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Budget Woes

When Your Parents' Money Is Your Problem

Preventing a crisis down the line may involve making tough decisions now.

Don Quinn,* 45, was flabbergasted to discover late in 2005 that his father, a former bankruptcy judge, was in serious financial trouble. Diabetic and seriously ill, George Quinn had given responsibility for his money to his wife of 30 years, Don’s stepmother, Nora. That seemed wise, since she was a former accountant. But then a fast-growing brain tumor destroyed her impulse control, and in a year’s time she racked up close to $200,000 in credit card debt, from gambling and loans to her son from a previous marriage. Only after Nora had emergency surgery to remove the tumor did she call Don in a panic. Don and his father had never talked about money. “Not even slightly,” Don says. “I was in complete and utter shock.” … Back to Article

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