Thursday, May 16, 2013
Governor Signs Indiana Budget
As I have previously discussed, the Indiana Legislature passed their budget, which contained a provision that would eliminate the state inheritance tax. Now, Governor Mike Pence signed the budget, which would make that provision the law in the State of Indiana.
See Dan Carden, Pence Signs Two-Year Indiana Budget, NWI Politics, May 8, 2013.
Special thanks to Sean J. Fahey (Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.
Article on Testamentary Restraints on Marriage
Ruth Sarah Lee (Harvard Law School, J.D. 2012) recently published an article entitled, Over My Dead Body: A New Approach to Testamentary Restraints on Marriage, 14 Marq. Elder's Advisor 55 (Fall 2012). below iProvided s the introduction to her article:
Money is a tool that can be wielded from the grave. The dead-hand may attempt to distribute money to shape the affairs, and influence the choices of the living. It is not uncommon to find deeds or wills that try to shape the behavior of the beneficiary by conditioning a grant, devise, or bequest on a potential beneficiary’s conduct. While not every conditional gift is designed to influence the beneficiary’s behavior, many are devised for that very purpose. Behind these gifts are different motives from different testators - whether it is a desire for control, benevolent paternalism, or even revenge. This article, specifically, turns to the problem of restraints on marriage. Testators (usually parents) write wills prohibiting, penalizing, or requiring marriage to one of a particular religious faith or ethnicity as an attempt to shape the beneficiary’s (usually the child’s) romantic decisions.
In addressing these restraints on marriage, many courts have taken a “reasonableness” approach. Even cases that do not explicitly take a “reasonableness” approach--but argue purely in terms of balancing public policy goals--tend to use language shaded with “reasonableness” rhetoric. A complete (total or general) restraint of marriage is a restraint that prohibits the beneficiary to benefit from the will if he marries anyone at any time. A partial restraint of marriage is, in contrast, limited in time or applicable to a specific class of persons.
However, the “reasonableness” approach has several serious shortcomings, and fundamentally focuses on the incorrect issue. The test suffers from at least four major problems: (1) it ostensibly questions the testator’s intent while ingenuously claiming that it does not; (2) it is empirically unsound; (3) it fails to take into account whether the restraint is actually consequential to the beneficiary; and (4) it produces unjustifiably inconsistent results based on geography and time.
Given these four problems with the “reasonableness” approach, a discussion and recommendation of a new approach is warranted. Thus, four principle alternative approaches are considered in this article: (1) a blanket prohibition of all marital restraints, most noticeably promulgated by Professor Jeffrey G. Sherman; (2) a blanket allowance of all marital restraints centered on the value of honoring testator intent; (3) a case-by-case balancing approach used by the court in In re Estate of Feinberg, 919 N.E.2d 888 (Ill. 2009)[hereinafter Feinberg II]; and (4) the possibility of pursuing a new test that does not suffer from the same shortcomings as the Reasonableness Test.
This article proposes a new test--the Coercion Test--as a possible alternative for courts to consider in handling testamentary restraints on marriage. If we are worried that the deed or will forces the donee to surrender to an “unreasonable” marriage or a life of loneliness, we should examine the extent to which the donee is actually influenced by the grant. In other words, instead of focusing on the donor’s “reasonableness”, courts should focus on the donee’s need. The donee’s need--the juxtaposition of his current financial position, how much he would stand to gain, and how much he needs the gain, with how much he would have received under intestacy--will show how much coercion or pressure the donee is actually experiencing from the will.
The discussion closes with a comparison between the proposed Coercion Test and the other alternative methods. The article concludes that the Coercion Test will maintain the advantages found in the other alternatives, while avoiding many of the disadvantages, and is therefore one of the most sensible approaches to marital restraints. The Coercion Test is a sensible approach because it avoids all four of the major problems with the Reasonableness Test, provides more respect for testator’s intent than a blanket prohibition, is more protective of public policy than a blanket allowance, and provides more consistent results than a case-by-case balancing approach. Most importantly, the Coercion Test addresses the crux of the public policy problem: whether an individual is being forced into, or out of, marriage.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Article on Marriage Being the Best Default in Estate Planning Conflicts
Lynne Marie Kohm (Regent University School of Law) recently published an article entitled, Why Marriage is Still the Best Default in Estate Planning Conflicts, Penn State Law Review, Volume 117, Number 1219 (2013). Provided below is the abstract from SSRN:
By analyzing a Tennessee bigamy case, a New York same-sex marriage case, and the growing cultural trend toward cohabitation over marriage, this article discusses how and why marriage is the best estate plan to protect vulnerable parties as they age. The article examines how marriage assists vulnerable parties in avoiding potential conflicts in estate planning and distribution, particularly when those parties have entered into alternative relationships. By focusing on the cases of Witherspoon, in which John Witherspoon entered into a bigamous second marriage, and Windsor, in which Edie Windsor is suing the U.S. government over the lack of federal tax recognition afforded her Canadian same-sex marriage, this article reveals how marriage expansion does not necessarily incentivize marriage, nor does it provide the benefits and protections often sought by those who enter into those marriage-like relationships. By contrasting the protection marriage affords to a vulnerable party in estate distribution and the dilemmas presented by marriage expansion (as illustrated in Witherspoon and Windsor) with the cultural disquiet over the importance of the nature and meaning of marriage, this article illuminates estate distribution conflicts in the context of the paradox of contemporary American socio-legal marriage culture. Despite the pop culture confusion over marriage, this article demonstrates why it is still the best default for estate planning conflicts.
Connecticut Rakes in Inheritance Taxes
Connecticut state officials estimated that they would collect about $150 million in inheritance taxes in 2012, but due to the death of an unprecedented amount of wealthy people, Connecticut will collect a staggering $428 million.
This unexpected record amount is also due to an increase in gift taxes, a result of wealthy individuals making huge transfers in gifts before the higher federal gift tax rate increased from 35 to 40 percent on January 1, 2013.
The wealthiest Connecticut residents to die in 2012 include Goldman Sachs investment partner Richard M. Ruzika, Standard Oil heir Lucie Cunningham Warren, and Wall Street investor Barton Biggs.
See Christopher Keating, Inheritance Windfall: Record-Breaking Year for Estate Taxes Helps Fuel Budget Surplus, Hartford Courant, May 11, 2013.
Avoiding the Kiddie Tax
The “kiddie tax” prevents high-net-worth individuals from avoiding taxes by shifting investment assets into their children’s names. In 2013, “children under age 20 and full time students living with the parents will pay income taxes at the parents highest marginal tax rate on all unearned income above $2,000.” But there are methods of avoiding the kiddie tax or at least minimizing it.
The easiest way to avoid the kiddie tax is to ensure that the unearned income the child receives does not exceed $2,000. This can be accomplished by limiting gifts to those assets that are non-interest bearing or that pay no dividends, such as raw land.
Another way to avoid the kiddie tax is to create a 529 savings account. If the assets are going to be used for qualified educational expenses, all gains and income in a 529 savings account are tax-deferred and then tax-free.
Other options include U.S. savings bonds and tax-deferred annuities. No matter what method is used to avoid the kiddie tax, high-net-worth individuals should always be aware of the risk of transferring assets to children and strongly consider the use of a trust to control the flow of money.
See John Napolitano, Wealth Planning Across the Ages, WealthManagement.com, May 3, 2013.
Public Guardian Investigated For Excessive Billing
Jeanan Mills Stuart, a Davidson County public guardian, is currently being investigated for billing her wards excessively. Her duty as a public guardian is to take over the financial affairs of people who are mentally or physically handicapped. Stuart has billed for more than 24 hours in one day and has gained over $270,000 dollars for doing small tasks like checking emails.The inquiry began when Stuart was charging over $200 an hour for doing non legal tasks. Experts have asserted that Stuart's billing for non legal tasks is not typical. A judge is currently evaluating Stuart's billing practices.
See Walter F. Roche Jr., Davidson County Public Guardian's Bills Exceed $1.8 Million ,The Tennessean, May 11, 2013.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.
IRS Warns Tax-Exempt Groups To File by May 15th
The IRS warned all tax-exempt organizations that under the law they are required to file a Form 990-series report by May 15 of every year. Under the Pension Protect Act of 2006, non-profit organizations and charities must file an annual Form 990. If the organization fails to file the form for three consecutive years, then the organization will automatically lose their federal tax-exempt status. The new filing requirements also apply to small organizations, although it does not place that requirement on church and church-related organizations. If an organization will likely not make the deadline, it might be in its best interest to file a Form 8868 to receive a filing extension.
See Michael Cohn, IRS Warns Tax-Exempt Groups to File by May 15 or Lose Status, Accounting Today, May 10, 2013.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.
Mother of Duke Heirs Ordered Back To Court
As I have previously discussed, the mother of Duke heirs was suspected of dating a convicted child molester that was attempting to take some of her children's trust funds. Now, a court has ordered Daisha Inman, "to appear in court next month to answer charges that she's treated their trust funds as a personal piggy bank." Court records indicate that Ms. Inman has already spent about $1 Million worth of the trust, which does not include direct payments made to cover the children's expenses. This would include items such as their school tuition. Recently, Ms. Inman has also requested big sums of money to purchase a ranch and take a trip to Las Vegas.
Judge Nora Anderson has ordered to Ms. Inman to appear to defend why she should be required to provide receipts for the her spending to the corporate trustees. When the trustees asked Ms. Inman to "account for ATM withdrawals, Inman has been hostile and invoked the right of privacy." In the past three years, she has moved her children to three different states and is currently living within a hotel in Utah. Her room and board is set to run about $120,000 a month. The court has ordered her to appear on June 28, 2013.
See Julia Marsh, Mom of Twin Duke Fortune Heirs Ordered To Court After Allegedly Blowing $1M of Their Inheritance, New York Post, May 8, 2013.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.
Article on Power of Appointment Legislation In New York
Ira Mark Bloom (Justice Josiah Brewer Distinguished Professor of Law, Albany Law School) recently published an article entitled, Power of Appointment Legislation In New York: It's Time For Modernization, 76 Alb. L. Rev. 9 (2013) Provided below is the introduction to his article:
Power of appointment legislation has existed in New York since 1830. Indeed, the 1830 legislation remained largely intact until 1964 when the legislature effectively repealed existing power of appointment legislation that was contained in Article 5 of the Real Property Law and replaced it with a new Article 5. In turn, new Article 5 was essentially reenacted under Article 10 of the New York Estates, Powers & Trusts Law (“EPTL”) effective on September 1, 1967. With few exceptions, current New York power of appointment legislation has remained unchanged since 1967.
Although New York power of appointment legislation has remained largely static for almost fifty years, major developments in the area have occurred. Two significant developments were made under the Second and Third Restatements of Property. Published in 1986 as an entire volume of the Restatement (Second) of Property, the power of appointment division effectively updates the treatment of powers of appointment that is found in the First Restatement. A significantly updated treatment of powers of appointment, running over two hundred pages, is found in the Restatement (Third) of Property: Wills and Other Donative Transfers, which was published in 2011.
There is another important and very recent national development in the power of appointment area. A draft Uniform Powers of Appointment Act (“Draft UPOA”) is in progress, which is effectively based on translating the power of appointment provisions in the Restatement (Third) of Property into statutes.
The purpose for this article is to recommend updated power of appointment legislation for New York. Specifically, I will recommend specific statutory treatment for important substantive aspects in the power of appointment area. The Restatement provisions as well as their translation into statutes by the Draft UPOA will frequently provide the basis for my recommended statutes.
Before addressing how New York law should be changed, a few preliminaries are in order. First, Part II provides a brief explanation of powers of appointment, as many readers may not be familiar with this fairly arcane, but important, topic. Next, Part III briefly considers the historical development of power of appointment legislation in New York.
Parts IV-VII recommend specific power of appointment statutes for New York in four major areas: general provisions, creation, exercise, and creditors’ rights. Part IV involves general provisions, including definitions. Part V focuses on the creation of powers of appointment. Part VI recommends statutes involving the exercise of powers of appointment while Part VII addresses the importance of creditors’ rights.
Parts IV-VII are structured similarly. First, I provide the current New York law on the particular issue; in most cases this will be by reference to existing New York statutes. Next the applicable Restatement provision or provisions are identified. I then set forth my recommended statute for the issue. Finally, I include a discussion which explains my recommendation.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Mother Sues Son For Taking Her House
An elderly woman in Galveston, Texas named Lydia Gracia sued one of her sons, Joseph, for taking her house. Joseph claims that he has a right to the house because it is compensation for the fact that he lost "two vehicles to his siblings." Lydia only discovered the change after when she went to pay her property taxes. She claims that he she did not "knowingly nor intentionally conveyed her home to [Joseph]." Even though she has made several requests, Joseph has not returned the home to her. Finally, Lydia contacted and complained to an adult protection agency and police. Once that occurred, Joseph returned the house to her. Lydia is asking a court to grant her $250,000 in punitive damages and a ruling that her son obtained the deed to her house through fraud.
See Cameron Langford, Just in Time for Mother's Day, Courthouse New Service, May 9, 2013.
Partial Summary Judgment In Sperm Donor Case
As I have previously discussed, Angela Brauer recently petitioned a Kansas court to give her the right to intervene in the Craigslist case, involving herself, her partner Jennifer Schreiner, and the donor William Marotta. Now, it appears that the court will likely resolve this case via parital summary judgment this upcoming Friday, May 17, 2013.
Recently, the Judge Mary Mattivi appointed an attorney, Jennifer Berger, to represent the birth mother, Jennifer Schreiner. Judge Mattivi has asked all parties "to tell her whether Marotta is the 'sperm donor, what his status is,' and that will focus the case on where it needs to go." The judge also froze Brauer's motion to intervene, which led Brauer's attorney to file a motion to reconsider. Brauer's motion to re-consider contained "a copy of a two-page sperm donor contract signed by Marotta, Schreiner and Brauer in which Marotta gives up his paternal rights, and the women release him from making child support payments." The attorneys for the state will likely file a motion for partial summary judgment to dispose of the case.
See Steve Fry, Sperm Donor Case To Be Decided By Summary Judgment, The Topeka Capital-Journal, Apr. 9, 2013.
Scandal at the National Enquirer Continues...
As I have previously discussed, the widow of the founder of the National Enquirer Generoso Pope, filed a protection order against her son Paul Pope. In the document, she claimed that her son "'maliciously and repeatedly harassed (her) with cruel behavior (that) is causing (her) to suffer substantial emotional distress and to genuinely fear for her safety."" The complaint alleged that Paul lived an extravagant lifestyle that was outside his means. While he received $20 Million from the sale of his father's tabloid, he has already spent that money. He has repeatedly asked his mother, Lois, for more of her $200 Million share from the sale. Well, on Mother's Day of all days, Paul Pope was arrested for allegedly stalking his mom. This is a story that even the National Enquirer could make up.
See Tina Moore, National Enquirer Heirs Still Squabbling as Paul Pope Is Arrested, New York Daily News, May 12, 2013.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.
Article on Being Unworthy to Inherit
Veronica Stoica (Independent) recently published an article entitled, General Considerations on Matters of Unworthiness Estate, Journal of Criminal Investigation, Volume V, Issue 1/2012, Special edition (Nov. 24, 2012). Provided below is the abstract from SSRN:
Unworthiness to inherit is negative condition that any successor must meet to collect the sequence left by one whose legacy will be passed so that everyone who is guilty of committing intentional acts provided expressly and exhaustively by any of the articles 958-959 Civil Code is removed from the legacy that could have a pick.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Brother Sentenced To Life In Attempted Capital Murder Case
Clair Wolf was sentenced to life in prison and given a $10,000 fine after he was found guilty of solicitation of capital murder. Specifically, Wolf was convicted of attempting "to hire a hit man to kill [Vennie Wolf] and her sister...in the middle of a bitter inheritance fight." The dispute between the Wolf siblings began in 2006. Since that year, Vennie and her sister have fought with Clair over their parent's $3 million estate. Currently, the inheritance is tied up in a myriad of criminal cases and civil lawsuits. Most of the sibling's inheritance is probably gone thanks to the hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney's fees.
In order to maximize his own inheritance, Wolf tried to kill his family members in a particular order. His plan was only discovered after a Harris County inmate, the hit man Wolf tried to hire, revealed Wolf's plan to the authorities. At his current age of 66, it is likely that Wolf will die in prison because he will only become eligible for parole after 30 years have passed. Wolf's sisters blame his greed for his actions. They argued that they all could have lived comfortably if it was not for him.
See Brian Rogers, Brother Senteced In Plot To Kill Sisters, Houston Chronicle, May 10, 2013.
Call For Judicial Body To Be Set Up To Protect Islamic Women
Recently, a group of Islamic women held a symposium entitled, "Women, Commercial Inheritance and Family Rule." Their symposium called for the establishement of a new judicial body designed to protect the inheritance rights of women in Saudi Arabia. The group hopes that this will ensure that inheritances are divided based upon the Islamic law not social tradition and pressure. One of these protections would be the right to a speedy inheritance inventory to ensure that the process would not last for years and decades. The denial of an inheritance is one the primary reasons that families feud in Saudi Arabia. Inheritance is a sentitive issue in their society because it is often confused with tribal tradition. Tribal tradition often overlooks women's rights as stated in the Qur'an and usually occurs when as a product of social pressure from male heirs. Many times, women are unlawfully persuaded by their male siblings to give up their inheritance rights. As a result, "thousands of cases related to inheritance disputes" are pending in the courts. Thus, the symposium called upon leaders, both legal and spiritual, to solve this problem.
See Damman, Call For Setting Up Judicial Body To Protect Female Inheritance, Arab News, May 12, 2013.
Comparing Conflicts of Interest in Medicine, Research, and Law
There are other conflicts of interest outside the what attorneys usually think of when conflicts of interest are discussed within the elder law context. For example, conflicts of interest could happen when elderly patients "with impaired decision-making capacity [enter into] clinical and experimental medicine when legal counsel and advance health care and research participation planning have not taken place." Often, these conflicts of interest emerge when these patients do not have an advance directive or an advanced biomedical or behavioral research directive. Furthermore, these conflicts of interest are made more complicated by the fact the states have different approaches to managing these conflicts. Additionally, problems can emerge from the differing standards of professional conduct between attorneys and medical professionals.
See Stacey Tovino, Conflicts of Interest in Medicine, Research, and Law: A Comparison, 117 Penn. St. L. Rev. 1291 (2013).
Special thanks to Katherine Pearson (Professor of Law, Penn State University - The Dickinson School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.
Article on Copyright Law and Managing J.D. Salinger's Literary Estate
Kate O'Neill (Professor of Law, University of Washington - School of Law) recently published an article entitled, Copyright Law and the Management of J.D. Salinger's Literary Estate, Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, Forthcoming; University of Washington School of Law Research Paper No. 2013-12, (Nov. 1, 2012). Provided below is the abstract from SSRN:
J.D. Salinger’s death in 2010 provides an occasion to consider three related questions: (1) does domestic copyright law now protect Salinger’s personal interests; (2) if not, should it be amended or interpreted to do so; and, (3) if it does protect personal interests, should that protection be continuous throughout the full copyright term, or should it diminish or end at the writer’s death? In answer to the first two questions, I argue that domestic copyright law does not and should not protect any author’s personal interests in privacy, publicity, or reputation. In answer to the third question, I recognize that uses of unpublished expression necessarily raises issues of privacy, publicity and reputation interests, as well as copyright, but I argue that protection of personal interests embodied in unpublished work should diminish or cease upon the author’s death.
The Article makes two basic points. First, in two copyright infringement cases, Salinger succeeded in establishing judicial precedents that rejected colorable defenses of copyright fair use. In both cases, the courts rejected fair use defenses despite Salinger’s inability to show any economic injury. Arguably, the decisions reflected solicitude for Salinger’s personal interests but, as a result, they blurred an important and valuable legal distinction between personal interests and copyrights. Conflating personal interests with copyright makes a copyright seem more sacrosanct than it should be in our domestic system – less a commercial interest and more an identity right. Conflating also effectively broadens the copyright holder’s exclusive rights because domestic copyrights are expressly limited by the fair use doctrine while personal interests are not.
Second, however tempting it may have been to conflate Salinger’s personal interests with his copyright during his life, the temptation should be strenuously resisted and the two precedents should not be followed. The distinction between personal interests and copyrights has important practical consequences for the management of Salinger’s literary estate going forward – and for the estates of other authors. Plainly, Salinger’s estate includes copyrights on published works. With his passing, we can hope that his trustees will distinguish between his personal interests while alive and his copyrights and, if they will not, the courts will be more inclined to permit fair uses.
Salinger’s unpublished works may be of even more interest than his published works. Domestic and international copyright laws clearly give Salinger’s trustees the exclusive right to publish or withhold these unpublished works. Precisely because Salinger did not choose to publish these works, and because some of them may contain incomplete or unpolished prose or intimate or embarrassing revelations, the trustees’ temptation to use copyright to protect his or their personal interests may be especially strong. If they refuse to license uses on reasonable terms, the appropriate scope of fair use will be critical to scholars, biographers, and others. The article concludes by examining how the fair use doctrine should apply to various types of unpublished works.
In policy terms, I have used the particulars of Salinger’s copyrights to argue against the suggestions of some scholars and many authors that U.S. copyright ought to extend protection to what are loosely called “moral rights.” Put another way, the fundamental question is whether decency requires that Salinger’s literary estate be let alone, as he might have wished. I think not. I don’t think decency requires it anymore, and I’m sure the law should not. In our domestic culture, we do not have the right to dictate what others may find worth writing and learning about us. If we leave copyrighted expression behind after we die, then the expression should be regarded as artifact, not personhood, and the price we and our heirs pay for copyright protection for all of our fixed expression for 70 years after death is the public’s limited right to make fair use of the expression, whether we chose to exploit it or not during life.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Invitation to a Primer for Attorneys & Planners on Purposeful Trusts & Gifts in Philadelphia on June 20, 2013
Are you looking for ways to better assist your clients in transitioning their wealth—not just their financial wealth but all of those other dimensions of a family’s wealth? Have you noticed how energized clients get when they discover the power of an ethical will, a family legacy letter, or an expression of donor intent? Have you considered the possibility there might be a “Better Way” to create wills and trusts than the standard forms and boilerplate used today? What if there was a way to create legal instruments which not only satisfy what the Third Restatement of Trusts describes as a best practice for 21st century will and trust drafting but to have your clients give testimonials like this about the outcomes of their planning experience:
When I sat down in the attorney’s conference room and read the documents my husband and I had created with the help of our planning team, I broke into tears. These were tears of joy. I never knew until that moment that it was possible for my yet unborn grandchildren to hear my voice through my will and to know how much we loved them and how much we wanted to make sure our financial wealth would become a positive influence in their lives—A female client, Denver, Colorado
The Primer on Purposeful Trusts & Gifts Workshop on June 20th in Philadelphia is a ½ day interactive and intensive workshop designed for 10 to 16 professionals who assist clients in the design, drafting or administration of trusts.
This workshop will teach you simple but effective ways we can make sure that the will and trust documents we produce for our clients will help create the most positive impact possible in the lives of beneficiaries and inheritors. This experience will arm you with stories, knowledge and processes which will not only transform the way you think about the design and drafting of trusts and wills but HOW you and your clients work together to produce those estate planning documents.
Workshop participants will be eligible for 3.5 - 4 hours of continuing professional education credits. For more information on the Primer on Purposeful Trusts & Gifts and other workshops hosted by the Purposeful Planning Institute please visit www.purposefulplanninginstitute.com/primer or contact us at email@example.com.
Article on Changes in Elder Law in our Aging World
Katherine C. Pearson (Professor of Law, Penn State University - The Dickinson School of Law) recently published an article entitled, Capacity, Conflict, and Change: Elder Law and Estate Planning Themes in an Aging World, 117 Penn St. L. Rev. 979 (2013). Provided below is the abstract from SSRN:
The 2012-13 Symposium Issue of the Penn State Law Review arose out of collaboration between two sections of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) for the Annual Meeting in January 2013. The leadership of the Section on Trusts and Estates and the Section on Aging and the Law called for dialogue among scholars who teach, research and write in these and related fields, with a special eye to the demographics of population aging. This article introduces the themes heard in the conference and highlights key themes of the formal papers.
The Seven Most Common Financial MistakesRecently, Consumer Reports did a survey about the common financial mistakes people make. Below are the seven most common pitfalls.
- Not revising your will or updating the beneficiaries.
- Not informing your family about where they can find the plans and accounting. details and about the finances.
- Not reviewing your 401(k)s by missing out on employee contribution.
- Failing to keep adequate homeowner insurance coverage.
- Not having an emergency fund that can cover three to six months of living.
- Not reviewing credit reports.
- Failing to manage your debt.
See 7 Money Stumbles to Avoid We'll Show You How to Steer Clear of the Mistakes or Change Course, Consumer Reports Magazine, Feb. 2013.
Special thanks to Naomi Cahn (John Theodore Fey Research Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.