UHC members can relate to the PBS program, “There Are Jews Here”

By B. Scott Skillman

The PBS program “There Are Jews Here” follows the untold stories of four once-thriving American Jewish communities that are now barely holding on. As communities struggle with aging congregants and dwindling interest, families are moving to larger cities with more robust congregations.

A portrait of people who are doing their part to keep the Jewish spirit alive, the film celebrates religious diversity in small-town America.

Beyond that description, I found the 90-minute show to provide an excellent representation of our own experience and many of the ideas we have tried or considered in order to encourage engagement.

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Legally speaking: Medical power of attorney is fine, but hold that conversation with your doctor

By B. Scott Skillman

This month, I want to speak more about advance directives, also known as medical power of attorney, or appointment of health care representative, as it is more commonly labeled.

These are a statutorily created documents used by medical providers to permit a person or persons to make decisions about health care.

Like other powers of attorney, this document releases the doctor or hospital from liability for allowing someone, not you, to make health care decisions. It also permits this individual to receive personal information about your health care that would otherwise be private, and thus inaccessible to them.

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Legally speaking: What is power of attorney, and when do we need it?

By B. Scott Skillman

Continuing my series on routine planning to assist family and friends in the event of incapacity or death, this month’s article focuses on the creation and use of a “power of attorney.”

People often assume that the phrase power of attorney has something to do with a lawyer. The term “attorney” often involves lawyers, but it actually applies to persons authorized to act on behalf of another. 

So, for our purposes here today, keep in mind that lawyers need not be involved at all. Which is not to say they should not be involved, but only that it is not required.

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Legally speaking: Let’s discuss simple steps to plan for estate administration

By B. Scott Skillman

Preparing for last wishes and estate administration is a topic relevant to us all and one most of us tend to delay or avoid confronting. Over the next several months (with the approval of the UHC board), I intend to present a series of articles about things we all can do — no matter what age or phase of life — to assist our families in the event of our incapacity or passing.

There are simple steps we can all take to help our families should we be unable to make decisions about our care or final arrangements. We need not fear these steps or hesitate to take them.

Although these moves ultimately deal with our passing, they are essential life choices. These choices convey our thoughts about how we wish to handle difficult decisions and take the stress of such decisions away from our families or life partners who otherwise might be forced to confront them due to a lack of clear communication on our part.

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