The Montgomery County Retired Teachers Association met May 13 at the Crawfordsville District Public Library. The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and an invocation by Karen Thada. President Kim Nixon welcomed Area 4 Coordinator Branda Walls. Vice President Steve Frees introduced the speaker for the meeting, Justin Shumaker, from Indiana Estate and Elder Law. Shumaker taught high school English for 12 years before deciding to study law at Indiana University Law School. He opened his law office in 2020 and specializes in estate law and elder care law. Shumaker gave the most important information about estate planning in a comprehensive and entertaining way. His most important tip for us is to not believe everything you read on the internet. The documents that are necessary to formulate are those related to Living Wills, Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Last Will and Testament, and for many families establishing a trust to protect assets.

In doing these things he talked about choosing the correct family members to carry out each of the responsibilities. It is important to choose the family member that has the right temperament and skill set to do each task. If you do not designate a specific person, the state may decide it for you; and it may not be the right person for the task. Trust planning can help to avoid probate and customize the distribution of assets. It can also help to protect assets needed for long term care. More information can be found at

In the business meeting, Nixon asked the membership to approve the minutes as read. They were approved. Treasurer Larry Manlove gave a report and his report was approved as read. Community Service member Janet Armbruster read a thank you from FISH for a donation and reminded members to log their volunteer hours.

Nixon asked that we think about how to award money from our foundation fund for a non-profit. Member Concerns chair Mary Lefebvre reported that get well cards had been sent out to a couple members and to family members who had lost loved ones. Necrology chair Barb Foster reported on the five members who had passed this year and that they would be remembered at a memorial service in June. Frees reported that the officers for next year would be Frees, president; Kathy Steele, vice president; Jerlyn Yerkes, secretary; and Barb Foster, treasurer.

Members were reminded that the Representative Assembly would take place in Indianapolis in June and that Frees and Nixon would receive awards. Manlove asked if the members would like to contribute to the Lew Wallace Study Archicamp. Karen Patton made a motion and Cherlyn Hunter seconded that we send $75 for the camp. The motion was passed.

Area 4 Coordinator Brenda Walls told the group that the General Assembly passed a bill awarding a 13th check which will arrive in September. Details of Senate Bill 275 are still be worked out. The IRTA office will be moving this summer. She passed out M+Ms to remind people that we need more members to join IRTA, the state organization which lobbies for retired teachers and provides a lot of benefits on insurance, travel, and other things. She thanked members for their support. The motion was made to adjourn the meeting and the motion passed. Door prizes were awarded.