Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The designation may be canceled or changed at any time by the sole owner or all then surviving owners, without the consent of the beneficiary, by executing and recording another deed that designates a different beneficiary or no beneficiary. The recording of a deed that designates a TOD beneficiary or no beneficiary revokes any designation made in a previously recorded deed relating to the same property interest.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Advocates say the number of home funerals, where everything from caring for the dead to the visiting hours to the building of the coffin is done at home, has soared in the last five years, putting the funerals “where home births were 30 years ago,” according to Chuck Lakin, a home funeral proponent and coffin builder in Waterville, Me.While the average American funeral costs $6,000, those who went with a "home burial" paid as little as $250. While not all of us live on a tract of land suitable for burial, how many of us would want a coffin that doubles as a bookcase until we need it? Apparently quite a few.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
As Ms. Connelly learned, an entire service industry is slowly taking shape around the goal of letting people age in place. If you want to make your own home or an older relative or friend’s home a safer, more supportive place to live, here are basic guidelines to the most efficient and cost-effective approaches.The article provides a nice overview of issues to consider when attempting to improve the safety conditions of a seniors home. If you live in Wisconsin, one resource to contact would be the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
- US Industry Revenue in 2006 - $11 billion;
- No. of US Funeral Homes in 2006 - 21,080;
- US Death Rate in 2007 - 8 per thousand;
- Projected US Death Rate in 2020 - 9.3 per thousand
"people will always die. It's a matter of how much they'll spend."The average Wisconsin funeral costs between $8,000 and $9,000, and a cremation costs between $3,600 and $5,000. It is probably wise to give some thought now to what you do and do not want when the time comes, rather than a time of grief.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
“We approach our living and our dying in the same way, with discernment,” said Sister Mary Lou Mitchell, the congregation president. “Maybe this is one of the messages we can send to society, by modeling it.”I found the article, and the views presented to be thoughtful an interesting. It shows that the debate on end of life issues need not be so polarized -- there may be a common ground for us all.
Just like in human hospice, veterinarians feel that the final days for the pet should be spent in comfort among familiar surroundings and loving family. According to Dr. Alice Villalobos, director of Pawspice in California, the goal of pet hospice is help pet owners determine the quality of life for their pets. “If the pet owners and veterinary staff can meet the basic desires at a satisfactory level,” says Villalobos, “there is justification for preserving the lives of the pets.” At Pawspice, the five “H’s” of hunger, hurt, happiness, hydration and hygiene, along with the pet’s mobility are rated each day. Of course, the goal is that the pet is having more good days than bad ones.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Domestic partnership in Wisconsin is a legal status that provides same sex couples who register as domestic partners with certain limited legal protections.One aspect of this law that I notice is that it does NOT apply to heterosexual partnered couples; if a man and women are partnered, but not married, then there is no right to inherit under Wisconsin law. This would only occur if the parties completed a will.
Under the law, domestic partners will have inheritance rights that did not exist before (partners could inherit if one completed a will, but if there was no will, there was no right to inherit):
Inheritance and Survivor Protections - A surviving domestic partner:
• inherits from the estate of domestic partner who dies without a will;
• can be awarded the couple’s home and vehicles that are titled in the name of the deceased partner, as well as personal and household items of the deceased partner, by a probate court;
• may have certain protections against creditors;
• can transfer a deceased partner’s assets to the surviving partner without probate if the total value is less than $50,000;
• can receive death benefits if the deceased partner was killed in a workplace accident, with special benefits if the partner was a police officer or firefighters killed in the line of duty;
• can get victim compensation if the deceased partner was injured or killed while trying to prevent a crime or assist a law enforcement officer;
• can sue for a partner’s wrongful death.
When selecting a burial location it is important to research your choices. Each state may differ, but all will have some office that regulates the industry. And a consumer protection office may have a records of complaints filed against a cemetery.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Colorado-based Ecoffins USA, sister company of The SAWD Partnership, which helped fuel the eco-conscious funeral movement in the United Kingdom, uses banana sheaves and bamboo in the construction of their coffins – materials long noted for their abundance and ability to rapidly biodegrade. The caskets, which take six months to two years to decompose, are made in a Fairtrade certified factory in China and shipped to the United Kingdom and United States, perhaps the most environmentally taxing part of the process. Interestingly, according to the company’s UK site, the caskets are “transported by sea to the UK ‘Russian-doll-style’ - inside each other, maximizing space and minimizing fuel costs” and, of course, fuel emissions.
- call a variety of lawyers and ask about pricing. Some charge by the hour, others charge a flat-fee;
- work with an attorney who specializes in estate planning and probate -- they should be more knowledgeable and more efficient;
- hire someone you feel comfortable talking with, it is important that you tell this person about your family structure and financial situation -- no matter how difficult either situation is;
- get recommendations from friends and family who have completed a will, or from a trusted professional you already use (accountant, financial planner, insurance person); and
- doing a basic will can take between 4 and 6 weeks, depending on how organized you are and if you know who you want to do what (guardian, personal rep, trustee).
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
An icon of the music world, but his will is simple at to the point. Naming an executor, distributing his property, and nominating guardians for minor children. His will really is no different than the typical American.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Along with the recognition come dozens of legal protections that previously were only granted to married couples, including the right to take family leave to care for a sick or dying partner, the ability to access a partner's medical records and the right to inherit a partner's property.I'd like to clarify the article's language; under the current law a partner could inherit, but to do so the other person needed to have completed a will. Without a will, the property would have passed according to state statute, which would go to children, if none, parents, etc. The current statutory distribution did not recognize domestic partners.....it now will under the new legislation.
Since Wisconsin has constitutional language barring same-sex marriage, some have questioned the legal validity of the new law. However, the article reports:
the Wisconsin Legislative Council, foreseeing a potential legal battle, issued an opinion on May 6 that said the constitutional amendment did not preclude the legality of domestic partnerships. The opinion stated, in part, that "it is reasonable to conclude that the domestic partnerships proposed … do not confer a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals."The new law goes into effect August 1, 2009.