What Happens If You Die Without a Will? We all know we are supposed to do estate planning, but not all of us get around to it. So what happens if you don't have a Will when you die? Your estate will be distributed according to state laws, which may or may not be the way you want it to be distributed. Dying without a Will is called dying "intestate." Each state has laws that determine what will happen to your estate if you don't have a Will. If you are married, most states award one-third to [...]


Be Careful About Putting Only One Spouse's Name on a Reverse Mortgage A recent case involving basketball star Caldwell Jones demonstrates the danger in having only one spouse's name on a reverse mortgage. A federal appeals court has ruled that an insurance company may foreclose on a reverse mortgage after the death of the borrower, Mr. Jones, even though Mr. Jones’ widow is still living in the house. While there are protections in place for non-borrowing spouses, many spouses are still [...]


Reverse Mortgages Can Pose Problems for Heirs Reverse mortgages can be a big help to seniors needing extra cash, but they can become a nightmare for their heirs. Heirs who don't know their rights may be faced with large bills or threats of losing the house. Fortunately, there are some protections for heirs. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners who are at least 62 years of age to borrow money on their house. The homeowner receives a sum of money from the lender, based largely on the value of the [...]


2019 Will Bring Social Security Beneficiaries the Biggest Increase in Eight Years The Social Security Administration has announced a 2.8 percent increase in benefits in 2019, the largest increase since 2012. The change will put an additional $468 anually in the pocket of the average retired beneficiary. Cost of living increases are tied to the consumer price index, and an upturn in inflation rates and gas prices means recipients get a boost in 2019. The 2.8 percent increase is higher than last [...]


It’s Open Enrollment Season: Is Your Medicare Plan Still Working For You? Do you have the right Medicare plan? It is fall, which means it is time to think about whether your current plan is still giving you the best coverage or whether a new plan could save you money or offer better coverage. Medicare's Open Enrollment Period, during which you can freely enroll in or switch plans, runs from October 15 to December 7. During this period you may enroll in a Medicare Part D (prescription [...]


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