DEAR JEFF: I was divorced several years ago, but my ex-wife and I remained good friends. Unfortunately, she died late last year. She had a life insurance policy from when we were married that named me as the beneficiary. Can I still recover even tough we were divorced? Thanks, “Miss Her.”

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Hey Taylor: This last year has been hard in a lot of ways, but I really enjoyed the change of pace regarding work and family time. Now that I’m going back to work, any tips on managing that work/life balance? — Mina

The Texas Forestry Association has partnered with the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, Association of Texas Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Wildlife Association, and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association to highlight Soil…

Hey Taylor: For some reason, even as my earnings go up, my savings stay flat. I haven’t made any big purchases or changes, so I feel like I need some advice on how to save more effectively. — Calvin

DEAR JEFF: I recently tried to return some items I bought to a store, and was told they do not provide refunds, but would let me exchange the items for something else. Aren’t they required to give me my money back? Signed, “Don’t Want It”

Hi Taylor: Based on what I’ve been reading, I get the feeling that we’re both afraid of and in control of inflation. Am I right? Because that doesn’t really make sense to me. — Kira

The Mosaic Center welcomes Jen Phillips as its new Job and Life Skills Program Director.

Hey Taylor: Bet you haven’t heard this question before (haha). Any tips for the best way to make my stimulus check count? Don’t love the idea of a handout so if I’ve got the money I want it to go to good use. — Nico

Workforce Solutions Deep East Texas is offering a multi-pronged approach to helping Deep East Texas businesses thrive and get individuals back to work or on a path to sustainable careers.

Hi Taylor: Feels like things are finally starting to move in the right direction (I even got my first dose of the vaccine), and I’m wondering about travel. Any thoughts on when people might be able to vacation out of the country again? — Julian

DEAR JEFF: A few months ago, I moved out of a home I had been renting. My lease had expired, and I owed no rent when I moved out. Before moving out, I notified the landlord. I left the duplex much cleaner than I received it. I did not get my deposit back, but received a letter from the landl…

Hey Taylor: I got my husband to commit to what I’m calling “financial spring cleaning.” We’re going to focus on getting our finances in better order leading up to the summer. Any tips for where we should start? — Danielle

Hey Taylor: Everything has changed a lot over the last year, and it feels to me like the economy is still kind of fluctuating. Any idea how things will look this year? What changes might be permanent? — Rebecca

DEAR JEFF: I own several rental properties. I recently had a tenant vacate before her lease expired, and she also did quite a bit of damage to the property. It’s enough damage (around $5,000) that I would like to pursue collection of this from her.

Hey Taylor — I’m in between jobs and trying to find some direction. People tell me to find something that suits my strengths, but I always second guess what I’m good at. How do I figure out what I do well without just being unrealistically confident? — Elsie

DEAR JEFF: I got married a couple of months ago, and just recently found out that my husband had been married before. He never told me about her, and their divorce was just finalized right before we got married. I had no idea he had ever been married, and I am very hurt that he didn’t tell m…

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Commercial Bank of Texas, N.A., has acquired the San Augustine branch of Texas Bank and Trust, according to Rusty Rust, president and CEO.

Hi Taylor: I have some money I want to put into the stock market, and I’m wondering if I stand to make more through educated day trading or just standard investing.

DEAR JEFF: I have heard that in order to inherit from someone, you must outlive them by a certain amount of time. Is this true? If so, what is the time required? Thanks, “Ain’t Feelin’ So Good Myself”

Hi Taylor: I finally cut ties with an old credit card that had no rewards and a mediocre rate. Can you guide me on what kind of card I should go with now? Kind of open to anything. — Mazie

DEAR JEFF: I am starting the probate process. When can I list real estate for sale and how do creditors get paid? Thanks, “Taking Care Of It”

Hey Taylor: I’m thinking of buying a second home and I’m a little overwhelmed by the options. I live in Florida and think I want a property in another state, as an investment/vacation spot. Any specific regions you think I should target? — Josh

Caitlin Morrell has joined Fenley & Bate, L.L.P. law firm as an associate attorney.

Hey Taylor: I pretty much forgot Brexit was a thing until I heard something about it being finalized right before the end of the year. What’s the status there and how big of an impact might we expect to see? — Kevin

The Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for the 2021 Small Business of the Year Awards.

Hi Taylor: Like everyone else, I’ve been stuck at home with my kids a lot more than in years past. I’m a little worried about the toll it’s taking on my mental and physical health. You’ve got kids — any tips for how to do my work, keep my kids alive, and salvage my health? — Dani

The Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for the 2021 Small Business of the Year Awards.

DEAR JEFF: As everybody knows, times are tough right now. Even though I am young, I would like to get a job to help my parents. What is the youngest age that a teenager can get a part-time job? Thanks, “Want to Help Out”

Hi Taylor: Any interesting trends in the auto industry for the coming year? Feels like after the slump that was 2020, we should be in line for some interesting things. — Arnold

Southside Bancshares Inc., the holding company of Southside Bank, has been named one of the Top 10 Banking Powerhouses in America by Bank Director.

The Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for the 2021 Small Business of the Year Awards.

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DEAR JEFF: My mother died several years ago, and I have never done anything with her estate. My father had already passed, and I am an only child, so there is nobody else but me. I was named as the executor of her Last Will and Testament. How long do I have to file it and go through probate?…

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The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas is pleased to announce the promotion of Tribal citizen Stephanie Williams to chief financial officer of Naskila Gaming.

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After she graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation services, Melanie Taylor was planning to move to Colorado and earn a master’s.

Wayne D. Haglund, of the Haglund Law Firm, P.C. of Lufkin, has been recognized as a 2020 Texas Super Lawyer.

Hey Taylor: I’m trying to cut back on online shopping and invest more money in my local economy. I’m having a little trouble kicking the habit and I’m wondering if you have any tips that might make this easier for me. — Riley

Hey Taylor: I just bought a house and I’m really focused on making sure it retains its value. Aside from maintenance and such, what are some ways to hold (and hopefully increase) its overall worth? — Carmen

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