Statistically more than 50 percent of Americans die without a will. Do you have a last will and testament and has it been updated recently? Typically, as a rule of thumb, you should review your will every 10 years.
A last will and testament is a legal document that allows you to provide for those you love by expressing how you want to distribute your assets and what you plan to do with your estate. Although many wills are written broadly enough to allow for the births of children or grandchildren, things sometimes change such as divorces and remarriages. You can bequeath money to your church, local organizations and charitable organizations. I know some of my relatives made sure they specified money for Catholic masses to be offered for the repose of their soul and for bi-annual cemetery flowers for 20 years.
Most people are concerned when they make a last will and testament that their wishes remain private. Generally, only you and your attorney — as well as persons you authorize to view its contents — will ever see the will prior to your death. After your death, however, your will generally becomes public record when it is recorded or filed for probate in an Ohio probate court.
Some people choose to establish a revocable or irrevocable trust prior to their death. Their will may merely state that all of their property is devised to their pre-established trust. This method of estate planning generally prevents the disposition of estate property from being public record.
Equally as important as your last will and testament, and perhaps more daunting, are the Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. These are two documents you can obtain at all hospitals or you can download them from your computer: State of Ohio Advance Directives: Health Care Power of Attorney & Living Will Declaration www.wccoa.net/advance-directives-2015-update-final5.pdf.
An advance healthcare directive, also known as Living Will, personal directive, advance directive, medical directive or advance decision, is a legal document which allows you to establish, in advance, the type of medical care you would want to receive if you were to become permanently unconscious, or if you were to become terminally ill and unable to tell your physician or family what kind of life-sustaining treatments you want to receive. A Living Will is used by the physician only if you are unable to tell him or her what you want to be done. A Living Will gives your physician the authority to withhold all life-sustaining treatment and permit you to die naturally and take no action to postpone your death, providing you with only that care necessary to make you comfortable and relieve your pain.
A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care differs from a Living Will by allowing you to name a person to act on your behalf to make health care decisions for you if you become unable to make them for yourself. This person becomes an attorney-in-fact for you.
In regards to do not resuscitate (DNR) and do not intubate (DNI) orders you do not need a Living Will. You can make your preferences known to your physician, who can write the orders and put them in your medical record.
It has been my experience that hospitals will notarize these forms for you and keep a copy in your records. If you belong to Kettering Health your Advance Directives will be available to all hospitals within their network, same goes for Premier Health Care.
Please do the research and don’t be pressured into something of which you are not comfortable. Knowledge is necessary in making an informed decision. But remember as we age we face the reality of health concerns and the possibility of requiring life support. Making our wishes known in advance may prevent burdening our loved ones with an extremely difficult decision of which they may not be emotionally prepared to deal.
Monday, March 5 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. is “An Evening with the Arts” at the Versailles School.
Remember Community Meals are every Wednesday at Trinity Lutheran 4 to 7 p.m. and Bid Euchre Tournament in the Vet’s Club’s downstairs from 7 to 8:45 p.m. every Thursday.
Birthday wishes to Bea Burke (86), Alvira Marchal, Doris Goubeaux, Michelle Pleiman, Eileen Rahm, Brenda Smith, Helen Gard, Fischer Spencer, Elaine Langston, Shawn Unger, Tammy Shafer, Amanda Riley, Dustin Lewis, Hayden Bartrum, Lois Ann Baker, Angela Moeder, Brenda Schmitmeyer, Craig Stammen, Betty Mescher, Dan Hartzell, Norma Bruner, Annette Hope, Yolandaleah Olding, Marty Schipfer, Amanda Borchers, Karen Moeller, Tom Eilerman, Leslie Rismiller, Larry Simons, Stacie Schmitmeyer, Don Hope, Dave Hope, Sonja Francis, Missy Francis, Michele Waymire, Dan Seibert, Dave and Dan Hope, Jan Monnin, and Julie Francis. . Happy anniversary wishes to Pauline and Sylvester Meyer (5), Carla and Rick Rittenhouse, Cindy and Nick Eilerman (36).
Please give your supportive and healing prayers for the many who are dealing with any of life’s countless challenges, and especially for John Harman, Dave Magoto, Aiden Myers, Shorty Keller, Hazel Nickol, Margaret Hoehne, Alma Kissinger, Marcy and Carl Stuck, Betty Brown, Lisa Zumberger, Dale Goubeaux, Lois Knapke, John Davis, Andy Zumberger, Jan Turner, Claire Owens, Angie Keiser, Jerry Paulus, Janice Berger, Janet Folkerth, Beverly Brown, Cyril Frantz, Denny Subler, Wanda Romie, Jack Borgerding, Alvira and Paul Marchal, Jane Huber, Earl Gigandet, Tony Gehret, Pooch Barga, Chris Apple, Ruth Wirrig, Wilma Heiby, Carl DeMange, Mary Seman, Marge Prakel, Orville Borchers, Mary Batty, Norma Magoto, Betty Kremer, Denny Grilliot, Samantha Smith, Virginia Smith, Anabelle Subler, Lois Youngker, Barb Goubeaux, Eileen Rahm, Cyril Voisard and those not mentioned by name who are recuperating, hospitalized, homebound and/or in need of our prayers.
Please join me in extending heartfelt sympathy to the familes and friends of Thomas Crandall (43), Deborah Bubeck (47), Amelia Giinter (75), Carl Broerman (77), Joseph Martino (82), and Frances Klenke (90). Also remembering the lives of James Lennon, Judith Anne Gillette Doan, Dorvan Phlipot, Lawrence Gehret, Ralph Ording, Gus Barga, James Williams, Doris Harman, Tony Cordonnier, Joan Voisard, Suzanne Elifritz, Clarence Poeppelman, Alma Gehret and all those in our hearts, but not mentioned by name, as the anniversary of their passing nears.
Doug Pender lived all his life in the Florida Keys, and is on his deathbed, and knows the end is near. His nurse, his wife, his daughter and two sons are with him. He asks for two witnesses to be present and a camcorder be in place to record his last wishes, and when all is ready he begins to speak: “My son Bernie, I want you to take the Ocean Reef houses.” “My daughter Sybil, you take the apartments between mile markers 100 and Tavernier.” “My son Jamie, I want you to take the offices over in the Marathon Government Center.” “Sarah, my dear wife, please take all the residential buildings on the bay side on Blackwater Sound.” The nurse and witnesses are blown away as they did not realize his extensive holdings, and as Doug slips away, the nurse says, “Mrs. Pender, your husband must have been such a hard-working man to have accumulated all this property.”
The wife replies, “It’s his paper route!!!”
Kathy Magoto is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her weekly Versailles community column. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 526-3798. Feel free to contact her with Versailles news and tidbits. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.