DEAR BRUCE: I am a 38-year-old divorced mother of a 14-year-old son with autism. Because he is my only child, I would leave everything to him upon my death. Does that mean his dad could get his hands on my savings, house, etc? His dad is horrible with money. Should I get a will and put everything in care of my boyfriend of three years, who would be looking out for my son's best interest?
My parents and three sisters are already deceased, and my brother lives across the country. I want my son to be taken care of and not taken advantage of. -- N.M.
DEAR N.M.: Don't be foolish! I can understand that you don't want your son's father to get his hands on the savings, etc., but don't name everything in care of your boyfriend. Since you have no available relatives, I would contact a law firm and talk about setting up a trust account. This will be the best way to ensure your son's care after your passing.
DEAR BRUCE: With the tax season coming up, I want to use my refund as money to invest. I am a first-time investor. Do you have knowledge of the best investment? -- C.G.
DEAR C.G.: You're wise to consider investing your monies. As a first-time investor, I would do nothing right now, except perhaps put it into a CD, which is going to give you no decent return. You don't have the knowledge to do anything better just yet.
Then start by taking courses in investing and reading the investment section of your local newspapers as well as magazines. I am not asking you to swallow all this in one or two days, but after six months to a year, you should have a better understanding. There will be other tax seasons coming up. You'll have a far better idea how to handle the money if you follow this advice.
(Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.)
(The Bruce Williams Radio Show can now be heard 24/7 via iTunes and at www.taeradio.com. It is also available at www.brucewilliams.com.)