The Basics Of Estate Planning


by: Robert Thatcher

Estate Planning may be a word that is encountered by many citizens especially the elderly. What is Estate Planning? What benefits does it provide to people?

Estate Planning is a method of arranging and considering alternatives that will satisfy specific wishes and goals to prepare for things that may happen to a person and the people he finds special to him.

Estate Planning includes organizing properties and not just putting them in a simple Will. It also lessens the taxes and fees that may possibly be charged to these properties. Estate Planning also includes contingency preparation to ensure that ones wishes regarding health care and medications will be followed.

An estate plan may be described as good if it financially coordinates with the future of the home, business, investments, insurance and other benefits if ever the person becomes sick or will pass away. A good estate plan also sets directions to bring about personal wishes regarding health care in preparation for the when the person becomes disabled.

It is very important to identify the real definition of the term “estate” before someone can really perform estate planning. Estate means all the properties a person owns or has control of. This is regardless whether if the property is solely named after him or is in managed in a partnership. This may include real properties, accounts, bonds and stocks, cash, buildings and establishments, jewelry, collections, all types of businesses and even retirement benefits.

Typically, those who really need to have an estate plan are parents who have minor children, people who have valuable properties and have sentimental values for them, and also people who are concerned about their medications and health care. However, people can still acquire an estate plan whether they have these categories or not. As long as they have all the things that are covered by an estate plan, then they can avail of it.

While a person is alive, it is important to prepare an estate plan and at the same time implement it. This is the perfect time for a person to perform and have legal capacity to come up with a contract. There may be challenges that could occur if an estate plan is implemented when a person is already disabled. Others may judge the lack of capacity and the person may be prone to fraud, abuse and coercion.

Estate Plans may include wills, power of attorney for health care, living wills, living trusts and limited partnerships. When entering into a contract, it is very important to make use of the services of a lawyer. Lawyers are the only certified people who practice these fields. They are also the only ones who can supply a person with all the legal requirements and advice needed in the estate plan. An attorney will be able to answer legal questions regarding the estate and they will also be able prepare the person on the cost of the estate plan and other finances the come with it.

Estate Planning involves sensitive decisions and legal matters. It would only be beneficial if the person will always consult with legal advisors and also seek financial and medical advice. It is important that before a person will enter into estate planning, he should already have a strong understanding of the process so that things will not be difficult for those who will be left behind.

About The Author

Robert Thatcher is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California

Preventing Fire Damage in the Kitchen


by: Jonathan Meyer

The kitchen is one of the most dangerous rooms in your house as it contains many hazards and a high potential for unintentional fires.

Frying Pans and Deep Fry Pans

Using a thermostat controlled fryer is a great way to prevent deep fry pans fires. Avoid fat and grease build up on the stove or pans because fat and grease can easily catch fire.

Oven and Stove

The oven and range must be cleaned often to prevent grease and food from catching fire. Be careful when you cook and keep pot handles away from the edge of the stove. Don’t wear long sleeves that can hang over the stove and catch fire. Always look on the oven when it is on and don’t forget to turn it off when not in use. Place flammable fabrics, such as towels, away from the gas or electric range. Be careful with flammable liquids such as cleaning materials.


The most important safety rule for appliances is to use only appliances that have been tested and approved by a testing facility. Avoid overloading electrical outlets and check for worn or broken wiring on a regular basis. If you find defects be sure to make necessary repairs immediately. It is also very important to keep appliance cords on the counter to prevent them from, accidentally, being pulled down.

Microwave Ovens

A very common mistake regarding microwave ovens is the wrong assumption that items, heated in the microwave oven, are not as hot as items heated in a regular oven or a mini oven. Keep in mind that even though the container does not heat, the content does. Be sure all the vents are cleared of obstructions and that the microwave oven has an adequate clearance for air circulation. Never place aluminum foil or other metals in a microwave oven.

For more information visit

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About The Author

Jonathan Meyer is an editorial staff member of RestorationSOS™, a leading restoration services provider for water and fire damages.

To learn more about water and fire damage restoration, visit or call 1-877-767-2407.

The Three Sure-Fire Ways to Learn About Safety


by: Michelle Annese

Hey kids, there are different levels of safety and those levels depend on the situation you are in and the decisions you make in those situations. You can even better train your brain to use instincts, intuition, and even fear as safety tools. Here is an easy way to know just how to trust these instincts. Read ‘em up!

Every time we travel through a busy intersection, there are traffic lights there to tell us if it is safe to pass through. If the light is green, that tells us it is safe to pass, if the light is yellow that means we must use caution and to be careful and to prepare to stop. If the light turns red, that means danger and do not proceed or you may become hurt in an accident.

We can use these same lights, instead of traffic lights, as safety lights, to know when we are safe, to use caution, or to let us know we are in personal danger.

If our safety light is green….. This means we are safe and everything is normal.

If our safety light turns yellow…..This means that our intuition, instincts, or our gut feeling is telling us something is wrong!

If your safety light turns red…..This means we are in immediate danger and have to act fast.

We have to train ourselves to recognize different situations we are in and be aware when that situation makes our safety light change from green to yellow or to red.

When our safety light turns yellow this is the time to slow down listen to our little voice inside of us called intuition, think about the situation we are in, and what is the best course of action to take to keep us safe and return us to a green light. For example,

We are swimming and we notice that the water is really deep and we are becoming tired…we should return to the shallow water and take a break, which would return us to our green light. But if we continue to swim in the deep water, we may become tired and find our self in a dangerous, red light situation.

Our head is beginning to hurt and mom is a sleep… instead of waking and asking her for some medicine, we look in the medicine cabinet and find what appears to be the aspirin she normally gives us… and we take it. This is defiantly a red light situation, because you could be taking the wrong medicine and become very sick. But if you had just woke mom up and told her you had a headache, you would have stayed safely in the green light.

Someone knocks on the door of your house. Anytime this happens, as a child you need to understand that this is a yellow safety light and you need to proceed with caution. First you never open the door unless you and your parents personally know the person. Like a friend of the family or a neighbor. If you do not know the person, which means have you never seen your parents speak to this person, you never open the door. Even if they say they are a policeman, fireman, or repairman. The decision that you should make to put yourself in the green light, would be to go find your parents and let them open the door. If you open the door, you could be putting yourself in a red light dangerous situation. If your parents are not home you should never, never, open the door for anyone. This is always a safety red light.

A person at school that is known to be a bully is standing at the end of the play ground. Knowing this your safety light immediately turns yellow. If you avoid that end of the playground your light will return to green, if you go to that end of the playground you may find your self in a safety red light.

By being aware of our surroundings and making smart decisions when we are in our yellow caution light, we can get back to our green safe light and avoid the red danger light.

Remember, it is OK to be afraid when our safety light turns yellow. Fear is what helps our intuition and instincts work. We should always trust our instincts and listen to our little voice inside. Remember, our little voice is always right.

About The Author

Michelle Annese is a 3rd Degree Black Belt and has been teaching kids and adults self defense and safety for over 15 years.

Saving Money with Grocery Coupons


by: S. L. Simmons

Coupons, used wisely and selectively, can be a great way to save money from your food budget. Here are some tips to start you on your way to becoming a coupon guru.

1. Don’t use coupons just because they are a “good deal”. Try to limit coupon use to products you would normally buy anyway. Coupons are most often offered to entice shoppers to buy high priced, highly processed convenience foods, so in some cases it may be cheaper and healthier to make your own home made version of the product from scratch.

2. Keep your coupons organized in a binder or special coupon holder and sorted by category. Go through your coupons every week or so and throw out any that have expired.

3. Look for coupons that come in packs in the mail, in magazines, or with in the inserts with the Sunday papers. Ask your coworkers, friends and neighbors to save their ad packs from the mail and Sunday newspaper inserts for you.

4. Use your favorite search engine to find printable coupon sites online.

5. If your family has some favorite products that are pricey, then take the time to bookmark the manufacturers’ web sites and check weekly or so for any product coupons or specials.

6. If the coupons you have are for foods that are not healthy for your family, then they may not be a good deal, even if you get the products for free. Products like soda that are high in sugar and devoid of any nutrients may be best left at the store.

7. Watch out for people selling coupon books. It may be a scam. Generally it is not necessary to pay for something you can clip for free from the newspaper or download from manufacturers’ web sites.

8. Don’t forget to look for coupons when you are at the grocery store. Some stores have machines set up that dispense coupons near selected products.

9. Consider participating in online forums where people exchange their unused coupons for ones that they need.

10. Find out if your local stores offer double coupon days.

11. To save time at the check out line, have your coupons sorted, organized and ready to hand to the cashier.

12. Keep a price book of the best prices you’ve found for food and other products, so you will know if you are getting a good deal using a coupon. Sometimes generic store brands may offer cheaper alternatives to national brands that have high advertising costs already built into the price.

About The Author

S. L. Simmons is the editor at Always Frugal. Visit her site at for tips on making a home budget and more to read more money saving articles.

Copyright  Always Frugal.

Public safety factor


Public safety is becoming a trending topic these days because of the many different dangers that pose threat to individuals and society in general. We are witnessing an increased number of terrorist attacks, transportation accidents and other issues that make people feel insecure when they are traveling between cities and abroad.

It is good to know that every country has its unique regulations and laws on how to keep public safety and security. But, the general public must be aware of this risk because if people are neglecting their duties they will witness many different potential dangers as their travel. So, it is crucial to find out what steps to take in order to protect yourself in cases of attack or other unpredicted and unprovoked accident and incident. According to many experts, the best way for people to become more aware of these risks is to get help from professionals who work in this field. When we say professionals we mean law enforcement offices, medical workers and firefighters. These professionals can teach the public about the risks that they face whenever they are traveling from one place to another and how to avoid these risks. In addition, they can also give tips and advice about how to stay away from problems when something like this actually happens. For instance, it is not unusual for police officers to warn people who are acting inadequately in public. On the other hand, medical workers advise the public about certain healthcare issues of epidemics. There are also many environmentalists and NGOs that are trying to increase awareness among public about the dangers of pollution and other environmental-related issues.

So, it is not too much if we say that the best way to assess public safety factor as you travel is to stay informed. For example, if you are planning to travel to an area where crime rates are high, you should avoid visiting certain places at night alone. Even though watching out for your belongings is a must no matter where you go, you should be extra cautious in places like this. Needless to say, places in which terrorist attacks took place on a regular basis should be avoided too. In case you have to visit these places, try to avoid crowded areas and don’t use public transportation.


In addition, we must point out when we say public safety; this term usually has even broader meaning than just criminal activities. For example, littering can lead to dangerous situations too. A can or a bottle left on the road can cause traffic accidents and endanger the lives of many people. Things like excessive noise, trespassing, harassment, DUIs and narcotic abuse are some other public safety issues that we should consider as we travel from one place to another. We hope that these tips will help you understand the public safety factor as your travel.

Pirates fall to Marlins in 13; GS beats Cavs in Game 1


After winning the first game of a 4-game series vs. the Miami Marlins, the Pittsburgh Pirates finally looked like they hit their stride. After all, they had only lost 2 in their last 10 games and looked like they were about to close in on the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs. Unfortunately, that was Monday, and this is now.

The Pirates went from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde and lost the next 3 games to the Marlins, with the most recent being a 4-3 13-inning affair that saw the Pirates fall to 29-24, and are now 8.5 games back from the Cubs in the division. What’s even worse is the fact that the Pirates also lost players to injury in OF Andrew McCutchen, 1B-3B David Freese, C Francisco Cervelli and SS Jordy Mercer.

If there’s any possible good news is the fact that if the MLB season ended today, the Pirates would still qualify for the postseason as a 2nd Wild Card as they would travel to New York to play the Mets. But as we know, October is still a long way off and there’s plenty of baseball left.

Here’s the recap of the final game between the Pirates and Marlins:

It took six innings for the Pittsburgh Pirates to record their first hit and the Miami Marlins went seven innings without one until they got one to end the game. Christian Yelich hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the 12th inning to lift the Marlins to a 4-3 victory over the Pirates on Thursday night to win the four-game series.

Yelich doubled to deep right-center field off A.J. Schugel (1-2) with two outs in the ninth to score Martin Prado from first without a throw home and tie the game at 3.

Nick Wittgren (1-0) pitched three scoreless innings in relief and struck out three to earn his first career victory.

Yelich’s hit was the first for the Marlins since the fourth inning.

Ichiro Suzuki had two hits, scored a run, stole a base, and had two impressive defensive plays in center field for the Marlins. He has 2,965 career hits moving into sole possession of 31st on MLB’s all-time hit list.

Pittsburgh had four players leave the game with injuries including Andrew McCutchen. Francisco Cervelli, David Freese and Jordy Mercer left after getting hit by pitches.

Pittsburgh won the first game of the series 10-0 on Monday before the Marlins won the final three, 3-1, 3-2 and 4-3. John Jaso hit a game-tying single with two outs in the top of the ninth on a 3-2 pitch from Kyle Barraclough.

Marlins starter Wei-Yen Chen didn’t allow a hit until the seventh inning with the Marlins leading 3-0. Jung Ho Kang doubled to lead off the seventh breaking up Chen’s no-hit bid. Chen walked the next batter ending his night.

Both runners scored on a two-out, two-run double by Matt Joyce off Dustin McGowan to cut the Pirates’ deficit to 3-2.

Chen pitched six innings, allowed one hit and two runs. He walked five and struck out three.

Suzuki helped keep the no-hitter intact with a diving catch in right-center field in the second taking a hit away from Juan Nicasio and he made a leaping catch against the center field wall on a fly ball hit by Kang.

It was the second consecutive day a Marlins pitched held the Pirates without a hit to start the game. Adam Conley did not allow a hit until there were two outs in the sixth inning. Miguel Rojas’ squeeze bunt opened the scoring for Miami.

Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI double and J.T. Realmuto’s sacrifice fly pushed the Marlins’ lead to 3-0 in the third. Nicasio allowed three runs in six innings.

Other MLB scores: San Francisco beat Atlanta 6-0, the Cubs beat the LA Dodgers 7-2, Milwaukee beat Philadelphia 4-1, and Cincinnati beat Colorado 11-4. In the American League, Minnesota beat Tampa Bay 6-4, the NY Yankees beat Detroit 5-4, Cleveland beat KC 5-4, Baltimore beat Boston 12-7 and in Interleague play, Arizona beat Houston 3-0.

UMT Sports Update White Background (1)


The NBA Finals-The Cleveland Cavaliers were pumped up, they looked battle tested as they breezed through the Eastern Conference en route to another NBA Finals rematch vs. the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. You know, the team who won a historic 73 wins this season.

Funny thing is, the Warriors proved that they were pumped up and ready as well, especially after coming back from a 3-1 deficit vs, the OKC Thunder. 2-time NBA MVP Steph Curry and Co. proved that they weren’t fazed by the Cavs yet again as they beat them 104-89 in Game 1 of the Best-of-Seven Series that began at the Oracle Arena in Oakland California.

Draymond Green had 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, Shaun Livingston scored a personal postseason best of 20 and Golden State’s bench came up big as the Warriors beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-89 on Thursday night to move three wins from a repeat title.

The Splash Brothers? They totaled – gasp! – 20 points on 8-for-27 shooting, each knocking down a late 3-pointer.

Golden State’s bench outscored the Cavs’ reserves 45-10 in the opener of this finals rematch, which the Warriors reached even with Curry missing six games with injuries in the postseason. Game 2 is Sunday night back at Oracle Arena, and James knows Cleveland must adjust immediately.

In a series with so much star power on both sides, this was a night for Livingston and fellow reserves Leandro Barbosa and Andre Iguodala. Barbosa returned from a minor back injury to shoot 5 for 5 on the way to 11 points, while 2015 finals MVP Iguodala had 12 points, seven rebounds, six assists and some stingy defense on James.

It made for a strong start while surrounded by those thousands of golden yellow ”Strength in Numbers” T-shirts worn by the raucous fans throughout sold-out Oracle.

James kicked off his sixth straight finals with 23 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, but cold-shooting Cleveland went 38.1 percent from the floor. Kyrie Irving, lost to a devastating knee injury in a Game 1 overtime defeat last year, scored 26 points, 11 on free throws.

Iguodala had moved into the starting lineup Monday for the Game 7 clincher against Oklahoma City with a primary duty of defending Kevin Durant, but went back to the bench and played 36 minutes Thursday. He shook his head in delight after a two-handed slam off a pass from Curry with 5:44 left and didn’t let an aggravating, hard hit to the groin by Matthew Dellavedova derail his focus for the final quarter.

Kerr stuck with regular starter Harrison Barnes, and he delivered 13 points. Curry had 11 points, six assists and five rebounds, while Thompson scored nine points.

Kevin Love made an impressive finals debut with 17 points and 13 rebounds after missing last year’s run with a dislocated shoulder that required surgery. His basket with 3:57 left in the third put the Cavs ahead before Green’s dunk moments later.

With 34.1 seconds left in the third, Iguodala took issue with Dellavedova’s swat into his groin that after review was ruled a personal foul and no flagrant. Iguodala knocked down a 3-pointer less than 8 seconds later and Golden State took a 74-68 lead into the final 12 minutes.

Livingston, whose remarkable comeback from a potentially career-ending left knee injury nine years ago has so inspired Kerr and many others, made a key follow shot late in the third on the way to his first 20-point performance in the postseason.

James has scored 20 or more points in a career-best 25 straight playoff games, topping his previous mark of 24 in a row from May 12, 2008, to April 25, 2010.

In other NBA news: The NY Knicks officially hired Jeff Hornacek as their next Head Coach Thursday. The former NBA player also coached this past season with the Phoenix Suns. A news conference to announce the hiring will be held Friday.

Please e-mail Ray at

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

What to do When Kids Go off Their Meds: Brain-based Learning Strategies for ADD/ADHD


by: MaryJo Wagner

Steven Nissen, a prominent Cleveland Ohio Cardiologist recently prodded the FDA’s Advisory committee to put a black box warning on Ritalin, warning of potential heart danger. Why? From 1999 to 2003, 81 deaths and 54 nonfatal cardiovascular events such as heart attacks have possible links to Ritalin and similar drugs.

During the same period 78 million prescriptions were written for children up to the age of 18. Today two million kids a month take these drugs.

These are startling statistics to put it mildly! Assuming Nissen is correct, Ritalin is a pretty dangerous method of improving brain-based learning.

Now before I go any further with this story, please do not take a child off their ADD medication or suggest to a parent that such should be done. I am not a medical doctor. I do not prescribe. If you want to look into lowering a dosage or stopping a child’s medications, you must talk to a doctor.

What does this story mean in terms of ADD behavior at home and in the classroom? How does it affect brain-based learning? I predict that anxious parents and doctors are going to take kids off their meds. Now what are we going do with 2 million hyperactive kids!

For years, we haven’t had to take responsibility for helping these kids or keeping ourselves from going crazy trying to keep some kind of order in the classroom and at home. The drugs did it for us. Now we may be on our own.

Here are ten brain-based learning strategies to help you and your kids cope:

1. Decrease sugar including drinking fruit juice. Cut down on bread and pasta, esp. that made with white, processed flour.

2. Limit TV and video games, especially TV and games that have lots of flashing lights.

3. Help them get organized. Keep a schedule and be consistent.

4. To help with reading focus, let kids read aloud and record their voice. You could read something yourself or purchase a “book on tape.” Now they can read along while listening. If they can’t sit still for the whole tape, let them listen while moving around. Listening skills are a necessary ingredient for good reading.

5. Practice deep breathing. Kids can even be taught a simple form of meditation which is nothing more than watching one’s breath.Even getting more oxygen to the brain is a brain-based learning technique.

6. Cross right ankle over left and then give yourself a hug by crossing arms across the body, left over right. Reduces the stress in the central nervous system. Try it yourself.

7. Decrease visual distractions in children’s rooms and at school. Fewer pictures, mobiles, toys. Less stuff.

8. Exercise: play, run, skip, insist on recess at school.

9. Do Brain Gym®. See Some kids have gone off their meds or at least had doses reduced by doing Brain Gym. Another very effective brain-based learning strategy.

10. Eat more foods with Omega-3 fatty acids like wild salmon, sardines, tuna, flaxseed, flaxseed oil. Take fish-oil supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids increase the production of neurotransmitter chemicals just as Ritalin does.

Brain-based learning strategies include attention to what we feed our brains and how that food affects the brain’s neurotransmitters.

Using these teacher resources and parenting tips will help you help children get control over ADD/ADHD, settle down, and learn more easily.

About The Author

MaryJo Wagner, Ph.D.The Learning Doctor “Helping You Help Yor Kids Learn”.Sign up for a brain-based learning newsletter to help your kids learn faster and easier at

Fruits Secrets

fruit baskets

by: Sharon Hopkins

Fruits, goldmine of vitamins, minerals and fibre are ideal to consume at least 4-5 servings in a day. Since they are in the natural form, account for largest part of water and 100% bad cholesterol free, it’s much easier for the body to process and absorb the vitamins and minerals from the fresh fruit.

Apple – Round fruit with lots of fibre, vitamins A, C, E and folate. Available in green, red or yellow skin when ripe. Apples reduce the risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer. They also help with heart disease, weight loss and controlling cholesterol.

Bananas – Long thick skinned fruit yellow in colour when ripe. Good source of fibre, potassium, vitamins A, C, B6, E & folate. Unripe or green bananas are used in cooking.

Cherries – small round fruit with a seed, red or black in colour when ripened. Cherries always have to be ripe to eat. Cherries contain anthocyanins that reduce pain & inflammation.

Figs – Eaten either dried or fresh, figs contain vitamin A, C, folate and niacin. A small sweet fruit full of small seeds.

Kiwi – A rich source of vitamins A, C, E, B – complex, calcium, iron and folic acid, kiwi is a small oval fruit with thin brown skin, soft green flesh and black seeds. The skin is a good source of flavonoid antioxidants.

Lime – Lime or lemon is the most cultivated citrus fruit with green to yellow colour loaded with vitamins A, C and folate. Juice of lime is good for detoxification and has antioxidant properties.

Peach – Round juicy fruit with a yellowish red skin & flesh having a taste of acidic tang and sweetness contains a rough stone. Always to be picked and eaten ripe.

Orange – A round thick-skinned juicy edible fruit that is a reddish-yellow colour when ripe with sweet to sour flavour. Peeled and eaten fresh or squeezed to make juice. Contain vitamin C, flavanoids, provides pectin and rich in sodium when ripened in sunshine.

Plum – soft round smooth-skinned fruit with sweet flesh and a flattish pointed stone. It is high in carbohydrates, low in fat and calories. An excellent source of vitamin A, C, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, fibre and free of sodium and cholesterol.

Papaya – A melon like fruit with yellow- orange flesh with dozens of small black seeds enclosed in skin that ranges in colour from green to orange. Either round, pear-shaped, or long like a banana. Rich in vitamins A, B, C, and D; calcium, phosphorous and iron. It is high in digestive properties and has a direct tonic effect on the stomach.

Pear – A sweet juicy yellow or green fruit with a rounded shape narrow towards the stalk. Best eaten at room temperature, pear contains kalium and riboflavine. It is good for skin and contains plenty of fibres.

Strawberry – A triangular shaped red colour fruit. It is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C and fibre. It has high content of sodium and iron. It helps in whitening of the teeth. Used to relieve rheumatism.

Watermelon – a type of melon with smooth exterior rind and juicy sweet red interior flesh. Extraordinarily refreshing to drink as juice or eaten when ripe and fresh. Valuable for minerals, vitamins and sugar with useful amount of fibre and iron.

About The Author

Sharon Hopkins manages websites on nutrition, diet such as A nutritious diet ensures well being, helps to maintain a healthy BMI, reduces the risk of several debilitating diseases like cancer, cardiovascular ailments, diabetes, osteoporosis and stroke.