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Thursday, 06 December 2018

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Let me just put in a good word for passports. When the dementia hit Mammá, it was vastly easier to maintain her passport than even a DMV ID card. For one thing, the passport was good for 10 years. For another, you could get the photo done anywhere fine passport photos are sold, e.g., Walgreens. And you need ID until you die, and probably after that as well. Tons of things had to have her notarized signature, even though I had power of attorney and was her trustee and everything else. Most financial institutions won't accept those legal documents and want the Demented Old Person's notarized signature. So consider getting a passport and remember, you never know when you'll have to flee the country.

Which brings up another point: isn't it strange that your identity depends on a government-issued document with an expiration date?
One day you're you, and the next you might not be, because your identity papers have expired: not only has your qualification to operate a motor vehicle passed its best-by date, but that card with your name and photo is no longer identification.
(On the other hand, a little rectangle of paper with a preprinted number, my name typed on it, and the words "NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION" at the bottom is an identification document. Also, I'm supposed to be carrying that bit of cheap paper around on my person my entire life, rather than keeping it in a safe-deposit box or something.)

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