Today we celebrated a bright young life we have come to know over the last year and then focused on how to best address some aspects of our life as the end draws more near.
First, the Club made its official farewell to our Rotary Exchange Scholar Alberte Krabbe at a surprise ceremony awarding her a Paul Harris Fellowship. Mark Hendrickson kicked off the event with a rousing addition of ‘She is our Sunshine’ as part of the meeting song. Alberte was lead to the podium where Mark and Jeff Howard made remarks about her successful year with us. Jeff read a passage her mother Camilla wrote as part of her application, which fittingly summed up Alberte’s experience:
As exchange student Alberte will grow her personal and social skills, she will get to know a foreign culture and understand how people live. It will be an important milestone in Alberte’s life and something that will impact her for the rest of her life and become an important part of who she is.
Alberte addressed the club, thanking members and host families for making this ‘the most incredible year of my life’. Her quip that her meeting attendance record this year bests many member brought the house down with laughter.Alberte returns to Denmark on June 30th with plans to enter University in the fall. Salem Rotarians will certainly miss this vivacious and pleasant young lady.
We wish her all the best!
Today’s program “Where There’s A Will, There’s a Way … Sort of.” was presented by Ann Hodges.
Ann Hodges of Court Accountings LLC addressed the club outlining a subject that most people acknowledge in the present as a task that needs completion but sometimes people will defer until later when pressed or forced to make decisions. Ann’s subject was death and the ensuing management of the estate of the deceased.
Ann Hodges and her business partner, Jane Judah were in attendance at the Rotary Club of Salem as Ann presented the facts of estate management and what options that a family might have with different scenarios. Ann made it clear that she wasn’t offering advice but offering information as to how estates may be handled and some different models to ponder. Her topics ranged from controlling from the grave, intestate succession to debt and insolvency.
Controlling from the grave is a pre-setup management from the deceased that is created to offset any instability of the estate dynamic and can be motivated by beneficiaries possibly having personal problems such as substance abuse, mental instability and possibly, punishment for certain behaviors. The desired result is to make the assets last as long as possible and in result, protect the beneficiary. The actual result can lead to an altered family dynamic which could result in more issues for the beneficiaries with the understanding of having to manage the estate in a controlled manner and style that could create harsh feelings.
Intestate succession was also covered by Ann as she laid out that with no will, what would happen procedurally from a legal standpoint. So, the estate would be distributed to the spouse or spouse plus children from a previous marriage, children, parents, siblings (half siblings get a half share) and paternal line plus maternal line.
Ann also covered Power of Attorney in which this scenario, an agent is chosen by the principal. Also discussed was Court-Appointed Conservatorship which would be an agent chosen by the court as powers would be assigned by the court with the court’s oversight.
Ann also presented the debt and insolvency scenario which the deceased leaves behind a trail of bills versus minimal assets. In our present culture, there has been a sea change between the WWII Depression-era survivors which were savers versus the spending culture of Baby Boomers as they spend more freely. An estate plan will have to be executed between existing assets and debts that are owed. Ann went on to mention that there are several ways in finding the estate’s debt versus where the assets may lie as one goes about managing the estate. One tool to go about this is using the internet such as finding their credit report. Also, Ann stated that there is a website for finding the EIN of an estate and there is no fee involved for this information. There also may be unclaimed assets and the website “www.vamoneysearch.org” would be a good place to start.
Ann summed up her presentation in how to piece together a family tree. Using the internet, one could utilize different tools such as Google, whitepages.com, and/or www.ancestry.com. In addition, you could tap into the Virginia Department of Health website for certain records. Ann was greeted with applause for her presentation and then President Lisa lead the club in the Four Way Test.
Special thanks go to Jeff Howard and Ken England for today’s program recap and
to Robert Dementi for his photographic skills!