Magazine article Medical Economics

Q & A: Money Management

Magazine article Medical Economics

Q & A: Money Management

Article excerpt

Leaving assets to a minor child

When I die, I want two-thirds of the assets in my pension and retirement accounts to go to my wife and the rest to go to my teenage daughter. Is stating this on the beneficiary forms sufficient? Not if your daughter is a minor, since minors generally can't own such assets directly. One possibility, assuming you trust your wife to honor your wishes, is to leave all the cash to her and tell her to give one-third to your daughter. But that still sets up a potential nightmare if you and your wife both pass while your daughter's still a minor. Her legal guardian could face unnecessary hassles and expenses to tap the money for your daughter's benefit. To avoid that possibility, it's best to set up a trust for your teenager and list the trust as the beneficiary for her share. If you're also planning to leave life insurance assets to your daughter, handle that beneficiary designation the same way.

A gap that homeowners often overlook

A fire heavily damaged a friend's home, and his insurer won't pay the cost of upgrading the electrical system to meet current building codes. Isn't that part of a standard replacement-cost homeowners policy?

Not necessarily. Often homeowners must buy a separate "ordinance or law" endorsement to cover such costs, which could include expensive repairs such as structural upgrades, rewiring the entire electrical system, or revamping the plumbing. If you haven't already checked your own policy, you'd be wise to do so. …

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