Although it is considered to be immeasurably important, a will is perhaps the least understood and most neglected of legal documents. In most states, including Maryland, a will is essential if the estate is to be settled quickly, and to the desires of the deceased. Without a will, an estate will be caught in a lengthy, costly and often bitter legal process.
Age should not be a major factor when considering when to draw up a will, although it becomes more important as you grow older and begin acquiring assets. It is essential if you are married or have children.
Those interested in learning more about wills and other essential legal documents should plan to attend a seminar to be presented by former Assistant Attorney General Patricia Storch at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Florence Bain Senior Center, 5470 Beaverkill Road.
Ms. Storch will discuss legal documents including a last will and testament, a living will, a medical power of attorney and a general power of attorney.
After the seminar, those who attend will be able to execute a living will for $5, and a medical power of attorney for $25.
For more information, call 313-7212.
Although school has been out for almost a month, notices of awards and recognition for students continue to arrive.
Teresa Love, a junior at Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville, received the Top Student award for her Word Perfect II class. She was among 10 juniors honored for top academic achievement at the school's honors assembly.
Some West Columbia students who excelled at colleges and universities are:
Pamela Glick, a 1990 Wilde Lake High School graduate, and a recipient of an Eminent Student Scholarship, graduated from Radford University, Radford, Va., with a bachelor of arts degree in interior design. She finished her final semester in high style by achieving a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
Sara Johnson, also a graduate of Wilde Lake High School, and a member of the Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C., volleyball team, was named to the school's Student-Athlete Honor Roll for the spring semester.
Paul Inneila, a 1991 graduate of Wilde Lake, now a junior majoring in computer science at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va., received honors for earning a 4.0 grade point average for the spring semester. He also made the president's list.
Rebecca Riggleman, a 1992 Atholton High School graduate, now a freshman at West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va., finished the spring semester with a 4.0 grade point average. She also made the president's list and was named an outstanding freshman scholar for ranking in the top 1 percent of her class.
Brian Pertman, also an Atholton graduate, made the dean's honor roll at the University of Maryland College Park, for achieving a 3.8 grade point average for the spring semester.
Congratulations to Rhonda Dedmond, a gifted and talented resource teacher at Wilde Lake High School, who has been promoted to assistant principal.
Ms. Dedmond will assume her duties this fall at the new River Hill High School, which will house Wilde Lake students for the next two years.
If you have a craft or talent you would like to teach, Kahler Hall in Harper's Choice Village Center is now setting up the fall class schedule.
For more information or to talk about your suggestions, call Jackie Green, program coordinator, at 730-3888.
Cyndie Cota, the community liaison at Kahler Hall, is forming a book club for those interested in sharing their interests in reading. She is collecting names and is planning an organizational meeting in September.
"A book club expands the horizons of members by exposing them to books outside their normal interests," says Ms. Cota. "It is also a way to meet people who share similar interests, and to make new friends, especially if you are new to the community."
For more book club information, call Ms. Cota at 730-3888.
Those interested in the future of Symphony Woods are encouraged to attend a community meeting at Symphony Woods at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
The meeting is the second held by the Columbia Council to discuss the various ideas under consideration for use of the wooded area adjacent to Merriweather Post Pavilion.
A walk-through of Symphony Woods will begin at the Merriweather parking area off Little Patuxent Parkway.
In this column last week, I expressed my concern over what I considered to be the ill-advised decision to go forward with the fireworks display in the middle of a thunderstorm on July 3.
I have received numerous calls from people who share my concern and agree that the display should have been postponed, or, at the least, delayed until the storm passed.
But I also received a call from Bill Bornyek, a volunteer with the Kiwanis Club of Columbia, which co-sponsored the event with radio station 98 Rock.
He explained some of the reasons why it was decided to go ahead with the fireworks. Among them was the fact that the Howard County Police Department said there was no danger to the public from the lightning, and that it would have cost more than $3,000 to postpone the event.