Compulsive gambling is a problem for the gambler and his or her loved ones. Gamblers Anonymous members believe that:
It's 1965. America's youngest Baby Boomers are only a year old, and the oldest members are just 19. The English rock band The Who releases their hit song, "My Generation." A few decades later, Pete Townshend, the song's composer, would describe the song as "very much about trying to find a place in society."
This week the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette spotlighted the growing threat of elder financial abuse and its tragic aftermath. The author of the article, Ginny Monk, also referenced my book The Wolf at the Door: Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse, for additional background to a problem that is only expanding in scale.
California trust & estate mediation: is timing everything? Probate Courts in California have a variety of voluntary probate settlement programs designed to assist in the resolution of probate, estate and trust related claims and disputes. Los Angeles has the "Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program", San Francisco has the "Probate Pro Bono Mediation Program", Alameda County has a Mediator Panel for its "Alternative Dispute Resolution Program", and Sacramento has a "Probate Court Appointed Attorney Panel". The timing and expense of mediation is a consideration whether the process is initiated by way of a Superior Court program or through private mediation.
This week I joined Bob Brooks, host of the radio show Prudent Money out of Forth Worth, TX. Bob is a veteran financial advisor and has dedicated himself to helping people make smart investments, get out of debt, and plan for retirement. He advocates responsible stewardship of money, and this principle shows itself as true as ever in how trustees should respect trust beneficiary rights. Bob and I discussed the challenge of blended families and stepmother disputes over estates in the context of my book The Wolf at the Door: Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse. A passage from Proverbs sums up what families face:
The San Francisco-based project Seven Ponds, devoted to creating dialogue on death and the process of dying, reviewed my book The Wolf at the Door: Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse. I'm glad they found it informative and useful. Seven Ponds is especially sensitive to the topic of elder financial exploitation since seniors who are near death will often be vulnerable to predators.
The Los Angeles area real estate market is continuing to grow at a dynamic pace. Last year the median price for homes in Southern California jumped 8.2% to over half a million dollars. The LA housing market, like other vibrant California markets, is proving a great way to build wealth by home appreciation. Baby Boomers and the "Silent Generation" comprise a very significant share of LA homeowners. This immense source of wealth is often targeted, taken or obtained by elder financial abusers. This is a problem that we all should know about.