Jewish World ReviewAugust 2, 1999 /20 Av 5759
DEAR D.H.: It never ceases to amaze me that people like yourself will buy an expensive home and not have a survey done prior to the closing substantiating the claims made by the seller.
Often people assume the fence line is a border line, when in fact it can be off by a substantial amount. This is a hard lesson, but if you purchase a piece of property without appropriate surveys, you take a great deal of risk.
DEAR BRUCE: I am a caregiver and I would like to hire a person to come in one day a week to give me time off. I am told that I am responsible for their Social Security, income taxes and filing with the IRS, as well as the State of California. What I want to know is: Just how complicated is this? The amount that I will be paying will be about $220 per month, and the person I am considering is a friend. -- R.E., Eureka, Calif.
DEAR R.E.: What you have been told is correct. Given the circumstances, you might consider raising the $220 an additional $20 per month and treat your friend as an independent contractor. That way, you only have to send in a 1099, and he or she will have to pay self-employment taxes, which you will have increased the monthly stipend to cover.
DEAR BRUCE: My 21-year-old son was offered several credit cards in college. Very quickly he racked up a lot of debt and then dropped out of school. He now works two jobs and is getting married. They want to have a big wedding and will also incur this debt. We have a small apartment on our property which we offered to them at a reduced rate. We co-signed a loan a couple of years ago and he has missed half of those payments. He has been advised to file for bankruptcy. I don't see any other way. What are your thoughts? -- D.L., via e-mail
DEAR D.L.: You should understand that the loan you co-signed would be entirely your responsibility if your kid goes "belly up." It's obvious that he has a great deal of growing up to do. The only thing that seems to be in his favor is that he works two jobs. Until such time as he changes, I would cease to support him if I were you. It's a hard thing to do, but here is a guy who needs to make a drastic change. Hopefully, his new wife will be able to help out with that