The week of October 21st is National Estate Planning Awareness Week. It’s a good time to think about what you want to have happen to your estate when you die. It really all boils down to how you’ve titled your property and who actually owns what.
There’s a really good article by Julie Garber that sums it up and gives you specifics to think about. Read it, decide what you want to do and get started. You never know what the future will bring and it’s best to be prepared.
For more estate planning information, go to www.diesmart.com.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law SB 469 last weekend. It’s a bill that will enable family members of qualified veterans to ensure a proper burial for their loved ones. Spearheaded by state senator Sam Aanestad, it will allow the California Department of Veterans Affairs to waive the required $500 charged for burial at any veterans cemeteries run by the state when family members cannot afford to pay it.
According to Bill Baird, the senator’s press secretary, the legislation was drafted after the governor became aware that some dependents of honorably discharged veterans were turned away from the Northern California Veterans Cemetery because their relatives could not pay the fee.
Funding for the measure will be covered by private donations.
Anyone watching Brothers and Sisters last Sunday saw Justin Walker getting ready to cut open a cadaver as part of his medical school training. Where did that cadaver come from? How did it get to a medical school?
A brief history of cadavers
Medical schools have used cadavers for training for more than 200 years. Over this period of time, the methods of acquiring and preserving them have changed. Criminals who were executed for their crimes were used as the first cadavers since Christians believed that the souls of dissected bodies could not go to heaven and few offered their bodies to science. As the number of criminals being executed decreased, it became commonplace to steal bodies from graves in order to keep the market supplied.
The tradition of dissecting criminals continued into the eighteenth and nineteenth century when anatomy schools became popular in England and Scotland. The only cadavers available were criminals’, and anatomists were portrayed as no better than an executioner.
World Alzheimer’s Day, September 21, is a day when the Alzheimer’s Association and other organizations around the globe unite our efforts to raise awareness about the disease and its impact on our families, communities and nations.
Recent research indicates 33 million people worldwide are dealing with dementia, incluing 4.4 million Americans. Alzheimer’s continues to be a disease without a cure.
With 77 million American baby boomers reaching the age of greatest risk, the crisis of dementia and Alzheimer’s cannot be ignored. The disease imposes enormous burden on individuals, families, health care infrastructure and the worldwide economy.
It makes planning for incapacity as important as planning for death.