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Berta

Today's End Of Life Radio Show

Question

We had technical difficulties on the radio show today....apparently my cell kept going in and out...
This info is important and in addition to the link Tbird put into the Radio show forum yesterday....

here are some of my show notes:


End of life preparations can give one Peace of mind when they prepare a death file.



A "Death File' mean simply putting pertinent info into a specific Manila folder that is well marked as to how important it is, and stored in a place where your survivors can readily find it.

Above all it should contain your

HADIT Password and the hyperlink to hadit if your spouse or surviving next of kin wants to become a member here.

Yesterday Tbird put a link in the Blog Radio forum to much of the information your survivors will need, in addition to what we can try to cover here....

The File should contain along with the hadit password you use or our hyperlink,

A copy of any pending claim you have.,with any status reports you have gotten. The surviving spouse is now eligible to enroll into ebenefits as well as the living veteran, when they file a VA claim..(for many years we couldnt)

This is the number of the DIC form.21-534, a blank can be downloaded and put right into the file.

and a Substitution form for the spouse, in cas you die with a claim pending VA form 21-0847


http://www.va.gov/vaforms/form_detail.asp?FormNo=21-0847

Any Life Insurance policies to include any SDVLI policies

All banking info....as to account numbers etc.

Your DD214 and if authorized, a DD 215.

Marriage license, birth certificates, to include those of any children under 18

Any SSA or SSDI award letters

The VA and the SSA need to be informed of your death immediately.

Any deeds and any land leases regarding your property.

Sometimes we can forget how important this stuff could be.

I have a Windmill lease that passes on to my survivors.

Also I have a Right of Way deed for a small part of my farm. This too is very important if you own a lot of land and have similar codicils to the deed.
If my neighbor between me and the dairy farm I deal with, ever withholds his pasture lease from the dairy, ( and has raised the lease to a very high unfair payment )
the cows cannot pass over his land to my pastures.

However with the signed right of way in my death file , the diary farmer can move them onto an old back road into a different town that borders on my land, and they can be herded through my woods to the electrified pasture, due to the right of way I signed with another neighbor who owns this small part of a field that actually goes to the back road..


I have a potential buyer if my daughter wants to sell my farm. That contact info is in my death file too. We all have to think about things like that.



Widows/widowers of SC vets who are buried in a National Cemetery will get a Cemetery deed the day of the veteran's burial .Per the National Cemetery here in Bath NY , Cremains can be placed on top of cremains and a casket can be placed on top of a casket BUT a casket for the survivor of a veteran who was cremated, involves the VA disintering the veteran and putting the cremated veteran on top of the spouse's casket in a different plot in the National Cemetery...and then move the headstone,and of course the deceased spouses name goes onto the back of it.



Burial info VA.
http://www.va.gov/to the right hand side of the page and also in Tbird's link.

lets talk about LIFE again-

One factor involving Life can often be giving immediate CPR, if someone collapses.


CPR courses are offered on the internet and are often free courses through various organizations

I think every single person in our country should know CPR.If you are listening here tonight with a spouse,child or any significant other in the room- this is something that you could do together-with your spouse...take a Course on CPR or just study the many on line videos on CPR and you never know when you might need to use CPR on a loved one or- when they might have to use CPR on You!.

They dont advise mouth to mouth anymore or amboo bags, it is all done with chest compressions these days..Much easier then in the olden days.
My CPR instructors voice came back to me(as he said it would) decades after I took the course.
As he said, it would surely be someone close to me , if I needed to use CPR (he was right), and I did exactly what I was instructed to do.
My husband died as I did CPR but it gave me great peace to know I had done all I could do for him until the ambulance came.

The Death File-
I have been widowed by two disabled vets.
Everything happens at once. It is an overwhelming feeling of sadness to learn a loved one has died.
Friends and neighbors pile in , the phone keeps ringing and the grief alone can be so stunning that we don’t know what to do first and really don’t want to do anything at all.



Every death has a meaning. The call from the closest Organ Bank in your state will usually come within 2-3 hours after death.
I think SSA notifies them.
Both VA and the SSA (if your spouse received any type of SSA, needs to know right away of their death.
The Organ Bank needs to know if your spouse wanted to donate his or her organs.

If this was never something you both never discussed-you can make the choice for your deceased spouse and donate their organs.
My husband was an organ donor. That too brought meaning to his death.and gave me much peace.



And Even if your internal organs are in bad shape-you can still donate many organs to the Organ Harvest. My husband had a major sudden heart attack but they harvested his eyes, all of his long bones legs and arms and all of his skin for burn victims.

Of course a veteran and their spouse have to consider that an organ harvest usually means an autopsy and there might be little left to bury so then cremation might be the best way for burial.
Or a closed casket-but in most organ donation cases they can still have an open casket.

Lets talk about LIFE again! If you can hear this broadcast you are still very much alive! Thank God!

The reality for the Living, is that

Death costs money!

A funeral director can skillfully move a grieving widow or widower from bronze to silver to platinum caskets-and for some reason guilt with no real basis at all can spark a decision for a costly casket when the reality is the money can be spent memorializing the loved one in a much better way.

There is absolutely no reason at all to purchase the top of the line. The casket liner, and the rest of the funeral will cost you plenty anyhow.
Cremations is MUCH cheaper and the funeral director can give you some ashes to take home after they bury the rest of the cremains.

The autopsy might sure be needed for a DIC claim-a death certificate does not always reveal the details of death.
As far as I know all autopsies done for organ harvests are free of charge.It wont hurt the deceased one bit.


VA or National Cemeteries-

Make sure the Funeral Director knows if you wish a military funeral.

At a National Cemetery affiliated with a VAMC there is usually a VA chapel where the services can be performed.The Color Guard will line the entrance to the chapel and the gun salute and taps will take place at the graveside.

Requirements for a Military funeral:

Who is eligible for Military Funeral Honors? (Flag folding and presentation and Taps
- Military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve.
- Former military members who served on active duty and departed under conditions other than dishonorable.
- Former military members who completed at least one term of enlistment or period of initial obligated service in the Selected Reserve and departed under conditions other than dishonorable.
- Former military members discharged from the Selected Reserve due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.

Also-by request the veterans can receive the Color Guard and also the 3 volleys ( not technically a 21 gun salute- but 3 volleys by 7 servicemen/women

This must be requested of the funeral director



NEVER PUT Insurance policies or a will into a Safe deposit box. An Insurance man told me that years ago,.because often the bereaved person cannot remember the combination of a safe or even find the key for a lock box. They are dealing with so much as it is.


Make a list of all of your PC passwords in the manila death file (Put hadit password and hyperlink first) and state on the list any sites that you want contacted when you die.

Many of us pay our bills on line. If you have no surviving spouse, the family ,particularily if your next of kin lives far from you, will need the electric kept on , as well as probably your phone, your internet provider service, home owners insurance, heat bills etc etc all kept paid paid and up to date until they determine what to do regarding the house and your property in it. .Good idea,too if the house is empty after you die ,to have some lighting timers as well.and a security system.

If you have automatic withdrawal of these payments, these amounts will still come out of your bank account until they are notified of your death.

Unless your bank puts on hold on withdrawals after you die.....Best to check with your bank on that.

Since I am a widow I made my daughter a co owner of my bank accounts.years ago. Here in NY state (maybe in every state) you can do that.

The banks handled it all very quickly with a few forms , and this means she can go into the banks I deal with and withdraw cash or write checks on the account after I die because she is a co owner.and will be the sole owener when I die.

My property tax bills are not withdrawn from my bank accounts, so if that bill comes, she will need to pay it within 30 days or it will collect interest.
I am so cheap I dont want anything collecting interest if I die.

I dont use credit cards but some credit cards might have credit balance insurance waivers on them, so that is something to consider as well.Put a note on that in the death file.

Lets talk about LIFE again! If you hear this broadcast you are still very much alive!

Is your will up to date? Do you feel you want to makes changes to it? Now is the time to do that.

Do you get an annual Medicare Medical Check up?

Your PCP will ask if you have an End of Life directive and will want a copy of it..

The VA should be aware of that document as well.

My lawyer prepared mine when he did my will.

This is also called a Health Care Proxy and DNR document

And this is an important document to have.

.

This file might well need to contain your marriage license and birth certificates for any children.

Although VA probably has all this , they will again ask for them when you die.They might require raised seal copies of these documents and surely will want a Raised Seal Death Certificate.

On the note for the spouse in the death file , tell him or her to get at least 6 or more raised seal death certificates. They will need them for any insurance policies and many other reasons,to include the VA..


Non VA Life insurance usually pays out within 10 days after their receipt of the policies and the death certificate.I dont know how long SDVLI takes

If you are an AO vet and have a claim pending at death-unlike all other types of claims-the Nehmer Court Order will kick in and the VA, upon award of the pending claim-will need to know info as to your next of kin.

Make sure the spouse is aware of this.He/She might need proof from a Surrogates office as to his or her legal standing as Executor or as Administrator.of your estate, if he or she needs to become the claimant..

VA cannot simply keep any AO money due a deceased vet.-if you have no spouse make sure that you state in this file who is your next of kin with some contact info for them.

For the spouse –
Don’t leave your home unattended during the days that the funeral and burial takes place.
Thieves read obits all the time.

You don’t have to feel obligated to spend a lot of time entertaining neighbors and make sure they don’t hang around if the insurance company representative comes directly to your home.

Save the veteran’s drivers license-in my case and possibly in other cases that could be instrumental evidence of a SC claim that might involve the veteran’s vision,or even in my case proof of DMII..

Also save the veteran’s personal address and phone number book-
There might be friends in there who would want to know of the death- people that you might not know well or remember their phone numbers.




Widows and widows of a deceased veteran can collect SSA on the veteran’s account at age 60.

Also they might be eligible for SSA payments if they have children under 16 years of age and also they might be eligible for the REPS entitlement program if their spouse died due to SC contributing or causing death and they have children between ages 16 and 18.

REPS is something that is complex but explained here at hadit. I found that not only did any former vet rep I had nor even the first REPS VA "expert" who I dealt with, had a single clue on what REPS was. He was new to the job but completely unqualified to handle REPS applications.Like all of my other claims, the REPs payment took muich longer than it should have.
And I immediately fought back aggressively on their initial absolutely luducrous denial.


This is the same SSA that the Omnibus Reconciliation ACT dropped in the 1980s.

Widows and widowers can also collect DIC and remarry with no loss to their DIC if they are 57 years or older.

Gold Star Wives is trying to get that age requirement lowered to age 55.

PLEASE make sure that Your Hadit password or the hyperlink so the spouse can join as a new member is not only in the death file you have but on it's cover with your C file number too, that C file # is Not to be put at hadit with any question the spouse might have but he/ she will need it and probably knows it by heart by now, if you ever called Peggy over the years.

In my death file I have photos too....of where the septic tank lid is, (for clean outs) and also how I hook up my hosing, and photos of how my PC and all of my TVs and other stuff is hooked up.

My water well is well marked with a reflector light and reflective tape, and my main and additional electric boxes are well marked too as to what the breakers are for.

I also have a referral in my death file to the specs for all of my major appliances.and the details as to how the GFIs work.

One other thought.....I wrote my husband's obit myself ,and stated he was a disabled Vietnam Veteran, and I listed all of his awards and decorations in it. The funeral director checked it against his 214/215 and was glad he didn't have to do it himself.

Good thing I did that....the funeral director never mention the Military funeral to me, but the AL, upon reading the obit contacted me right away and made the preparations for the Military Funeral.

These funeral directors dont know our spouses, nor how important their military service had been to them.They don't know what hobbies they had or what work they did during their lifetime to include volunteer work they did, as well.

We should all write notes for our obits in our lifetime and put that into our death files..We are all unique and special.and have accomplished things we are very proud of.














Edited by Berta
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Ms berta

I had my spouse to read this post, very good information, although we both know it must be hard for you to repeat/remember these sad memories of what all you have been through and for this we are both are grateful.

for some things can't be bought like love and friendships and we appreciate all this valuable information it is priceless & you taking your time to inform all of us veterans and spouses of veterans, without your help we all would be lost on this trail of life.

God Bless you, my dear friend.

..................Buck

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Thank you Buck.

Monday was the 34th anniversary of my Army husband's death and it is almost over 20 years since my Marine husband's death.

I told Jerrel after the show that I felt I was not myself at all today...because you are so right.........it all brings back so much....

On the other hand, it is important info we all need to have.

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Thank you Berta...this is all such valuable information.

You are a very important member of Hadit.

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Wanted to mention that a friend, who died this month, his spouse has already received $2,000 for his death/burial benefit and notice that she'll be receiving the full DIC. She also received the final month's check. This all happened in less than 2wks. Talk about fast!!!! He was TDIU for over 10yrs.

They had trouble getting a color guard(CG) from either the VFW or Am Legion. They contacted our senator, Bernie Sanders(who "I" have no use for), who then sent the VT State's color guard. What a difference between the VFW/AL's CG, who looked homeless and intoxicated, at another's friend's funeral, 3yrs ago, and this STRACT CG. Unbelievable!!! Two enlisted men, a SGT & PFC, in dress blues. The family had a celebration of his life at their home and one son had made a small oak box, for his cremains, w/the US Army emblem and his Name, DOB & DOD, burned into it(really beautiful)!

jmo

pr

Edited by Philip Rogers
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