In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 28, 2006 / 4 Elul, 5766

Property deal leaves Mom bitter at No. 1 son

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: I was widowed last year after 49 years of marriage, and two grown sons who, between them, have given us five grandchildren. My husband's will left everything to me, so I sold my home, took the proceeds, bought some certificates of deposit (CDs) and put the rest in money market accounts. I also sold the 150-acre hunting preserve my husband inherited from his uncle and kept the 220-acre farm I inherited from my family. If you add it all up, I probably have $1 million in assets, with most of it being cash.

I moved closer to my older son with the intention of buying a patio home. My son suggested to me that I protect myself in case some "young lifeguard" came in and swept me off my feet, but since I am pushing 75, I don't think there is much chance I will remarry, and, since I am overweight, it would take a big guy to sweep me off my feet. My goal, and that of my husband, was always to make sure that both of our sons and their children were treated equally. I bought the patio home for $200,000 and, at my son's suggestion, used a lawyer for the closing who had handled my son's businesses. My older son took me and sat with me during the meeting.

For reasons then unknown to me, the lawyer put the deed to my patio home in my name and my older son's name "for safekeeping." He told me to put my older son's name on all of my bank accounts and CDs, not to mention my farm. He told me that by doing this, I would not need a will or a power of attorney and could save those fees. He also told me that my son would share everything with his brother after I died.

I really did not understand what was happening while I was there, but since I have had time to read the documents, I think I have figured it out, and I am burning mad. Now my son will not talk to me, and the lawyer is too busy to see me for at least six months. I didn't retitle my farm or accounts, but my patio home has been deeded in my name and my older son's (it says "Joint Owner With Right of Survivorship"), which I have learned is a problem. Is there anything I can do to straighten this out?

A: What appears to have happened here is that the lawyer prepared the deed to the patio home jointly to you and your older son with right of survivorship. This means, in effect, that when you die, your patio home will automatically become your older son's property. In other words, even if you had a will leaving the patio home to both of your children, your older son will still own it. And if your older son dies before you, you would receive it.

To make matters worse, by taking the deed in this fashion, you have made an immediate gift to your older son of an amount equal to one-half of the purchase price ($100,000) and will be required to file a gift tax return. And while no gift tax is currently due, this is not what you intended.

You have also taken on your older son as a "partner" in this property, meaning that if you want to sell it, you may be able to recover only half of your investment because he owns half the property — another unintended result. But on the bright side, your son is responsible for his share of the taxes, insurance and other obligations associated with the property

What to do? You can probably break the right of survivorship and convert ownership into tenants in common — even if your son does not agree to do so — by certain transfers or other acts that comply with the law of your state of residence. You may even be able to partition the property — that is, sell it and receive half of the proceeds.

Yours is a perfect example of why not to have a lawyer represent you who also represents other family members. Since you have other assets, and since it is apparent that your "Number One Son" is out for himself at your and his brother's expense, you might consider selling the patio home, getting your half of the proceeds just in case, leaving your older son with his half of the equity, and moving to another area.

There, since you have been "property schooled," use your experience to purchase another patio home in your name with your younger son as joint owner with right of survivorship, and title all of your other assets so that your younger son gets them all when you die.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.


© 2006, Jan Warner