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A crazed gunman identified as Jared Lee Loughner killed six people and wounded 14 others this past weekend.  Among the wounded was Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Representative of the 8th District of Arizona.  The partisan politics that ensued in the aftermath of the shooting was enough to sicken a billy goat.

Pundits on the left were quick to point to a graphic on Sarah Palin’s website (since removed), which depicted the cross hairs of a gun sight over Representative Gifford’s district.  The inference was that violent rhetoric from the right, not to mention suggestive graphics played a part in the shooting spree.  The right quickly countered by labeling Loughner left wing, gay, and a pot head.  The game of political hot potato ensued.  As time went on, it became clear that Loughner has serious mental issues that spurred him on his rampage.

Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or an Independent, one thing remains clear.  A tragedy such as this should not be used to further a political agenda.  It serves only to imbrue our national character with the stain of opportunism.  This tragedy has brought us political opportunism at it’s worst.

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If you’re thinking that joint accounts are a foolproof way to escape probate and funnel dollars to loved ones as a sort of “poor man’s estate plan,” think again. Sometimes a joint account is an excellent option. But the instrument has its pitfalls as well, and if misused or entered into without caution, joint accounts can pose serious risks. Adding a loved one to a bank account may seem like a prudent action, but such actions can impact Medicaid planning or even make your account “fair game” for your loved one’s creditors.

There are viable alternatives to joint accounts. A consultation with your attorney specializing in Elder Law may suggest a durable power of attorney or a well-considered trust instrument.

For more information, visit littmankrooks.com.

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