Getting your affairs in order

By Susie Hovater Malone
Lifestyles Columnist

The Franklin County Education Retirees Association held its final meeting of the year April 19 at the Russellville First Methodist Church Ministry Center.

Sandy Gibson, President, called the meeting to order and gave the invocation. Members enjoyed a delicious luncheon provided by Citizens Bank and Savings. On behalf of CB&S, Matt Cooper expressed gratitude to the retired educators for their dedication in educating the school children and serving our community.

Sharon Hindman Hester of Counsel, Hester & James, LLC, presented the program entitled “Are All of Your Bases Covered?” This was an informative program on various subjects dealing with estate planning. Initiating the mission of organizing your financial affairs can be a very daunting task but also quite important.

Hester covered four different forms, thoroughly explaining the pros and cons of each document and stressing the importance of choosing the one that best fits your wishes and circumstances.  These documents included Advance Medical Directive and Healthcare Power of Attorney; General Durable Power of Attorney; Warranty Deed; Family Trust; and Last Will and Testament. Each member received a copy of each of these documents.

Other forms you need to complete include: Real estate property deeds (including any recent appraisals); mortgage documents (including promissory/loan notes); other promissory or loan notes (including loans owed to the deceased); vehicle titles and registrations (car, boat, RV, etc.); and Membership certificates.

If you are the designated Power of Attorney, make sure you have a copy of the deceased’s birth certificate. Provide cemetery deed or proof of ownership. Request certified copies of the death certificate. Notify the Social Security Administration. Acquire a copy of the Social Security card. Obtain a copy of citizenship papers.

Five delegates from FCERA will be attending the AERA Annual Meeting on May 2 at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Convention Center.  In other business, a motion was made to give $100 to the Russellville Methodist Church for their generosity in letting most of our meetings to be held in their Ministry Center.

A motion was also made to continue giving the FCERA $500 cash scholarship that is awarded annually to a student at Northwest Shoals Community College. President Gibson reported on two bills regarding education that were being proposed – SB202 and HB295 – that could affect the Trust Fund.