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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 23, 2005 / 14 Iyar, 5765

End-of-life plans for those without close relatives

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: I'm 57, single and childless. I have little contact with my two siblings who live on the other side of the country. I have six nieces and nephews, none of whom I have seen or heard from in more than five years, and I have some cousins out there somewhere.

I have a responsible job, decent retirement, and long-term care insurance in case I need assisted care in the future. Here's my dilemma: While I have a number of friends and associates, none is close enough for me to share my last wishes about my health care, financial and burial decisions. Ditto when it comes to family members. And, I don't want to pass a windfall financial benefit on to relatives who neither call nor write me.

Is there an organization out there to handle these types of concerns for people like me who find themselves without concerned loved ones and trusted friends to help plan for the end and all stops in between?

A: Unfortunately, there are no organizations that we know about that will help you solve your dilemma.

You are not alone in your concerns. According to statistics, 24 percent of Americans have never been married; 10 percent are divorced, and 13 percent are widows or widowers. Most unmarried/single individuals have more difficult decisions to face when making retirement, health care, estate, and burial plans because of a lack of trusted individuals to appoint as fiduciaries should they become incapacitated.

If you were married and/or had children, there would be someone who could take control, either by you appointing them through powers of attorney, trusts, wills and health directives, or by court appointment. Since unmarried folks don't have this luxury, a trip to a lawyer knowledgeable in planning alternatives for people in your situation is essential.

Generally, you will require a durable power of attorney for finances (which will allow a fiduciary to pay your bills and handle your funds should you become incapacitated); a durable health care power of attorney (which will allow a fiduciary to make health decisions for you should you become incapacitated); and a will (which will appoint a fiduciary to distribute your probate assets upon your death as you desire).

Who should you appoint as your fiduciary? For financial purposes, you may choose to appoint the same fiduciary to handle your funds upon incapacity and death. If you choose the trust department of a bank, you may get more personalized service from smaller banks than larger ones, depending on your comfort level. Or you may want to talk to your certified public accountant as more CPAs are taking on these duties. But make sure not to include any gifting provisions in your power of attorney, and limit how your assets will be invested.

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Since you don't want to pass on any assets to family members, choose the charities or other beneficiaries carefully, and make sure that your will makes those provisions very specific. And since some of your assets, such as IRAs, 401(k)s, life insurance and annuities, won't pass through your estate, pay careful attention to the beneficiary designations.

Your health care proxy or agent will have to be an individual, and we would suggest that you seek guidance from your attorney in making the choice of the person who will enforce your decisions, not make them for you. For this reason, you should be very specific about how you want to be treated, and make sure the individual will follow your mandates.

The best way to resolve your burial is to purchase a pre-need funeral or cremation service now and give full written instructions to the funeral home.

While planning for the single individual takes more time and ingenuity, it is not a lost cause. You simply need to find a lawyer with whom you are comfortable who can help you design the plan to fit your wishes.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.

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