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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Downtown Caldwell Should Use Renewal of Boise As Blueprint

One of the best pieces of information that came out of Mayor Nancolas's meeting on Downtown Caldwell came from Skip Oppenheimer. THE GUARDIAN asked Mr. Oppenheimer how Boise turned around.

Mr. Oppenheimer offer that Boise was known as the "City that destroyed itself". The demolition of old buildings was a stark reality of the new beginnings for Boise. Boise Redevelopment Agency now CCDC (Urban Renewal Agencies) bought up all the old dilapidated buildings tore them down, cleared the land and sold it to developers on the cheap. In addition, some visionary members of the BRA developed a PLAN for downtown Boise and along with Boise City Govt. maintained the political will to stick to the plan come hell or high water.

THE GUARDIAN has to be one of the few people who actually read all the Caldwell redevelopment plans. They all talk about a capital improvement plan and even the Leland Report talks to the city buying and clearing old buildings out and taking the write downs. Mr. Oppenheimer in succinct fashion pulled all of these plans together with his explanation of what happened in Boise. Caldwell will have to destroy downtown in order to save it. Private capital will not invest in downtown without the help of the Urban Renewal Agency help in buying and clearing property in our downtown. The numbers simply will not work to produce a profit for the gamble required of private capital.

Caldwell Urban renewal expenditures of our tax dollars have not been dedicated to buying old buildings and clearing property on the scale necessary to revitalize downtown Caldwell. The property tax dollars generated by urban renewal has gone in a variety of projects that have little to do with downtown renewal. There has been little taxpayer oversight in how Caldwell East Urban Renewal Agency has spent our Urban Renewal monies. The decisions on spending that money has been made at poorly advertised "public meetings". Urban renewal generated $6 million dollars last year.

If Team Garret and the Urban Renewal crew want to walk the talk on revitalizing downtown Caldwell, THE GUARDIAN would like to suggest they follow the Boise model. Buy the property, clear it, sell it cheap to a good developer who will invest in our community and HAVE A DEFINED PLAN. Without a plan, it will be a hodge-podge of little to no renewal. The new city hall project will become our version of the Idaho Center.

Thank you Mr. Oppenheimer for your explanation and clarity of what is needed in Caldwell. I would also, like to thank Al Mc Cluskey for his vision in this as well. Al was asked what was needed and he didn't mince words...tear it down and start over. We have a revenue stream with Urban Renewal to do this but all the "bling" projects have got to stop. TVCC is the right idea in the wrong place in downtown. Leave it where it was originally sited in Sky Ranch Business Park.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Downtown Caldwell, NO PLAN ..PLAN, Is Unraveling

THE GUARDIAN attended the first two hours of the downtown Caldwell meeting held last night at the Caldwell Police Station public meeting room. The meeting was a standing room only event. It started off as a well scripted event with the front loading of guests invited by the Mayor and Team Downtown to speak in support of the new city hall project. Things changed in tone once the agenda speakers finished their presentations.

I was able to ask Skip Oppenheimer what was the "tipping point" at which downtown Boise turned the corner. Mr. Oppenheimer gave a brief history of Boise as the "CITY THAT DESTROYED ITSELF". Boise Redevelopment Agency purchased properties downtown and leveled all the old buildings to make way for new stuff. The key part of his answer was the BRA had a plan and stuck to it. Political will and vision made downtown Boise Happen. Again, the key was a PLAN and writedowns on the property were taken to make the sites cheap and appealing to developers.

Caldwell got essentially the same information in the Leland Report of 2006 where Mr.Leland makes a point that the Urban Renewal Agency must buy buildings knock them down and sell the property to private capital developers who could come in and build projects that could compete with the local lease market.

Right now, with the exception of the new city hall project, all downtown Caldwell property is owned by private owners. There is no economic way the numbers will pencil out for private capital development without benefit of the urban renewal agency buying the property and selling it at reduced cost to developers.

TVCC in the new city hall complex drew a quick and pointed challenge from the development community of East Caldwell. A heavily vested group of developers in East Caldwell are so vexed over the move of TVCC from Sky Ranch to downtown they are openly talking about funding the project themselves in or near Sky Ranch Business Park. This move by private development will effectively take the need for TVCC in downtown away from the Mayor and Team Garret's city hall project. It may even kill the project given the cash position of the Urban Renewal agency. Revenue bonding will be a questionable deal as well.

The absence of a plan and the political will to execute the plan was evident at the meeting last night. A concerned citizen in the audience asked where the current city hall is located and the Mayor responded it is downtown. The follow-up question was just what economic activity will a new city hall bring to downtown? Mayor Nancolas launched his response that the buildings were getting some age on them and in need of some updates to heating and air conditioning systems. The Mayor's response was perceived as pretty weak sauce when it got down to brass tacks and a clearly demonstrated need for a new city hall. (Especially when the building at 7th and Cleveland has lots of empty office space right now ready for any future needs for city office space.) $14 Million of taxpayer money seems profligate with tax dollars at this juncture and time of economic uncertainty. It certainly flies n the face of people having to make do with less due to job losses and retirements destroyed by the financial markets.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Perp Walk Time For Bankers and Wall Street Crooks

We are now over a year into all the financial shenanagans pulled by Wall Street and the Banks. If you have watched the value of your retirment and stock accounts evaporate into the electronic cosmos via all the crooks, you need to start screaming for a pound of flesh.

Just like Enron and WORLD COM, only on a bigger scale, the pretty boys in Gucci loafers and Brooks Brotthers suits have fleeced all of us once again. When do we get some retribution? Quite simply, what went on was a free for all of unbridled greed with our money and without our knowledge. We trusted these guys to do the right thing and act honestly, they didn't and it is past Time to do the perp walk and face the music in court.

The banking system and the equity markets are built on fiduciary responsibility, trust and a certain amount of risk taking. You can't loan a guy making $20k a year a million bucks and call it responsible or keeping the trust. These kids of actiona are a violation of fiduciary responsiblity. The guys and gals making the loans knew is was wrong but they had their marching orders from the TOP DOGS. Time for their collective heads to be served up on a platter.

Just like ENRON, it is past the time we need to see some people doing the perp walk and hopefully going away to "CLUB FED" for a few decades. It won't bring back the cash, stocks, and retirement accounts but it will send a clear message to those contemplating a repeat. I can't believe more people are not marching in the streets over all this baloney.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Jail Dopers For Criminal Acts-Not Drug Use

By Dr. Richard Jay

At a time when Idaho’s state budget crisis threatens to cut essential state services and corral prisoners in warehouses, perhaps it is time to reconsider a long-recommended plan that would be all pluses for the state.

It’s simple to explain: Repeal the law making “drug” use a penal crime. Note that this is not saying to make the trafficking in or manufacture of those drugs lawful, or reduce the penalty for doing so. It is simply saying that we should stop putting people in prison for using drugs.

This one simple act could have dramatic beneficial effects on the addict, the finances of the state and various important state programs. And it would cost less, not more, to implement it than does our present policy.

The benefits are many, but a few jump right at us:

-Stop imprisoning people for an offense that rarely causes violent harm to anyone else. (Other laws handle violence or injuries.)

-Permit consequences to the user more appropriate to the degree of the offense (such as mandatory treatment), rather than overkill with prison time, which often turns users into serious criminals.

-Permit rehabilitation programs (which we now say we can’t afford) that might have some chance of working - which prison almost never does.

-Save jobs, marriages, families and reputations from permanent damage.

-Save the state and its taxpayers from the horrendous continuing acceleration (without an end in sight) in outlays to finance new prisons and penal costs.

-Leave the saved money for education, health programs, environmental improvements and countless other needs that we now struggle to, or fail to, finance.

-Free funds to pursue and bring to justice the manufacturers and traffickers in illegal drugs - operations that are now grossly underfunded.

-Encourage drug users to seek help with their problems, which imprisonment does not.

Such a proposal would, no doubt, bring the wrath of those who benefit from terror tactics and mindless fear-mongering, but it should be possible to find legislators from both parties (who do not think with their glands) who could jointly develop and present the proposal as a nonpartisan one, and one that unlike our existing imprisonment response might create some real benefits and solutions to a problem that prisons simply cannot help.

Dr. Richard Jay of Boise is a retired professor of economics.

Meetin on Downtown Monday February 23rd

Monday evening at the Caldwell Police HQ Mayor Namcolas will give us all the latest info on downtown Caldwell. (Monday February 23rd 6:00 PM)

This ought to be an interesing meeting as if follows the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce meeting this past week where the main topic was inaction with various "catalyst projects" from the new City Hall nobody has really asked for to the move from Sky Ranch to downtown for TVCC and other issues of Chamber members.

Questions for the Mayor and his team might be:
1. Who asked for a new city hall? (Nobody seems to know the answer to this.)
2. Who is making decisions with the TVCC project move from Sky Ranch to Downtown?
3. How much will the new city hall project cost taxpayers?
4. Is the D.L. Evans Bank project really at all stop?
5. How will downtown businesses cope with parking if TVCC is located in downtown?
6. Is it true the City of Caldwell told St. Lukes they were not intersted in a new St. Luke's hospital project on 20/26 near Sky Ranch?
7. Codes and draconian update requirements are limiting economic devleopment downtown. Why can't reasonable accomodations be made for existing non-compliant buildings be made?
8. Why is Caldwell mandating more than is required by the Americans With Disabilities Act. No oversight of the building official enforcing this is demonstrated and it is hurting small business in Caldwell.

It will be interesting to see Mayor Nancolas "tap dance" through all this stuff come Moncay evening.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Caldwell Chamber of Commerce Hosts Caldwell Govt. Charette

THE GUARDIAN attended a charette on city government in Caldwell Tuesday evening of this week. The meeting was attended by over sixty businesses owners and chamber members in Caldwell. An outside facilitator was brought in from Coeur d' Alene to keep the meeting focused and on task. I should also mention that no Caldwell employees or elected officials were invited to attend this meeting. An open and free flow of comments, ideas and constructive criticism was the purpose of the meeting. Therefore, city officials were asked to not attend.

Everyone broke out into groups to bring up what is both good and what needs improvement with our fair city. It was informative as well as a bit amazing to see just how much general agreement there was on a variety of subjects for what is good and what needs improvement from a city government administration point of view.

All of the issues discussed will be put together into a final report for the community as well as the elected officials in the community in the near term.

Concerns of downtown business people are TVCC/City Hall project and how it got authorized along with what it will do to parking for businesses downtown. The Issues of City Manager Government, Urban Renewal accountability and transparency were also raised at this meeting.

Expect a formal "white paper report" on this meeting in the near term from the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce Board in the very near future. THE GUARDIAN would like to thank the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce for hosting this informative and much needed reviewe of our city.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Taxpayers Fund COMPASS Legislative Party

by David R. Frazier Tuesday, February 17th

The GUARDIAN has obtained more information about the taxpayer funded party set for Thursday evening to curry favor with legislators to advance their “agenda” in the Idaho Legislature.

While the invitation sent to COMPASS members said “We will have heavy hors d’oeuvres and a hosted bar,” we have learned from COMPASS executive director Matt Stoll that an outfit called HDR will pick up the bar tab. Stoll tells us he contacted the engineering firm in January asking them to pay the bar tab for the legislative reception, estimated to be about $235. Taxpayers will pay another $885 for food and chairs for the event.

According to Stoll, HDR has done some sub-contracting for COMPASS amounting to about $27,000 in the past 24 months and does work for various cities and counties in Idaho. HDR is a big outfit with a heavy interest in transit projects, judging from their WEBSITE.

Suffice it to say, HDR has a lot to gain if Legislators vote for transit projects or local option taxes.

To put this all in perspective. The GUARDIAN has no problem with private firms spending their private money attempting to influence lawmakers for their personal benefit. It is ironic–and revealing– that COMPASS has no compunction about hosting a party, buying nearly a $1K in party food, but gets a private contractor to pick up the booze tab.

The problem as we see it comes when the likes of COMPASS solicits money from a firm doing business with local governments. HDR is big in the train, trolley, and transit business…the prime focus of COMPASS which acts as the “Treasure Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization”…mandated by congress in order to qualify for regional funds.

Of even more concern is using public funds to schmooze with Legislators who are supposed to be working in the public interest. COMPASS pays a lobbyist to advance its agenda and the guy told a
Senator the reception provided an opportunity to make a “FORMAL presentation and hold INFORMAL discussions with legislators.” These discussions and FORMAL presentations should be conducted in open public meetings. At the very least, all citizens should be invited.

Like the recent ACHD/Boise City Council meeting where citizens were snubbed, COMPASS has its own agenda and makes no provision for citizens to join in the merriment and voice THEIR agenda with lawmakers.

Since the Senator was led to believe there would be a FORMAL PRESENTATION, the GUARDIAN thinks it appropriate that any citizen wishing to attend this meeting of government officials should drop by the Gernika Room beneath Bank of The Cascades from 5-7 p.m. Thursday

Monday, February 16, 2009

COMPASS Wines and Dines On Our Dime

COMPASS To Provide “Hosted Bar” to Legislators

by David R. Frazier Monday, February 16th

COMPASS, the Community Planning Association funded by local city and county governments throughout Ada and Canyon Counties has scheduled a 2009 Legislative Reception Thursday to include free booze.

Each city and county pays dues to COMPASS which supposedly acts as a regional planning agency for things like Transit.

Just in case anyone in the unwashed masses is concerned about lobbying efforts to influence the state lawmakers, take notice there will be free booze provided to one and all at taxpayer expense.

The invitation sent to the board members says in part: “We will have heavy hors d’oeuvres and a hosted bar.” The meeting is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. below Berry Hill and Bank of the Cascades in the Gernika Room at Plaza 121 near 9th and Idaho. For you non-drinkers, a “no host bar” means you pay for your own drinks. A “hosted bar” is free to guests.

Considering the legislators did not give themselves a raise this session due to hard economic times, they may need to drown their sorrows in taxpayer-provided alcohol.

Now that the GUARDIAN has posted this, it will be interesting to see who ultimately pays the bar tab or if a contractor who does consulting, engineering design, or construction steps up to the bar with cash to gain favor of those who control the public purse strings.

With so many public officials meeting at taxpayer expense, it would seem that COMPASS would be hard pressed to prohibit members of the public from attending the meeting and tipping a few. A “private party” at public expense doesn’t sound very ethical.

Might also be a good opportunity to talk with lawmakers and let them know what you think of giving away a bus, the proposed downtown trolley to nowhere, the rush to spend grant money they have had since 2006, and of course local option taxes to be administered by those on the COMPASS board

Friday, February 13, 2009

One Plus One Does Not Equal Two in Caldwell

THE GUARDIAN has been doing the math with the City Hall "catalyst project" and the TVCC project and here is how the numbers add up (or not): The combined city hall and TVCC is a case where 1+1 does not equal 2 in Caldwell. Urban renewal does not have the bucks to fund two projects despite all the speeches and spin we have read and heard.

The original site for TVCC was Sky Ranch at a planned cost of $8.5 million, 63,000 square feet of space and 600 parking spaces. Remember the articles and groundbreaking ceremony last August? City Hall project was $14 million as of August of 2008. The City of Caldwell budgeted $7.5million for the city hall project. Total here is $16 million in urban renewal funding.

With this math they can have one or the other but not both projects.

Now comes the recession and the economic downturn and a the private development money has disappeared into the electronic cosmos. The partnership prospects in the city hall have evaporated. Also, word on the street is the DL EVANS Bank project has also hit the skids at 10th and Blaine.

The City of Caldwell now needs the Urban Renewal revenue bond money dedicated to the Sky Ranch TVCC project to fund the completion of a city hall. The budgeted $7.5million plus the $8.5 million for the original TVCC project gets the the money for a new city hall with $2million left over for cost over runs. It won't get them there if it is two separate projects.

Totals needed for both the city hall project and TVCC as originally projected come to $22.5 million and there is no way the mavens at city hall can come up with the extra $6.5 million needed to complete both projects. No new growth, no tax money and falling real estate values will impact the increment collected if the County Assessor lowers the property valuations in the urban renewal areas. Six million urban renewal dollars may fall to something much smaller before we know it.

How many times can you spend the $6 million in annual property tax revenue for Urban Renewal? It will be interesting to see how this all gets the political spin once folks figure this out.

Developers in downtown as well as Sky Ranch have to be wondering what is going on as they found out about the shift in location for TVCC to downtown at the Mayor's state of the city address. There has to be some friction over this turn of events. People at TVCC have to be scratching their collective heads as the new digs in city all will be scaled down from 63,000 square feet and parking to about 18,000 square feed and no parking for students and faculty.

Another twist on all of this is Linden Street is scheduled to be shut off for airport expansion. Yup, that is the plan. Lousy east west transportation corridors are going to get worse when the City makes this move. Sky Ranch will have one way in and one way out. TVCC with 60% of their students from Western Idaho will get about 1/4th of the space they need.

Caldwell is in serious need of some planning, political will, and citizen involvement. Otherwise, Caldwell will be just another city that just happened with all the blunders and wreckage left for taxpayers to clean up the mess.

Stay tuned for more...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Would MPC Building Work for A New Jail?

THE GUARDIAN could not help but notice the whine list of special projects on the front page of the IPT today.

Here is a thought. The MPC building is in the midst of rearranging the deck chairs on that sinking business as they head into chapter 7 bankruptcy. The huge building and the site it occupies is a ready made jail for Sheriff Smith and the County Deciders.

The next life for this huge building could be a new Canyon County Jail. All the utilities, heating and cooing are already there on a nice large piece of property close to the freeway. The building could probably be bought for pennies on the dollar unless it is privately held. In any event, the owners do not have any immediate prospects for tenants and a ready made jail is just sitting there.

It will be interesting to see if the County Deciders can figure this one out and get it sold to the taxpayers. (Or not)

The Commishes and Top County Copper probably won't think much about this solution to their jail needs. It won't cost $45million to make this solution work and they didn't think of it first. Add to that they are already in the hole millions for plans, and engineering services for the Hwy 20/26 debacle that is still in litigation.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

How Urban Renewal Affects All Taxpayers What Happened Voting

The following is taken directly off the Canyon County Assessor's website:

How Urban Renewal Affects All Tax Payers
By Gene Kuehn, Canyon County Assessor

Any given tax district, such as the County, can cover properties both inside and outside of an urban renewal district. The tax district can only levy taxes on the base value of the portion of properties that are also in the urban renewal district. This creates a tax shift and causes levy rates to increase at a faster rate (or in some cases not decrease as much as it would have otherwise). This affect on the levy rate applies to all of the properties within the tax district whether or not they are located in an urban renewal district. This means each tax payer is responsible for providing a larger percentage of the tax district's budget.

THE GUARDIAN continues to hear local government talking heads present urban renewal as "free money" to audiences gullible enough to swallow this mis-information on how urban renewal is funded. Urban Renewal districts raise property taxes for ALL COUNTY TAXPAYERS, it forces levy rates to increase more quickly for all county taxpayers as it is a tax shift.

KBOI lead story in their news broadcast today (Monday 2-9) Caldwell to get a judge to approve revenue bonds for $11 million city hall project. Again a big financial move in hard times without a vote of the people on this debt obligation. A recent story in the local paper indicated the Mayor and the Urban Renewal Crew were going to seek at least an advisory vote on the city hall project.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Caldwell Police, Fire, EMS Should Consider Code 3 Issues

Boise Coppers To Cut Code 3 Responses
by Davd Frazier Feburary 5, 2009

If it seems like you can’t walk outside without hearing an emergency siren wailing, you are probably correct.

Boise coppers make more than 10,000 high speed responses in the past three years, but an estimated 38% of those adrenaline charged car races will be eliminated when a new set of rules go into effect by March 1.

Top copper Mike Masterson made a presentation to the City Council Tuesday detailing some of the reasons for cutting back on the lights and siren responses–often by two coppers at a time. The main reason is such a response is now needed and the risk to other motorists is too great to continue the practice.

Currently 911 dispatchers make the decision based on a “protocol” that is programmed into the computer aided dispatch system. Masterson and staff reviewed the types of calls and found that just on typical injury accident calls only a fraction of the calls are incapacitating injuries AND there are firemen and EMS medics also responding. So, instead of two coppers putting the pedal to the metal, only one gets the go fast assignment on injury accidents.

The new protocol is a drastic cutback on the numbers and speed of responses and should not compromise public safety in any way. One basic premise under the new plan is to “start slow” and increase use of lights and siren according to need rather than go fast “just in case.”

Here is an excerpt from the new rules:
Emergency responses shall be authorized only when one or more of the following emergency conditions exist or are believed to exist based upon reliable information:
• When the situation involves the imminent potential for serious injury or death to any person
• In order to prevent or halt a crime of violence
• When a serious public hazard exists
• When an emergency response will enhance the likelihood of apprehending a felony suspect
• When a critical incident or potentially major incident has not yet been stabilized by on-scene units

Command personnel, investigative personnel, and support staff responding to the scene of a critical or major incident shall only conduct an emergency response at the request of an officer on the scene.

In his report to the councilors, Masterson notes that liability from code 3 responses is one of the top risks for cities nationwide. Boise coppers crashed 13 times during code 3 runs over the past three years and he has increased the amount of driver training for emergency responses.

I hear more sirens in Caldwell than I have ever experienced in cities many times the size of Caldwell. 10th Avenue is a constant source of siren noise that carries for many blocks in all directions. The subject of siren noise has been raised several times by THE GUARDIAN over the years to no avail. Hard to believe sirens are necessary in the wee hours of the morning and dark of the night. Lights can be seen a long way off. Most cars travel with the windows rolled up and radio on. Siren use needs to be rethought and some reasonable use determined for the peace and quit aspects of the community.

Uban Renewal and Ada County Courthouse Financing Scheme Tanks

By Sharon Ullman, Ada County Commissioner 2-5-2009

Final Piece of Courthouse Financing Scheme Crashes and Burns

In the 1990’s, Ada County taxpayers were told that a public/private partnership would be a means of acquiring a new courthouse at a discounted price. One of the subsidies that was supposed to offset a portion of the cost of paying off the courthouse bonds was parking revenue from the project on an ongoing basis.

Boise’s redevelopment agency, Capital City Development Corporation (CCDC), was intricately involved with the complex courthouse financing scheme. CCDC also owns and manages the majority of downtown parking facilities, including courthouse parking.

When the courthouse opened in early 2002, visitors were charged one dollar ($1) per hour for parking. Since then, CCDC has changed the fee structure for all of their parking facilities, including at the courthouse. They now provide the first hour of parking free, but have raised rates to $2.50 per hour.

Despite having increased their hourly parking rate a hundred and fifty percent since the courthouse opened, representatives of CCDC came to the Board last week to let my Commission colleagues and I know that revenues are lower than expected and they need more money to offset the cost of payments for the courthouse bond debt. CCDC wants either increased parking rates, or a payment each year from county taxpayers, to make up the deficit. When I asked the amount of the deficit, no one present at the meeting from CCDC was able to answer my question. What we do know, at this point, is that there is a deficit.

No matter how well intentioned at the time, no part of the much ballyhooed courthouse financing scheme worked as intended. The folks who fought against using “creative” financing (including former legislators Robert “Bob” Forrey, Jim Auld, Rachel Gilbert and Rod Beck) for a new Ada County courthouse were right. It didn’t work. Sadly, Ada County’s taxpayers are now paying the price.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Business of Dealing With Death

THE GUARDIAN is in the midst of dealing with the death of my last surviving parent.

Despite pleas to make arrangements for a clean exit from life,many people will not deal with their finite mortality in a business like manner. Do your survivors a favor and get all your necessary information out where it can easily be found. Don't make this a scavenger hunt for the Executor of your estate.

This means in most cases all you financial information with account numbers with names and addresses of the various institutions. Boomers will be the oldest and largets generation to hit the checkout counter. Some of us are going to cross the ninth decade of life or more, some with grace and dignity but a lot of us will be dealing with dementia and all the indignities old age has to offer up until we suck our last breath of air. We will test the system as we die off and funding of entitlements gets the ultimate test during the next thirty years or so.

So here is the deal... Man up and start dealing with this stuff now. If you don't you will leave an unbelievable mess for your heirs to clean up. First on the list is make sure the taxman is paid and up to date. If not the IRS and the State will move on the assets like a pack of jackals with all manner of penalties and interest for taxes owed out of estate assets. They will get paid first before anything else gets paid.

Make sure your heirs know your social security number as well as your date of birth. And should you make funeral arrangements make sure they get enough copies of the death certificate. Don't ask me why but everybody having a financial arrangement with you will want one of these beauties to stuff in a file drawer. Don't be stingy get at least ten of these highly coveted documents so your executor or trustee can get stuff done.

Make it known where your tax records are and the preparer who did your tax returns. This along with the attorney you selected go a long way to help as well.

Last thought ..nobody gets out alive so deal with it in a way that will make your heirs proud. Think about assisted living and having some kind of a social life rather than hanging onto the notion of dying with your boots on in your own home. This is the fodder of the reverse mortgage industry and their nonsense about not taking your home when you run out of money. If you run out of money how will you stay in your home? They don't explain this one to you when they market this junk to old folks. Sell the place and get rid of the junk you no longer need or use and get into an environment where human contact is possible and decent food is on the menu.

Try to die broke but leave enough to deal with estate matters. It is the polite thing to do and your heirs will be most appreciative. If you have a trust have at least three designated as your trustee for the trust and or estate. You never know you may outlive them if they are too old when you pick them for the job. You might want to consider a grandchild for this job who is smart, honest and trustworthy. And make certain they are up to the task and are agreeable to do this for you.