A1. BUILDING AN ESTATE-HUNTING DOWN THE ASSETS
When a family member is no longer able to tell you where their assets
are, and they didn't leave a living trust or will, there are a number
of things you can do to restore the estate, piece by piece.
Power of Attorney
If you're the successor trustee named in a living trust either because
of the family member's health, incompetence, or death, you likely have
power of attorney to request records. By now your attorney has told you
this, or if you have no attorney, you need to call one! If you aren't
the successor, you need to have power of attorney or you're not going
to get far. Plus, you could be bending privacy laws.
Start With the Mail
Is there mail stacked about the house? Organize, and open all of it. Every
shred. Probably you'll find bond expiration notices that amount to cash
waiting to be claimed. You may find odd memberships to gift clubs-and
later, you'll find the gifts. An odd property tax bill? Sleuth it out-where
is that property? Are there back taxes owed? Find a tax statement for
a property you didn't know about? Well, sometimes they are dead ends-and
other times it could turn out to be a plot bought through a magazine in
the 1940's, or for a vacation home never built. You'll never know until
you sort it out.
Assuming that you are the successor trustee, and you've taken a look
at the mail that your family member has been receiving, you've likely
found banks, brokerages, insurance companies, checks, statements, and
advertisements of every kind. Organize, open, and sort.
Find evidence of a safe deposit box, but no key? Take a trip down to
the bank and ask to see the manager. They'll get you into it, for a fee,
if nothing else. Got a key and no paperwork? Start with the banks that
there are records for, even banks that are long gone; go see who is in
that building now and walk in with the key and your proof of trusteeship,
and ask to see the manager. Then repeat at other banks in the area after
you've exhausted the ones you know they banked at in the past. Be sure
you use the Internet as much as possible to contact each bank's customer
service, if possible, before driving around burning gas.
Try these sites, too:
People invest in all sorts of things and never talk about them. So keep
your eyes open for mail from non-traditional financial firms. Oil interests,
gold, land, second trust deeds, and other properties don't always have
a famous name attached. It could just be an accountant's office on the
envelope, or perhaps not even that, for security or privacy purposes.
Call on Your State Treasurer
Often bank accounts are left forgotten by people, and after a period the
assets are turned over to the state. Hard to believe, but true. After
an even longer period, the accounts are escheated to the state. That means
the state will employ the funds to your benefit as a member of society.
Not as good as the cash, is it? Fortunately, many states maintain online
systems that one can access via the Internet to check to see if it's holding
anything for you or your loved ones, so you can claim it before it reverts!
Get your copy of Estate & Trust Administration here: http://www.seniorresource.com/SRBaz.htm#books
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A2. THANKSGIVING LOOK BACK
With Thanksgiving upon us, we felt this reflective poem was an appropriate
inclusion for our newsletter. It was sent to us by a reader, Joy M. Towson,
MD, with no identified author.
What Made Me...Me
Long ago and far away.... In a land that time forgot,
Before the days of Dylan.... Or the dawn of Camelot.
There lived a race of innocents.... And they were you and me,
Long ago and far away.... In the Land That Made Me Me.
For Ike was in the White House.... In that land where we were born,
Where navels were for oranges.... And Peyton Place was porn.
We learned to gut a muffler.... We washed our hair at dawn,
We spread our crinolines to dry.... In circles on the lawn.
We longed for love and romance.... And waited for our Prince,
And Eddie Fisher married Liz.... And no one's seen him since.
We danced to "Little Darlin".... And Sang to "Stagger
And cried for Buddy Holly.... In the Land That Made Me Me.
Only girls wore earrings then.... And three was one too many,
And only boys wore flattop cuts.... Except for Jean McKinney.
And only in our wildest dreams.... Did we expect to see
A boy named George with lipstick.... In the Land That Made Me Me.
We fell for Frankie Avalon.... Annette was oh, so nice,
And when they made a movie...They never made it twice.
We didn't have a Star Trek Five...Or Psycho Two and Three,
Or Rockie-Rambo Twenty... In the Land That Made Me Me.
Miss Kitty had a heart of gold ... And Chester had a limp,
And Reagan was a Movie Star.... Whose co-star was a chimp.
We had a Mr. Wizard.... But not a Mr. T,
And Oprah couldn't talk yet.... In the Land That Made Me Me.
We had our share of heroes.... We never thought they'd go,
At least not Bobby Darin.... Or Marilyn Monroe.
For youth was still eternal.... And life was yet to be
And Elvis was forever... In the Land That Made Me Me.
We'd never seen the rock band... That was Grateful to be Dead,
And Airplanes weren't named Jefferson... And Zeppelins were not Led.
And Beatles lived in gardens then ... And Monkees lived in trees,
Madonna was a virgin... In the Land That Made Me Me.
We'd never heard of micro-waves... Or telephones in cars,
And babies might be bottle-fed... But they weren't grown in jars.
And pumping iron got wrinkles out... And "gay" meant fancy-free,
And dorms were never coed... In the Land That Made Me Me.
We hadn't seen enough of jets... To talk about the lag,
And microchips were what were left.... At the bottom of the bag.
And hardware was a box of nails... And bytes came from a flea,
And rocket ships were fiction... In the Land That Made Me Me.
Buicks came with portholes... And side shows came with freaks,
And bathing suits came big enough... To cover both your cheeks.
And Coke came just in bottles... And skirts came to the knee,
And Castro came to power... In the Land That Made Me Me.
We had no Crest with fluoride... We had no Hill Street Blues,
We all wore superstructure bras... Designed by Howard Hughes.
We had no patterned pantyhose... Or Lipton herbal tea
Or prime-time ads for condoms... In the Land That Made Me Me.
There were no Golden Arches ... No Perrier to chill,
And fish were not called Wanda... And cats were not called Bill.
And middle-aged was 35... And old was 43,
And ancient were our parents... In the Land That Made Me Me.
But all things have a season ... Or so we've heard them say,
And now instead of Maybelline... We swear by Retin-A.
And they send us invitations... To join AARP,
We've come a long way, baby... From the Land That Made Me Me.
So now we face a brave new world... In slightly larger jeans,
And wonder why they're using... Smaller print in magazines.
And we tell our children's children.. Of the way it used to be
Long ago and far away... In the Land That Made Me Me.
Find nostalgic books and music at:
They make great gifts!
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B. DID YOU KNOW...?
1. Being Well-Heeled
In the current economic environment, seniors, like others, are looking
for ways to save money. One of the easiest may be at your feet. Repairing
your shoes versus buying new ones can save significant money, especially
if you are into expensive footwear. Many small shoe-repair shops are seeing
business surge as frugal spending becomes the norm. At times, a new pair
of shoes is required; but if a repair costs less than half the price of
new shoes, repair should be a serious consideration. In addition to replacing
soles and heels, here are some other footwear-related services you can
find at your local shoe repair shop.
- Shoes can be stretched for increased comfort.
- Shoes can be adapted to fit unique feet.
- Shoes can be professionally waterproofed to protect from salt stains.
- Heel tips can be changed from hard to non-skid rubber.
- Heel savers can be applied to prolong the life of the heel.
- Protective soles can be applied to prolong the life of the leather
- Eyelets and other hardware can be replaced.
Find related books on saving money at: http://www.seniorresource.com/SRBaz.htm
2. Veterans Benefits Guide Available
The latest edition of the VA's
Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors is now available.
The 164-page handbook provides the latest information on important changes
in eligibility for VA medical care and benefits. It describes other federal
benefits, including education, disability compensation, pension, home
loan guaranty, vocational rehabilitation, life insurance and burial assistance.
This year's edition marks the addition of "Survivors" to the
title as well as details on the Post-9/11 GI Bill signed into law in 2008.
Printed copies may be ordered from the Government Printing Office at $5
Additional financial information may be found at http://www.seniorresource.com/finance.htm
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C. THOUGHTS FOR THE MONTH
We present here some words from those with a birthday this month.
Carl Sagan "They laughed at Galileo. They laughed at Newton. But they
also laughed at Bozo the Clown."
Joan Sutherland "You can listen to what everybody says, but the fact
remains that you've got to get out there and do the thing yourself"
Parker Posey "Look around ... Everyone's crying with you."
Richard Burton "False friendship, like the ivy, decays and ruins the
walls it embraces; but true friendship gives new life and animation
to the object it supports."
Spiro Agnew "The lessons of the past are ignored and obliterated in
a contemporary antagonism known as the generation gap."
More "Thoughts" at: http://www.seniorresource.com/thought.htm
get some books at http://www.seniorresource.com/SRBaz.htm
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D. SPECIAL SURFING SITES
1. Alzheimer's Disease Education
The U.S. Congress created the Alzheimer's
Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center in 1990 to "compile,
archive, and disseminate information concerning Alzheimer's disease" for
health professionals, people with AD and their families, and the public.
The ADEAR Center has a staff of Information Specialists available to
assist you with:
- Answers to your specific questions about AD;
- Free publications about AD symptoms, diagnosis, related disorders,
risk factors, treatment, caregiving tips, home safety tips, and research;
- Referrals to local supportive services and AD centers that specialize
in research and diagnosis;
- Spanish language resources;
- Clinical trials information;Literature database searches for further
research and reading;
- and training materials, guidelines, and a newsletter for health care
and care giving professionals
Find health-related books at our Senior Bazaar, go to http://www.seniorresource.com/SRBaz.htm
2. New National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Website
NAD has launched of a new and improved website. How is the new website
- Visually attractive
- Clear, easy-to-read content
- Powerful search engine
- Get-involved strategies
- Interactive blogs
- Wide-ranging news updates
- Links to social networks
- More features will be added in the coming months
The new website http://www.nad.org/
is integrated with a new database management system for more accurate
and efficient handling of member and donor records. Going green and being
environmentally conscious is also important. Soon you will be able to
keep your contact information current, so that you can receive electronic
renewal notices, join-and-donate acknowledgement letters, news updates,
special alerts and more.
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E. OH MY AGING FUNNY BONE
Actual Call Center Conversation 2!
Toona's Motoring Services
Caller: "Does your European Breakdown Policy cover me when I am
traveling in Australia?"
Operator:"Does the product name give you a clue?"
Doctor to Tech-Savvy Patient
"Ever notice the older we get, the more we're like computers?
We start out with lots of memory and drive, then we become outdated and
eventually have to get our parts replaced."
"Oh My Aging Funny Bone" is at: http://www.seniorresource.com/jokes.htm
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