Ten Tips to Help You Reduce the Risk of Financial Elder Abuse

1. Choose a caregiver with caution
Do not assume that by hiring a caregiver through a bonded agency you are guaranteed to get someone who has been checked. There is no current law requiring mandatory background checks for in-home caregivers in California

2. Keep an inventory of all jewelry
Jewelry is the number one item that is stolen from homes occupied by elders. Not only should your jewelry be kept in a locked drawer, you should have photographs of rare, valuable, or sentimental items in a separate location. In the event of theft, such photographic evidence will be useful in tracking down the missing jewelry at a pawn shop.

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What is the Difference between a Will, Living Will and a Living Trust?

A Will is a legal document that describes how your assets should be distributed in the event of death. The actual distribution, however, is controlled by a judge in a legal process called probate.

Upon your death, the Will becomes a public document available for inspection by all comers. Once your Will enters the probate process, it’s no longer controlled by your family, it is now controlled by the court and probate attorneys. Probate can be cumbersome, time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally traumatic during a family’s time of grief and vulnerability. Con artists and others with less-than-pure
financial motives have been known to use their knowledge about the contents of a Will to prey on survivors.

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When Key Tax Documents Will Arrive

Employers must provide employees with a W-2 by Jan. 31.

Businesses that hire independent contractors will have to give them their 1099-MISC by that date.

Retirees should also pay attention to their mailboxes in January. That’s when the Social Security Administration sends beneficiaries an SSA-1099, which will detail what they received during the previous year.

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Tax season starts on Jan. 29. Here’s What You Need to Know

  • Certain refunds won’t be available until late February.
  • The IRS expects nearly 155 million individual tax returns for 2017.

For those of you who like to get your taxes done at the beginning of the season pay attention to your mail. All the documents and statements you will need to prepare your tax return are on the way.

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