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Hints from Heloise: Contact a lawyer for legal advice

Attorney's counsel is critical when dealing with estates and such

Dear Heloise: The letter from a reader regarding the organization of her financial papers raised a serious question with me. I, too, had decided to put my heir's name on my bank account and home. I talked to a lawyer, who warned me that this meant if my heir had any serious financial setbacks, any of my assets with his name on it would be available to settle any debt he incurred.

Every state has different laws regarding property and estates, but I would recommend that the reader consult a lawyer. I got the same result by signing a living will along with power of attorney for my heir. —Marcia Morocco, Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Marcia, you are right — you should always contact a lawyer for advice when dealing with estates and other legal issues. The reader's hint was not meant to suggest that others follow what she did as far as adding someone to legal papers, but rather how to keep all of the paperwork together. —Heloise

Dear Heloise:When I go shopping, whether it is at the grocery store or the mall, I put a major credit card and my driver's license in one pocket. In the other pocket I carry some cash for small purchases. This frees me from having to be concerned about my handbag being stolen, plus my back appreciates one less package to carry. —Barbara McCutchan, Houston

Good idea, but how about putting your license and credit card in a small wallet and keep that in your pocket? I'd be afraid that, because they are loose, one would slip out of my pocket. —Heloise

Dear Heloise:Have you ever spray-painted small objects and gotten paint splatters on everything around them? Messes can be avoided if you put the objects you want to paint in a cardboard box. Lay the box sideways so the open end faces you. Put some newspaper on the bottom, then place the objects in the box. You'll be amazed how nice it is to spray-paint without a mess. —T.B., via e-mail

Dear Heloise: I read your column about the wrapping-paper solution (what to do to keep it from unwrapping). Your faithful readers, like me, might find the following to be an easy and very economical solution:

Use the tube from an empty roll of toilet tissue. Slice it open, then slip it around the roll of wrapping paper. Also, the tube inside wrapping paper (once the paper is used up) can be cut and used in the same way. —B. Hiner, Monterey, Va.

Dear Heloise:Pretty king- or queen-size top sheets make great lightweight bedspreads for twin beds. You'll have enough length at the top to cover a pillow. —Frances Munson, Fayetteville, Ark.

Dear Heloise: My husband and I own a preowned-vehicle dealership. With identity theft rampant these days, we'd like to caution people to avoid leaving paperwork in their vehicles when trading them in or leaving them for servicing. We've shredded receipts with credit-card numbers and even sales contracts revealing Social Security numbers and credit information. —Rudy and Susan Hicks, Springfield, Mo.

Dear Heloise:For checks that come three to a page, if the first check at the top of the page has been written and torn out, put a paperclip on the second check to avoid the mistake of filling in the first check on the next page. —Carol Rhodes, Houston

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column. © King Features Syndicate Inc.