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Salem Community Patriot

8 - May 7, 2010

Piece of the Pie

Maintaining Your


There has always been a great deal of mystery about wills and estates. In this first article, we will talk about what a will is, and what it is not. First of all, the laws of each state differ concerning wills; to minimize confusion, we will focus on New Hampshire law. In New Hampshire, a will must be in written form, signed volun- tarily by a person “of sound mind”, who is over 18 years of age. It must also be witnessed by 2 witnesses. What property can you include in a will? You can give away all of your property in a will. There are two types of property: real estate is called “real property” in a will; everything else is considered to be “personal property”. In your will, you can only give away property that is in your sole name, or which is jointly owned, but will not be inherited by the other party upon your death. For example, if you and your spouse own your home as “joint tenants with rights of survivorship”, then when the first co-owner dies, the surviving co-owner inherits the property OUTSIDE of the will, regardless of the terms of the deceased spouse’s will. Other property, such as life insurance policies or retirement accounts and pensions are contracts which have beneficiaries; again, as in the previous example, the surviving beneficiary receives the property OUTSIDE of the will, regardless of the terms of the deceased person’s will. So, if you leave an IRA retirement account in your will, but you have already named a beneficiary for the IRA, the will has no effect upon the IRA when you die; the person named as beneficiary will receive the IRA account. If a person gives away specific property in a will (such as a piece of jewelry or a baseball card collection), but does not own that property at the time of death, that gift “lapses”; in other words, you can’t give away what you do not own when you die. What happens if you don’t have a will? One of the biggest myths about wills is that if you do not have one,

your property will go to the government. If you die without a will, in legal terms you die “intestate”; however, each state has “laws of intestacy” by which your property would be distributed to your “next of kin”. New Hampshire has an interesting intestacy law: if you die intestate, and you are married with children when you die, your surviving spouse inherits 1/3 of both the real and personal property; the children inherit 2/3. Can you disinherit your spouse? Your children? The answer is yes and no! You can leave your spouse out of your will, but even if you do, your spouse will inherit under the intestacy laws (see previous paragraph); surprisingly, you can disinherit your children. However, if you have/adopt a child after you sign your will, that child will automatically be included in your will, so long as you have included your previous children.

Next time, we will discuss the basic terms of a will.

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Comments expressed in this column are the sole views of those callers and do not reflect the views of the Area News Group or its advertisers. Town and school officials encourage readers to seek out assistance directly to resolve any problems or issues. The Area News editorial staff holds the right to refuse any comment deemed inappropriate.

“Thumbs up to building schools in Afghanistan. The ink of a scholar is more powerful than the blood of a martyr.”

“Thumbs up to both Mr. Glander and

Mr.Weimar for the letters they wrote to the editor column. Quite refreshing to hear facts as opposed to the bloviating from the likes of Mr. Klessen and Ms.Lang week in and week out.”

“Thumbs down to those who think Salem does not have a leash law. Towns do not have to make leash laws, states do and it is absolutely against the law in NH to have a dog unaccompanied, off leash. As Salem is part of NH, there is most definitely a leash law.“

“Thumbs up. Great job of renovating the house on the corner of Main and School Street. Nice work!!”

“Thumbs up to the Department of Public

Works for finishing the bridge work on Hooker Farm Road. I can now cut about 20

minutes out of my commute each day!” “Thumbs up to Dianne Parquette, Pat

Hargreaves and Lt. Shaun Patten for helping Phil Lebell find VA housing in Haverhill.


nice to see good people do something nice for a veteran. It isn’t about the notoriety it’s about helping a good honest man who can’t catch a break!”

“Thumbs up to Hampshire Street Storage

for giving Phil 2 FREE months of storage for his belongings. It gives him time to find other arrangements.”

“Thumbs down to the Board of Selectmen for not disclosing the true story behind what happened with Ganley. I heard that you were sworn to secrecy- how bad was it that an oath had to be taken. As taxpayers and residents, we need to know what we paid for and got in return. Now we will be paying a pension. There is something scandalous about this!!”

“Thumbs down to National Grid for not

moving the electrical service on Lawrence Road in a timely fashion. Our bridge repairs can’t happen until you get you part done!”

“Thumbs up to the DPW for filling the huge pot holes on Pond Street and Sand Hill Road. Believe me, these roads were appalling!”

“Thumbs down to the Board of Selectmen

for waiving the $200,000 Building permit fees for the school projects. That’s revenue and that will have to come out of some other fund eventually.”

Tank you for your submissions. All comments, thumbs up or down, are anonymous and not written by the Area News staff. Tumbs comments can be sent via telephone, 880-1516 or emailed to us at When submitting a Tumbs comment, please specify that you would like it printed in the Salem Edition. No names are necessary. Please keep negative comments to the issue. Comments should be kept to 100 words or less.


Rene Desmanches

Rene “Bob” Desmanches, 68, of Salem, died May 2, 2010, at the Laconia Genesis Center in Laconia. He was born in Quebec, Canada, where he grew up and attended schools. He was a resident of Salem for many years. Bob was a horse trainer and worked track maintenance for Rockingham Park in Salem. He loved horses, playing pool in the Salem VWF

League, and enjoyed watching cowboy movies. He is survived by his long-time companion, Ann Antonelli of Salem; stepchildren, Donna and Mike Gurley of Salem, Deborah Costa of Leominster, MA, Marilyn Brown of Winchester, MA, Vincent and Cheri Antonelli of Danville, and William and Paula Antonelli of Watertown, MA; children, Marie-Claude Desmanches, Stephane Desmanches, and Suzie Desmanches, all of Canada; sisters, Huguette Lepage, Monique Lepage, Denise Lepage, Claudette Lepage, and Marie-France Lepage, all of Canada; and several grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, May 7, at 10 a.m. at Mary Queen of Peace Church, Salem. Burial will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery, Salem. Arrangements were under the care of Douglas and Johnson

Funeral Home in Salem. To send a message of condolence to the family, please view the obituary at

Barbara D. (Chute) Dyer

Barbara D. (Chute) Dyer, 81, of Methuen, MA, formerly of Salem, died April 25, 2010, at the Methuen Health and Rehab in Methuen, where she resided for the past two years. Known lovingly as “Nee” by her grandchildren and their friends, Barbara was born in Lynn, MA,


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and grew up and was educated in Saugus, MA. She raised her three grandchildren, Keith, Jamie and Brandi Ellen Robinson in Swampscott, MA, before settling in Salem with her son David Dyer, where she resided for over 10 years. Barbara was a retired bank teller. She will be remembered fondly for her strength, resilience, humor, and for her loving, giving, and caring nature. Barbara joins her daughter, Ellen Dyer Robinson; her son, David

S. Dyer; her grandson, Keith D. Robinson; her husband, Forrest L. Dyer, Jr.; two sisters, Deborah Camire and Katherine Plouffe; her parents, and several friends. She is survived by her two grandchildren, Brandi Ellen Robinson,

and Jamie and his wife Awapuhi Robinson; her sister, Patricia and her husband Bruce Sullivan; and several nieces, nephews, and adoring friends.

A memorial service will be held May 17 at 11 a.m. at Douglas

and Johnson Funeral Home, 214 Main St., Salem. Memorial donations may be made in Ms. Dyer’s memory to Methuen Health and Rehab, 480 Jackson St., Methuen, MA, 01844, Attn: Beverly/Social Worker. To send a message of condolence to the family, please view the obituary at

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