Laney

What a motivating and moving story Dianelle Laney tells about her early life.  From the the worst to now a good life dedicated to helping people.  The process of working with and saving those who have become addicted to drugs is indeed an epidemic.  How this problem came about has little to do with the problems society needs to face up to now.  Dianelle does her service one person at a time, but when she spoke with CBG members, she spreads the word about addiction, treatment and life saving much further than her one and a time approach.

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Each participant got two doses of NARCAN and instructions on the use of the product.  She brought us medication dilution and disposal kits which help to prevent polluting our water supply with unwanted drugs.  Dianelle has a difficult job which she seems perfectly well suited to do.  You can’t do such a task without dedication, and the writer is convinced she could be a National flag bearer for the fight on drugs and addiction if given an opportunity.  The community is very fortunate to have her working for our local Department of Health.

 

Airlee Johnson and Larry Samuels gave a well received talk on Kent Social Action Committee with a special mention of the Students Against Racism group.  The main organization has several active committees and all are attempting to bring people in the local area together to discuss and uncover the all to common and pervasive racial bias that often silently and quietly exists.  Most people live within their own little social bubble and have little feeling that racism is a strong influencer in today’s society.  Get out of this bubble for a while and you’ll find otherwise.

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How do you combat a situation which has long persisted, and often seems invisible or imaginary to many of us when other see it as oppressive, constant and unending?  You have to bring the reality of it to the light.  You need to work out ways to unhide the problems.  You need to confront the overlying problem of prejudice with innovative and positive approaches.  Such is the difficult work of the Social Action Committee.

 

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A long time attorney formerly practicing in Indiana and Michigan, now working in the pro-bono legal arena for folks living on the Eastern Shore, residing in Rock Hall, Tim Abeska, gave us a very thorough overview of what forms and documents every one of us should have at the ready just in case illness or accident happens to us, a spouse or a family member.  We learned about designating a personal representative and alternates.  We heard about making sure your IRA has a designated set of beneficiaries.  Know where to store your legal papers, your records of ownership, your powers of attorney, your Maryland MOLST forms.  We also were enlightened to figure out proper ways to make sure your passwords are stored somewhere accessible.  Make sure your representatives know your broker’s and attorney’s names.  Put your paperwork where it can be utilized quickly.  Consider a fireproof storage box instead of a bank safe deposit box.  There are many ways for such records to get out of date over time.  You need to maintain them.

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It is pretty easy to see there are many ways to make a mess of such paperwork and details.  You need to become more organized to avoid making a mess for those who come in after there has been a problem or death.  You can also save some taxes and costs to do these things correctly.  Tim promised to get us a check off list and we’ll post it for CBG readers when we have it.

 

Below is a helpful checklist provided by our speaker:

 

End of Life Action Item Checklist

Everyone should have a Will, which puts you in control of what happens to your money and property. A Will can provide instructions for disposition of specific property such as family heirlooms, provide for funds to go to charitable organizations, and can be used as a tax planning tool, so that tax liabilities are minimized.

A Personal Financial Power of Attorney (POA) allows you to designate someone to act as your agent if you cannot act on your own behalf.

An Advance Medical Directive (AMD) allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make those decisions. The AMD also addresses whether you wish to be an organ donor and will express your wishes for funeral arrangements.

A Maryland Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) form, completed by your doctor, provides medical orders to emergency medical services and health care facilities. EMTs will look to see if this form is on your refrigerator, so they know if a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) order is in place.

Make sure you have up to date beneficiary designations for life insurance policies. Insurance proceeds are not governed by a Will and pass outside of probate.

Make sure that IRAs or investment accounts have named beneficiaries or “payable on death” (POD) instructions if you want those assets to pass outside of probate.

Bank accounts may also have POD instructions.

There are other things which should be done to ease the burden on your survivors:

  1. Have all important papers in a central file, fireproof box at home, or safe deposit box. Make sure your loved one know where the documents are located. The documents might include your Will, POA, AMD, insurance policies, investment account statements, tax returns, deeds, Social Security card, Passport, marriage and birth certificates, military discharge papers and records, motor vehicle titles, and Veteran’ Administration records. 2. Prepare a “call list” with the names and contact information for key people such as

your lawyer, accountant, financial advisors, and other key people. 3. Have an accessible list of passwords for use in canceling accounts, deleting social

media accounts, etc. 4. Make sure your survivors know how your bills are paid so that accounts are kept

current pending settlement of your estate.

This Checklist is not intended to provide specific legal advice. You should seek advice from an attorney of your choice who can evaluate your specific situation and provide the information you need to make informed decisions.

 

 

Before you buy a piece of open ground in order to build something, you must know a great deal about the regulations and codes which surround such development.  It is truly complex.  Joe Skinner gave us a taste of the rigorous regulations and codes along with a bit of what the ADA guidelines are.  It is truly impressive that many places are successfully being built.  It is testimony to the fact that we can live with regulations and succeed, but it is also obvious that it is a daunting task to understand and apply seemingly conflicting rules.  We got down to a few specific issues surrounding Chestertown which were of high interest to the audience.  One of our County Commissioners, Bob Jacob, was in attendance.  It is great to see one of the Commissioners pay us a visit when the subject for the day is of special interest.

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It is a broad and impressive topic filling several large books Joe brought with him on National Building standards.  Of course, these standards refresh every three years, so life-ling learning remains essential.  The devil in in the details and this topic is loaded with details…..  Thank you Joe.  It was educational for all.

 

 

 
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