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Liz Weston

Columnist Money Talk

Recent Articles

  • What to do when a financial planner gives bad advice

    What to do when a financial planner gives bad advice

    Dear Liz: I personally like my fee-only financial advisor, who has been managing my portfolio (gained as inheritance) for the last six years. But she has me invested in bonds and gold only and insists that we wait until stock prices fall to get back in the stock market. We have been waiting for...

  • These heirs worry their parents aren't doing enough to minimize estate taxes

    These heirs worry their parents aren't doing enough to minimize estate taxes

    Dear Liz: My parents, ages 75 and 76, have established an irrevocable gift trust for my five siblings and me. Wonderful! With the single trust, they have maxed out their lifetime gifting exemption. What else can they do with their other investments to minimize the inevitable estate taxes that will...

  • The argument for having different caretakers for healthcare and financial decisions

    The argument for having different caretakers for healthcare and financial decisions

    Dear Liz: My mother is 74 and her health is starting to deteriorate. She had a last will made up about 15 years ago when my stepdad left her. I found out that she named me executor and gave me power of attorney for healthcare decisions. After the last year, when she became very contentious about...

  • Don't bequeath trouble to your descendents

    Don't bequeath trouble to your descendents

    Dear Liz: I have two grown children, neither of whom owns a home, and three grandchildren. I would very much like to keep my house in the family for all to use, if and when needed. It is not large, and it would be somewhat difficult for two families to live here at the same time. I have a trust...

  • Where to find help with managing your finances

    Where to find help with managing your finances

    Dear Liz: I am a mid-30s single woman who needs accountability in managing my finances and paying down debt. I have about $7,000 in credit card debt and $9,000 in student loans and I earn $55,000 a year. I feel as though I may have the financial means to do this but require a knowledgeable, structured...

  • Degrees of debt: The downside of federal student loans

    Degrees of debt: The downside of federal student loans

    Dear Liz: Are federal student loans turned over to a collection agency still collectible after 20 years? Answer: Yes. Very much so. There is no statute of limitations on federal student loans, which means collectors can come after you until you pay or die, whichever comes first. Statutes of limitations...

  • What to consider when deciding how to bequeath your home

    What to consider when deciding how to bequeath your home

    Dear Liz: I'm at 74-year-old retired woman living in a completely paid-off condo in California. I hold title in my name only. I would like to add my partner of 20 years and my married adult daughter to my home title so they will not have to go through probate if something happens to me. What would...

  • How to protect an elderly widower from financial predators

    How to protect an elderly widower from financial predators

    Dear Liz: Our mother recently died after a long illness. Our father is in his 70s and is getting a lot of attention from ladies at his church and the senior center. We’re concerned because of a pattern we’ve seen in other families, where the widower remarries and the new wife convinces him that...

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