Living Wills Make Living Easier

If you reach a certain age, you will hear from many different people that you need to have a will. It’ll make things so much easier for your loved ones, you’ll be told, and you never know what will happen tomorrow.

Despite the fact that the above statement is true for everyone from birth until there is no tomorrow, it’s really only when you get to the gray-haired stage of life that people really start hammering it home.

They mean well, and in fact, they’re absolutely right, so we shouldn’t get offended. We should all have wills. In fact, we should write them up before we reach the gray-haired stage and keep them regularly updated. They do help our families and friends when the inevitable comes. It allows them to focus on grieving instead of petty things like money and possessions.

However, having a will isn’t the only way we should be looking to protect those we love during those final moments, we should also all have living wills.

A living will, for those who don’t know, has nothing to do with passing on possessions. It’s a document that details our end of life wishes. Do we want to be kept on ventilators if that possibility develops, or do we want to be taken off life support and allowed to peacefully drift away? What steps do we want doctors to take to revive us, if any, and what steps do we definitely not want taken?

These are uncomfortable decisions to think through, but we need to do so while we’re healthy and thinking clearly. We need it not just for ourselves (which is reason enough), but for those we love.

Think about it from the perspective of family and friends: let’s say something happens to you, and the doctor comes out to ask what should be done. Should they perform an invasive, desperate surgery, should they put you on life support, or should they not?

Imagine how excruciating the choice will be for your loved ones if they don’t know your wishes. It’s the sort of decision that may haunt them for their entire lives, one way or the other.

It’s not enough to mention your wishes now. They may still be wondering, five years down the line, whether your wishes changed. Put it down in writing, and your loved ones can simply hand over your wishes to the doctor without having the extra burden of guilt.

As you can see from the above example, it’s crucial to have a living will in order to make sure the best possible option is taken for everyone on all sides.

Since this is so important, it’s worth pointing out that like all wills, writing a living will is best done with a legal professional, like this estate planning lawyer in my town, who I heard good things about. A living will, and a regular will, should be ironclad and thorough. The less your family has to worry about at the end, the better.

We Should Respect Our Farmers

Farming is a very American occupation. We often praise our “amber waves of grain” as essential to our national identity. Is there anything that suggests America more than the farmer overlooking his fields?

Yet, farming is a career that has a lot of difficulties to it. The economics of farming are notoriously complicated, especially now that the market is no longer the next town, or the next state, or even the whole country, but is instead vast and intimately internationally connected. The corn grown in Iowa will be sold all over the world, and working through the economics of such things is extremely complicated.

While that means there are more customers, it also means there are more competitors and more demands from different regions for the product.

Beyond this, there are the old worries of farming, such as protection from insects and disease that can destroy the crops. There’s also the old fear of droughts and floods, as well as winters that run too long and summers that run too hot. These concerns are sure to increase as climate change becomes more prominent.

So, farming is already complex because of the economics of the business, plus the natural difficulties of growing produce. In addition to this, there is the competition of corporate farms which have massive economic sway and backing. Such corporations can control the market and can afford to wait for better prices or a better growing season.

All this and little has even been discussed of the actual process of farming. There, farmers have to worry about the price of seed and the type of seed to use. With GMOs, there is the potential to avoid certain pests and diseases, but the need to purchase everything from a single supplier, which can raise costs. Plus, GMOs have developed a bad name, and so the use of such products, while helping the crop, could cut into the number of customers available after it’s grown.

Further, there are always the physical dangers of the farm. Some farms are set out in areas that are still very wild, where animals could still attack livestock or even family. The tractors and other heavy machinery (which first of all is incredibly expensive to purchase) also holds real risk of causing injury either through carelessness or through mechanical malfunction.

All these risks suggest that while farming may conjure an image of charm and idleness, the reality is far different. The work is hard, the business risky, and the life can be dangerous. There are competitors everywhere, a vast world market to try to not just understand but to predict, and a huge potential for catastrophe from nature or elsewhere.

This means we should make a greater effort to appreciate our farmers. Their job is an essential part of our American identity, still today, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Be prepared with homeowners insurance

It is always important to keep your homeowners insurance current and up-to-date in the event of a personal injury, such as a trip and fall accident, that happens on your property. You might ask if such an accident is covered by your homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance usually has two separate coverage types – liability coverage and medical payment coverage. For all homeowners, it is important to have Slip and Fall Accidents and Premises Liability, in the event someone does slip and fall on your property.

As a homeowner, it is important to be sure that your property is safe and secure, for adults as well as children. There are some common places on your property where accidents can happen more easily. For instance, porches, staircases, and rugs within your property can cause some major hazards if not secured properly. A common problem is when homeowners place rugs or carpeting on porches or staircases, but then don’t secure them down properly. Rugs and carpeting need to have proper grip pads underneath them when placed on porches and staircases.

If the handrails on a porch or staircase are poorly designed or if they don’t exist at all, this can cause a trip and fall accident. If the risers (or the height of each step) on a porch or staircase are the wrong height or are varying heights within the staircase, this can also be a hazardous issue. Additionally, if the steps on a porch are too shallow, this can be a safety issue when adults or children are walking up or down them repeatedly. Another safety issue is when the railings of a porch or staircase are too narrow where a child could slip through them and fall. This is a common issue that must be addressed on decks and balconies.

What happens if the porch is not secured and there is a trip and fall accident on your property? Is it considered to be your fault, since it happened on your property?  Were you careless in any way that would have caused the trip and fall? These are all questions related to liability and who would be at fault in a trip and fall accident on the homeowner’s property.

If there is a trip and fall accident on your property, it is important to report the injury to your homeowner’s insurance company. If you file a claim with your homeowners policy regarding a trip and fall accident, be prepared for questions because an insurance adjuster will almost certainly ask numerous questions related to the incident. For instance, did poor or broken lighting contribute to the slip and fall? Does the homeowner regularly examine or repair any problems on the premises? If a guest tripped over a broken or loose carpet or flooring, how long was it not secured correctly? Did the homeowner already know about the problem but had not fixed it yet? These are important questions, and it would be best to contact your homeowners insurance adjuster or seek legal advice.

Fried Chicken Beer

Craft breweries are known for creating a world of new beer flavor creations. This is a part of the growing appeal of these independent companies. Due to their size and their independent management, craft brewers have the freedom to experiment and to use their creativity to create practically any flavor of beer you can imagine. Some of these flavors may sound immediately appealing, while others might make you raise an eyebrow. Craftbeer.com wrote an article about one such beer that has recently come on the market called a Fried Chicken Double IPA.

Two brewing companies out of Richmond, Virginia, The Veil Brewing Co. and Evil Twin Brewing, have come together to create a wild new beer flavor that has shocked many beer drinkers. Although the brewers state the beer does not taste like fried chicken, they do add a small amount of fried chicken during the brewing process. This offers a brand new flavor possibility to their beer that both owners are very excited about. This same brewery created an Oreo beer last year that quickly became an internet sensation. The brewers seem thrilled about the ability to use new ingredients during the brewing process to learn how it will react with the standard base of the beer. Their latest creation, the Fried fried chicken beer, is an 8% ABV brew with the base flavor coming from an Old Country Double IPA. This beer has a combination of Citra, Simcoe, and Enigma hops, which blend together with the fried chicken to make a unique flavor. Many beer drinkers who are already a fan of these breweries are excited to see what kind of flavor combinations Veil Brewing Co. will come up with next.

While this beer sounds almost like something out of a story, the new brew hit the market in July of 2017. Flavor combinations such as this demonstrate the power of craft breweries in the American beer market. For decades, most beers tasted and looked fairly similar, with generally bland flavorings. However, the market is being revolutionized by the creativity of independent brewers. Although fried chicken beer may not be everyone’s first choice of drink, it is just one of the thousands of different flavors and styles available in craft beers. This surge in inventive new beer flavors and styles have broken down the barriers of what brewers once thought possible.

Although many people may like to try all the new flavors of beer available, independent companies simply do not have the ability to make their brews widely available across the country. You simply cannot purchase many craft beers in groceries stores because the brewery only creates a small amount of their product each year. However, companies like Growler Chill, are helping to make craft beer more readily available for your home. Their product allows you to store and chill your favorite craft beer and provides you with on-tap freshness. With their help, maybe one day we can all try a glass of fried chicken beer.

Slipping and Falling Accidents

A property owner has the legal responsibility of making his property safe. If he fails to do this, and a person ends up getting hurt, he may be held accountable for the damages, such as the medical costs of treating the victim’s injury and the lost wages as the victim has not been able to work because of the physical limitation. This is called premises liability.

According to the website of these Tucson accident lawyers, slip and fall accidents are under premises liability. But what is a slip and fall in the first place? A slip and fall is just what those words suggest – you slip in the property and fall strong enough into the ground to get injured.

The main component of a premises liability case is the negligence of the property owner. This also applies for slip and fall accidents. If it can be proven that the property owner has been negligent, and this negligence has resulted into the injury of another, then it may be a legitimate premises liability case.

But how can a property owner be negligent? There are three conditions:

  • He has created the dangerous condition that has led to the slip and fall accident
  • The dangerous condition has been there long enough to be seen and fixed by a reasonable property owner
  • Because of the property owner’s failure to see or fix the condition, the condition ends up hurting another person

Most of these conditions are the result of the lack of maintenance, such as the following:

  • Buildup of ice, rainwater, or snow in the sidewalk
  • Buildup of leaves and other debris
  • Cylindrical objects that may rollover, like pipes
  • Defective facilities, like elevators, escalators, and stairs
  • Unattended slippery materials on the floor, like spilled drinks
  • Worn carpets, rugs, and other textiles on the floor

Property owners should regularly clean their premises, inspect their facilities, equipment, and furniture, and have enough security to see potential hazards like spilled water. They owe it to themselves and their visitors to make their premises safe.