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Fri, Aug. 23

Dear Annie: Be an organ donor

Dear Annie: Last year, I wrote to you about my beautiful 35-year-old daughter and the kidney transplant she’d just received through the United Network for Organ Sharing. I am “A Very Grateful Mom.”

My daughter continues to do well and is leading a healthy life. We would like to thank the donor family, but my letter sent to them through the donor channels was never responded to. It’s been over a year and a half since my daughter received the lifesaving kidney, and we hope that someday the donor family reaches out to her so a proper thank-you can be given.

However, all is not good with her family. My teenage granddaughter has now been diagnosed with the same rare kidney disease her mother, my daughter, was diagnosed with. Although we know that it’s a rare genetic one, we have no idea where it came from through the family. This disease has no cure or treatment. The only solution is a transplant when kidney function declines to that point. Our hope is that it will be years before my granddaughter will need a transplant.

Please remind your readers about how important it is to be an organ donor. One of the first things I did after my daughter’s successful transplant (and witnessing how much better she felt) was to check the box on my driver’s license. —Still a Very Grateful Mom

Dear Grateful Mom: I am so incredibly sorry to hear about your granddaughter. I’m glad to encourage readers to consider registering as organ donors, if they haven’t already. A single organ donor has the potential to save eight lives. Visit https://www.dmv.org/organ-donor.php for more information.

Dear Annie: A friend of mine is getting married next year. The wedding and reception will be held at a lovely venue. Is it appropriate to request that guests attending wear appropriate attire? It seems everyone is dressing so casually these days; there is concern that guests might wear jeans. We realize it is the presence of friends and family that really matters, but is it asking too much to expect folks to wear their nicer clothes? — B.H.

Dear B.H.: True, everything is getting more casual these days — but jeans at a wedding? I should hope no one’s that dense. Fortunately, there’s no need to leave it up to hope. Your friend can simply note the dress code on the invitation. The standard options, from most to least formal: white tie, black tie, formal, dressy casual and casual (and even “casual” definitely does not mean bluejeans). Letting guests know the appropriate attire is not asking too much; it’s helpful for everyone.

Dear Annie: “Judged in Jarvis” wrote to you about the troubles she’s faced because of her husband’s unexpected death and their not having a will. She encouraged readers to make wills, and you did, too. My father died in 1990, and he had a will. After his death, it was probated. The court costs, executor fees and lawyer fees ate up 60 percent of his estate. I was determined not to let that happen to my children. I got a revocable living trust instead. Upon my death, all my property will go to my children as beneficiaries. There will be no lawyer fees. And it cost me less than a third of what my father’s probate cost. So please advise your readers in the future to get a living trust instead of a will.

— Christine

Dear Christine: You make a good point. I’d like to encourage readers to do their research and consider which option is best for them. Whether using a living trust or a will, the important part is to get started on planning well before you think you need to.

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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