Legally Speaking: Choose your representative well, or that will could get tied up in trouble

By B. Scott Skillman

This installment continues my series about planning for final wishes and the factors people commonly consider when making such plans.

Previous columns covered powers of attorney and healthcare directives/living wills. Both these tools help carry out one’s wishes while alive and well or perhaps incapacitated.

I shift my focus now toward planning how to carry out one’s intentions after one passes.
Today, we’ll address wills in Indiana, and what they’re meant to accomplish.

Read More

Scott Shay takes on moral relativism with ‘In Good Faith: Questioning Religion and Atheism’

By B. Scott Skillman

If ever a subject existed where people felt comfortable offering criticism, religion must be near the top of the list.

And so it is that we get to the core of Scott Shay’s book, In Good Faith: Questioning Religion and Atheism (Post Hill Press, 2018).

Shay lays forward his position that monotheism (belief in the existence of one God) is both historically essential and eminently practical for thoughtful people navigating modern-world challenges.

The review copy came to me through Chai Mitzvah, an organization based in West Hartford, Conn., and founded by the book’s author that promotes group-based continuing education to post-secondary teens and adults.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More