Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wisconsin's New Power of Attorney for Finance

Wisconsin's new power of attorney for finance form offered by DHS is now available on-line. The new form will be effective starting September 1, 2010. As a reminder, it is wise to consult with an attorney about your specific situation.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Palliative Care Found to Extend Life

The NY Times ran an article describing a study that found patients who were given palliative care had a longer life.

In a study that sheds new light on the effects of end-of-life care, doctors have found that patients with terminal lung cancer who began receiving palliative care immediately upon diagnosis not only were happier, more mobile and in less pain as the end neared — but they also lived nearly three months longer.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

When Student Loans Outlive the Student

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story about private student loans -- unlike government loans, money borrowed by a student through a private lender are usually NOT forgiven upon the student's death. The story focuses on Christopher Bryski, who died two years after falling from a tree and entering a coma. His story offers two important lessons:
  • private student loans are not forgiven upon death, and a co-signor will likely be held responsible for payment; and
  • the fact that anyone over age 18 is a legal stranger in terms of finances -- just trying to cancel his credit cards after his fall was difficult for his parents to accomplish. Having a power of attorney for finance in place, by which he names a parent or sibling to act if he cannot, would have reduced some of the family's red tape and stress.
As students return to campuses it would be wise for everyone involved to know the terms of any private student loan agreement, and to establish powers of attorney for the state in which the student will be residing.

Domestic Partnerships in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Public Radio ran a short story on the number of couples who have actually registered a domestic partnership. The story offered two points that I wanted to share. One, the recent law that was passed was a state law, and does not offer FEDERAL benefits to domestic partners. And two, for the law to give protections, the couples must register. I was surprised by the number of couples that have registered -- to me, it seemed low. To listen to the story, click here.
More than 1,500 same sex couples have registered as domestic partners in Wisconsin since it became law a year ago. Laura Podgornik reports from Superior.


Heard this story on Market Place earlier this week on a new process called resomomation -- an alternative to green burial. Click here for a link to the radio story.

Six U.S. states have approved of a new, low-carbon way to dispose of human remains called resmomation. It involves reducing the body to a mixture of liquid and minerals. A group of funeral directors in a northern Belgian province wants Belgium to take the lead and adopt the new approach.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Maternity Leave

Hello! I wanted to alert my readers to the fact that my maternity leave began a bit earlier than expected. Our daughter was born the evening of July 29th, just 24 hours after I held my last scheduled client meeting ... and 3.5 weeks ahead of her due date. Thankfully, all are healthy and doing well. For the next 6 weeks I will be working less, but will still attempt to post to my blog when time permits. Thanks for reading!