Carol called the show today to ask my advice about cash from a 401(k) that she would be receiving in her divorce settlement. As the conversation progressed, I learned that Carol has Stage 4 cancer (they’re trying to figure out if it has gone to her lungs yet), and a 12-year old disabled daughter living in her house. Oh, and her husband is filling divorce papers.

As one of my long-time listeners wrote, “And I thought MY divorce was bad.”

I suggested to Carol that she contact an estate attorney who could help her with her estate plan (will, trusts, power of attorney for health care, power of attorney for financial matters, and a living will). And, I suggested she make sure her IRA and other accounts have the correct beneficiaries listed (the trust, in the case of her 12-year old daughter) and her 22-year old son.

One of our listeners also had this advice for Carol:

The caller this morning with the 12 year old child with disabilities needs to find an attorney who can draft a “Special Needs Trust” in her Will for this child. She can find one in her state at

Aug. 6, 2006.