Communicate Your Advance Directives for Health Care

grandparents and grandchild, a smiling couple

If you had a serious accident or illness that caused permanent loss of mental capacity, leaving you unable to tell your doctor which medical treatments you did or did not want, would your loved ones know what to do? Who would make these decisions for you? If you couldn’t make your wishes known, how could you make sure they were respected?

If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t taken time to complete or discuss documents known as advance directives …

Organize Your Important Household Papers: Introduction

Man with stacks of paper

One of life’s most important lessons is distinguishing what is trivial from what is not. While we’re tempted to lump our personal documents among life’s petty details, their significance can be major. How quickly could we access our birth certificates, immunization records, wills, vehicular titles, or even three-month-old credit card statements? Did we file them away and, if so, where? How long would it take to find—or replace—them?

A systematic plan for keeping track of important papers can save hours …

Emergency Cash Reserve

Emergency Cash Reserve

Setting aside money to meet unexpected expenses provides a financial safety net and allows you to take advantage of financial opportunities as they arise. Most experts recommend an emergency fund equal to 3 to 6 months living expenses; however, you do not need to set aside this total amount in a low-yielding passbook, certificate of deposit, or money market account. The amount of your emergency fund depends upon your age, health, job outlook, and personal financial situation …

Bankruptcy

 

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a proceeding in a federal court in which a debtor who owes more than his or her assets can receive debt relief by transferring his or her assets to a trustee or agreeing to reorganization of assets and liabilities. Usually, at least two years must elapse from the discharge of the bankruptcy before lenders will consider making a loan to someone who has declared bankruptcy.

When is Bankruptcy an Answer?

Bankruptcy may be an answer …

Household Recordkeeping

A vital aspect of successful financial management is record-keeping. An effective record-keeping system should be convenient to use and not too complicated to maintain.

Financial records have become a vital part of life. They are a key to your credit standing, are essential to help you save money on taxes, and also are a continuing indication of your financial progress. If you have systematic plan for keeping track of important papers you can save hours of anxious searching, help preserve …

Financial Security: Legal Topics

scale of justice

 

Legal issues that impact financial security include topics such as: property ownership, estate planning, advance directives for health care, and guardianship for minor children.

 

Advance Directives

Many Americans die without a will or advanced health directives. Several factors are often cited for this lack of preparation. Many people believe that property will pass on to their heirs under state law in a manner they would like. Some just never get around to making specific legal arrangements to protect their survivors. …

Financial Security: Estate Planning

An estate plan is a plan for the disposition of resources and property after death or during crisis.

A will is one component of an estate plan. Although necessary to direct the distribution of assets after death, almost 70 percent of U.S. adults do not have wills. Many people think they do not need a will because they do not have many assets, or they think that preparing a will costs too much. Dying without a will is called dying …