1 million from Franklin County, NC. See this story from the Raleigh News and Observer. 

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Reverse Mortgages can be Hazardous to your Equity

The National Consumer Law Center has come out with a report detailing the risks of reverse mortgages for senior homeowners.  Because of high fees, interest rates and other issues, I generally do not recommend reverse mortgages, although for some they may be the only feasible way to access cash.

Don't Expect COLA Increases in Your Social Security Payments

According to the Social Security fund trustees, cost of living adjustments (COLAs) in Social Security payments are unlikely in 2010 and 2011.  COLAs are linked in to inflation, which has been negative in 2009, primarily due to lower energy costs.  That's little consolation to the million of seniors who depend on Social Security as their primary source of income.

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Independence

I'm down in Amelia Island Florida this weekend for a Florida Bar Tax Section meeting.  Today is a day off for many, and will be an afternoon off for me, as I head to the pool and then a movie with the family.

However, it's been a while since I blogged, and I wanted to write a brief note as we approach July 4th.  Our nation has been a free state now for well over 200 years, officially starting with a legal document, the Declaration of Independence.

Individuals can help assure their own independence, too, in a manner of speaking, by making sure that they have important legal documents of their own.   In the event of incapacity, whether temporary or permanent, Living Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney, Health Care Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and HIPAA Authorization forms can all help avoid the necessity of being declared incompetent and having a guardian appointed.  Choosing the person to handle your affairs and making advance instructions about what you want and do not want will ensure that you maintain a certain level of dignity and independence from the court system.  You should be in charge, or the individual you choose as your representative, not the judge.

Choose independence, just as our forefathers did.

 

Diposition of Cremated Remains in NC

Cremation is an increasing common way of handling human remains.  While cremated remains are sometimes buried, there is often a desire on the part of family members (or a request from the deceased) to scatter the ashes somewhere.

North Carolina General Statutes Section 90-210.130(f) provides for legal methods of scattering of cremated remains:

  • over uninhabited public land
  • over a public waterway or sea, subject to health and environmental standards
  • on private property of a consenting landowner
  • must be removed from the closed container

Boats or airplanes can be used to perform the scattering.  Scattering in a scattering garden in a dedicated cemetery is also permitted under NCGS Section 90-210-130(c).

Keep in mind that unless the deceased has requested cremation in a Will, Health Care Power of Attorney or other writing witnessed by two people, the next of kin must consent to the cremation in writing before it can take place.

NC Needs to do More to Combat Fraud Against the Elderly

The North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research just issued a press release with the results of a study indicating that North Carolina needs to do more to protect its senior citizens against fraud.  The Center also provided recommendations on what could be done to improve the current situation, including implementing new laws to require bank employees to report financial abuse against elderly customers.

Click "Continue Reading" for a list of signs that a senior may have been defrauded.

 

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Saying a Final Goodbye to a Friend

This posting is not about estate planning per se, but rather death, which everyone must contemplate in the course of planning his or her estate.

Yesterday afternoon I stayed at the bedside of a friend of 30 years as he peacefully died in the last stages of Lymphoma.  He was 48 years old.

There is nothing like the experience of holding a loved one's hand as he or she dies to make one realize how precious and unpredictable life is, and how important it is to cherish family and friends.  Readers who have gone through this understand that it brings a certain final maturity to the experience of what it means to be human.

So, my advice is to complete a plan for when the end will come, but then relax, and enjoy family, friends, and new adventures.  There is no better tribute to those we have lost.

 

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25th Anniversary of Triangle Community Foundation

The Triangle Community Foundation (TCF) is holding a celebration tonight of its 25th anniversary (I'm pleased to say that I will be attending).  The TCF is a tremendous asset to the greater Triangle area, providing millions of dollars annually in funding to local non-profits.

One feature of such charitable foundations is that one can establish a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) at the foundation for a particular area or areas of interest.  A tax-deductible contribution can then be made to the foundation, even if the funds under the DAF will not be distributed until later.

For example, I could set up a DAF with the TCF, to be focused on childrens' welfare.  I could contribute $10,000 to the TCF on December 31, 2009, and take a tax deduction.  Then, during 2010, I could suggest (advise) to the TCF that distributions be made to the Boy or Girl Scouts, UNICEF, BIg Brothers, Big Sisters, etc.

DAFs can also be established in one's Will or Trust, with one's children or other family members serving as the advisers.  DAFs are much simpler and less expensive than family private foundations, although private foundations do offer more control by family members.  I normally recommend against private foundations unless they will ultimately be funded with at least $1 million.

Happy birthday, TCF!

 

Religion, Medicine and Death

In this blog, mostly I write about taxes.  Sometimes I write about death or politics.  Often somber topics, but ones that will always be current.  Here's an article from The Economist dealing with death, end-of-life decision making, and religion, so I now I'm adding that subject into the mix.

A Bit of Rare Living Will Humor

MY LIVING WILL  

Last night, my friend and I were sitting in the living room and I said to her,


'I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine
 
and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug.'


She got up, unplugged the Computer, and threw out my wine.


She's such a bitch...
 

 

 

Thanks to a client of mine for providing this cartoon!

NC Had 7th Highest Unemployment in U.S. in December

I had no idea North Carolina was so bad off until I saw the statistics put out by the Bureau of Labor Standards.  Our unemployment rate in December 2008 was 8.7%, which puts us on top of all states but Michigan (the highest at 10.6%), Rhode Island, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington D.C.  The state with the lowest rate was Wyoming at 3.4%.

While estate planning is extremely important, I can see how it takes a back seat for folks busy looking for work and trying to put food on the table and gas in the car.

I'm quite skeptical of the stimulus package and the benefits it will supposedly bring to our economy.  it does very little to encourage upper middle class professionals and business owners (who are not eligible for most of the tax breaks) to spend money personally and in their businesses.  For example, a substantial tax credit for hiring new employees would encourage me to hire someone, thereby creating a new job.  But what do I know - I'm not a politician or an economist, just a business owner who pays a lot of tax each year.

 

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Attorney Sam Cooper Appointed as Chatham County Clerk

Janice Oldham, who has served as Chatham County's Clerk of Superior Court for more than 30 years, is retiring at the end of this month.  Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Carl Fox has appointed Chatham native Sam Cooper to serve the remainder of Oldham's term, which expires on December 31, 2010.  Cooper will then have to run for election if he wishes to keep the job.

Clerks of Court are responsible for, among other things, estate, trust and guardianship matters, serving as ex officio judges of probate.  Legal training is not a requirement of the job, but the trend in recent years is for licensed attorneys to be appointed.  The counties in which the most probate matters, Orange, Durham and Chatham, all now have lawyers serving as Clerks.

NC Estate Planning Blog to be Syndicated

I am pleased to announce that the North Carolina Estate Planning Blog will be nationally syndicated by Newstex, a blog aggregation company.  The Blog is also recognized by the American Bar Journal, Trusts and Estates magazine and USlaw.com, as well as by other nationally known bloggers.

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Reverse Mortgage Limits Double

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 more than doubled the home value (now up to $417,000) to be used nationwide for establishing the size of loans available from the federal reverse mortgage program.  Loan origination fees were also lowered.

A reverse mortgage allows persons over age 62 to get lines of credit or cash payments based on the equity in their homes. Repayment is not required as long as borrowers remain in their homes.  Reasons for obtaining a reverse mortgage include paying off an existing mortgage, paying property taxes and getting cash to pay for daily living expenses.

Something Smells Phishy - Fake IRS Refund Emails

I just received an email with the following text (albiet in my spam filter).

After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity
we have determined that you are eligible to receive
a tax refund under section 501(c) (3) of the
Internal Revenue Code. Tax refund value is $120.50.
Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 6-9 days
in order to IWP the data received.
If u don't receive your refund within 9 business
days from the original IRS mailing date shown,
you can start a refund trace online.

If you distribute funds to other organization, your records must show wether
they are exempt under section 497 (c) (15). In cases where the recipient org.
is not exempt under section 497 (c) (15), you must have evidence the funds will
be used for section 497 (c) (15) purposes.

If you distribute fund to individuals, you should keep case histories showing
the recipient's name and address; the purpose of the award; the maner of
section; and the realtionship of the recipient to any of your officers, directors,
trustees, members, or major contributors.

To access the form for your tax refund, please click here


This notification has been sent by the Internal Revenue Service,
a bureau of the Department of the Treasury.

Of course, the email is fraudulent (not to mention nonsense), and anyone foolish enough to follow the link and enter in the requested financial information will most likely find their identity and their money stolen.  Beware!

Just for Laughs - an Estate Planning Joke!

I've seen this joke around a couple of times, and thought I would bring a little levity to the site by publishing it - don't know who came up with it.  My apologies if anyone is offended.

Continue Reading...
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Burke County, NC One of America's Fastest-Aging Counties

Burke County, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is one of the fastest-aging counties in the country, according a recent article in Forbes.  Morganton, Burke County's largest city, is a pleasant enough place, but apparently young people are moving out, and few are moving in, as the general population grew only .03% in the last five years.  The 65 and over population grew by nearly 7% during the same time period, so the old folks are staying put.  Query if Burke County has become a senior destination, like Chatham County.

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Phishing for Probate

Today I received an email message that reads as follows:

    Good Day,

    My name is Sarah Brown. I work as an executive partner for the firm Mayer Brown Watford
    consulting,U.K. We are conducting an inquiry on
    behalf of Deutsche Bank, the German conglomerate. This inquiry involves a late client who                 shares your surname.
    1. Are you aware of any relative/relation who's last contact address was Brussels, Belgium?
    2. Who shares a similar name?
    3. Whose date of birth on file was 27/07/1932?
    Thank you for your co-operation and best regards,

    Sincerely,
    Mrs. Sarah Brown.
    mailmayerbrownwatford@googlemail.com

This is obviously a ploy designed to appeal to greedy folks who might provide false information in order to try to collect an "inheritance."  Notice how the writer doesn't even say what the name is?  And the email address doesn't have a company URL? I'm sure that if one were to respond, "Mrs. Brown" would require a "documentation" or similar fee to be paid up front before the inheritance can be received. Don't fall for it!


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The Problem with Joint Property

Could joint tenancy, one of the most common forms of holding title to assets, lead to an estate planning disaster for your heirs? 

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For Baby Boomers Only

This is a big departure from my normally somewhat "dry" postings, but as a baby boomer myself, I found this animated short quite funny and wanted to share it.  Enjoy!

However, there is also a serious message there - despite our attempts to stay young, we are all growing older, and it is necessary to plan for incapacity and death in order to protect ourselves and our families.  So complete your estate plan, and then get back to acting spry!

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North Carolina's Wealthiest ZIP Codes

According to ESRI, most of North Carolina's wealthy live in the Charlotte area, but the Triangle boasts eight of the top 25 wealthiest ZIP codes in NC.  Most of the eight are in Wake County (27518 Cary, 27614 Raleigh, 27519 Cary, 27615 Raleigh, 27617 Raleigh, and 27539 Apex).  Durham's 27712 ranks 24th, while Orange County is only partially included in the 27517 ZIP Code (number 16), which includes Chatham's Governors Club and Carolina Meadows.  Chatham also gets in with Apex's 27523 (#21).  The ratings are based on 2007 data for median and average household income, per capita income, average net worth, average disposable income, and average home value.

If you don't live in one of the these areas, don't feel bad - neither do I!  And most of my clients don't either - I have many great clients in the 27312, 27514 and 27516 ZIP codes, and even in the eastern and western parts of the state, where only one ZIP code was included (27927 Corolla).

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Warning - This email is not from the IRS

Today I received the following email, which is clearly fraudulent.  If you get such an email, DO NOT RESPOND unless you like having money stolen from your bank account:

This is Francis V. from the Refund Operations Department at Internal Revenue Service
 (United States Department of the Treasury).

After the last annual calculation of your fiscal activity we have determined that you
 are eligible to receive a tax refund of $103.82.

Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 2-4 days in order to process it.

A refund can be delayed for a variety of reason. For exemple (invalid records or
 applying after the deadline).
The good news is that Internal Revenue Service will make this refund directly to your
 visa and/or mastercard linked
to your checking/savings account instead a check or a direct deposit.

To access the form for your tax refund, please continue to our secure server
 form at: _____________________
  My Note:  I removed the link to prevent anyone from clicking on it.

Important: Do not use credit and/or american express or discover cards. Only cards that
 are linked to your checking/savings account are accepted.

 Regards,

Francis V.
 Internal Revenue Service - Tax Refund Specialist

Beware!

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Time to Move Mom and Dad?

Here's another article from the National Care Planning Council:

Seniors Relocation and Real Estate Services

As people age, they often become overly attached to their homes and even though there may be compelling reasons to find other living arrangements, these folks will go to extreme lengths to remain in their homes.

Notwithstanding the affection for their dwellings, there is oftentimes undeniable pressure for seniors to move out and into a different living arrangement. Consider the following:

  • The challenge of maintaining a yard and providing upkeep has become too great.
  • There is a need for long term care that can't be handled in the home.
  • The older person needs supervision that can't be provided in the home.
  • The neighborhood has deteriorated and safety is a concern.
  • There is a desire to be near children or grandchildren (70% of those 65+ live within 1 hour of a child).
  • The home cannot accommodate disability needs.
  • There is a need to avoid climbing stairs.
  • Assets are tied up in the home and cash is needed through selling the property.
  • Driving is no longer possible and available local transportation is not adequate.
  • There is a desire for a warmer climate, a yearning for new vistas or a need for challenging new experiences.

 

Continue Reading...
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U.S. Trust to be bought by Bank of America

Charles Schwab Corporation is selling U.S. Trust Company, which was bought in 2000, to Bank of America for $3.3 billion in cash.  U.S. Trust is a full service wealth management and fidicuary provider with a large minimum account size - it never fit in well with the original Schwab philosophy. 
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North Carolina - a Mediocre Place to Die

Based on a number of factors, such as health care and estate taxes, an article in Forbes ranks North Carolina squarely in the middle of the pack in a listing of the best states in which to die.  Utah came in first, while Washington D.C. was at the bottom.  I guess that says something about how politicians affect the quality of life.

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