Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 20, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 9



 Mountain Views News Saturday, July 20, 2013 


Dear Savvy Senior:

What are my options for choosing an executor for 
my will? I was considering asking one of my kids 
to do it but I don’t think any of them are up for 
the job. What can you tell me? Still Kicking

Dear Kicking:

Choosing an executor – the person or institution 
you put in charge of administering your estate 
and carrying out your final wishes – is one of the most important decisions in preparing a will.

Picking the right executor can help ensure the prompt, accurate distribution of your possessions with 
a minimum of family friction. Some of the duties required include: 

• Filing court papers to start the probate process (this is generally required by law to determine 
the will’s validity).

• Taking an inventory of everything in the estate. 

• Using your estate’s funds to pay bills, including taxes, funeral costs, etc.

• Handling details like terminating credit cards, and notifying banks and government agencies 
like Social Security and the post office of the death.

• Preparing and filing final income tax returns.

• Distributing assets to the beneficiaries named in the will. 

Given all the responsibility, the ideal candidate should be someone who is honest, dependable, well 
organized, good with paperwork and vigilant about meeting deadlines. 

Who to Choose 

Most people think first of naming a family member, especially a spouse or child, as executor. If, 
however, you don’t have an obvious family member to choose, you may want to ask a trusted friend, 
but be sure to choose someone in good health or younger than you who will likely be around after 
you’re gone. 

Also, if your executor of choice happens to live in another state, you’ll need to check your state’s law to 
see if it imposes any special requirements. Some states require an out-of-state executor to be a family 
member or a beneficiary, some require a bond to protect your heirs in case of mismanagement, and 
some require the appointment of an in-state agent. 

Also keep in mind that if the person you choose needs help settling your estate they can always call on 
an expert like an attorney or tax account to guide them through the process, with your estate picking 
up the cost. 

If, however, you don’t have a friend or relative you feel comfortable with, you could name a third 
party executor like a bank, trust company or a professional who has experience dealing with estates. 
If you need help locating a pro, the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (naepc.
org) and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys ( are great resources that provide 
directories on their websites to help you find someone.

Executor Fees 

Most family members and close friends (especially if they are a beneficiary) serve for free, but if you 
opt for a third party executor it will cost your estate. Executor fees are set by each state and typically 
run anywhere from 1 to 5 percent depending on the size of the estate. 

Get Approval

Whoever you choose to serve as your executor, be sure you get their approval first before naming him 
or her in your will. And once you’ve made your choice, go over your financial details in your will with 
that person, and let him or her know where you keep all your important documents and financial 
information. This will make it easier on them after you’re gone. 

For more information on the duties of an executor, get a copy of the book “The American Bar Association 
Guide to Wills and Estates” fourth edition for $17 at or call 800-285-2221.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.
org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.


By Pat Birdsall



 Eliminate Standing Water- Mosquitoes can breed in a small amount of standing water. Check 
depressions in trees and around sprinkler heads, old water buckets, tires, watering cans and wheel 

 Maintain Your Yard- By keeping your lawn cut short, bushes pruned back and avoiding letting leaves 
pile up during mosquito season, you eliminate spots where they like to breed. 

 Plant Mosquito Repellent Shrubs- Lemon grass, Rosemary, Marigolds and catnip are all plants 
whose scent, once released, naturally repels mosquitoes. 

 Cover Up- Instead of spraying Deet or some other chemically laden spray on your arms and legs, 
simply cover up by wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts. 

 Use Non-Toxic Pesticide Repellents- Avoid mosquito repellents that contain harmful toxins that 
are both harmful to you and the environment. There are many natural mosquito repellents currently 
on the market. For those who prefer a spray, try plant based Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Repellent, or if 
sprays aren’t to your liking, Badger Balm, which comes in a tin or push-up stick that you rub on your 

 Keep the Air Moving- Moving air currents prevent mosquitos from biting you because they displace 
the carbon monoxide in your breath that the mosquitos are attracted to. Try using an oscillating fan 
to keep the air moving and mosquitos away. 

 Set the Mood- Candles act as a natural inhibitor because they prevent mosquitos from biting you by 
preventing them from smelling you. Made from non-toxic essential oils, these candles are good for 
you and the environment. To be the most effective don’t place the candles on a table or porch railing. 
Instead, place them less than a foot from the ground so that their scent wafts around your entire body 
instead of just your upper half. Eco-friendly candles are available from Mosquito Solutions: www. 

Remember, when you use toxic pesticides the beneficial bugs die too. The Honey Bee is a sad 


HELPFUL HINT: Finally, now that the scars on my hands have finally faded, someone 
has come up with a sensible solution to opening the nearly impenetrable and dreaded clamshell 
packaging! Don’t use scissors, knives, or explosive devices, albeit tempting. All you need is a hand-
held can opener. Turn the package over so that you’re looking at the back and then clamp the can 
opener on the edge of the package and work it all away around. Good luck!


FOR YOUR FUNNY BONE - Top Ten Things Men Understand About Women:











 ~ ~ ~

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … July Birthdays

Nina Bartolai, Mary Lou Caldwell, Louise Neiby, Eunice Banis, Betty Hansen, Christine 
Durfort, Shahrzad Azrani, Betty Barlow, Cindy Barnard, Jeanne Borgedahl, Janet Cox, 
Dorothy Montgomery, Bess Pancoska,Janice Swanson, Linda Thunes, Barbara Watson, Pat 
Alcorn, Karma Bell, Alice Clark, Dorothy Jerneycic, and Betty DosRemedios.

* To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not 


Quote of the Week: “Peace cannot be achieved through violence; it can only be attained 
through understanding.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart Park 
House (Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre


 YMCA San Gabriel Valley Intervale Senior Café: Monday-Friday at 12:00 Noon 

(Participants are urged to arrive no later than 11:45 A.M.) 

All seniors 60 and up can take part in the lunch program. There is a suggested donation of $2.00 for 
those 60 and over and $3.75 for non-senior guests. Daily

 reservations are necessary as space is limited. 

 Please call 24 hours in advance...626.355.0256

Free Balance Class: Every 3rd Monday for 11:00 am to 11:45 am with Shannon Vandevelde. A 
variety of balance exercises are practiced; all ability levels are encouraged and welcomed. 

Free Blood Pressure Testing: On the 2nd Tuesday of the month 11:00 am-12:00 pm: A nurse from 
Methodist Hospital, Arcadia volunteers to do the readings. No appointment necessary.


Bingo: Every Tuesday afternoon from 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm Cards are only .25c each! 

Free Chair Yoga: New Hours: 11:00 to 11:45 Every Wednesday morning. Join Paul Hagen for this 
free class that focuses on senior yoga techniques. No reservation is necessary!

Free Legal Consultation: Pasadena attorney Geoffrey Chin volunteers on the 2nd Wednesday of 
the month. He focuses on estate planning, trusts, wills, probate, conservatorships and business law. 
*Appointments are a must! Please call: 626.355.7394 to make yours* Conflicting court schedules 
can occasionally cause cancellations.

Lunch and Learn: Wednesday, June 26th, 12:15 to 1:00 pm

Come listen to the great services offered by Humana, a widely known company throughout 
our community and the country. Their motto entails: “Healthy People, Healthy Planet, Healthy 
Performance.” They promote seniors and their well-being.

Birthday Celebrations: The 2nd Thursday of the month the Senior Center celebrates the birthdays of 
our patrons at 12:30 pm. Please join us for free cake and ice cream and “celebration.” (The cakes are 
provided due to a generous donation from the Sierra Madre Civic Club.)

Game Day: Every Thursday at 1:00pm. Poker is usually the game of choice, or should I say chance? 
Board games and other card games are also available. Outside, on the patio, a beautiful, one-of-a-kind 
chess table is anxious for players.

Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 1:00 pm -1:45 pm Conducted by long-time 
volunteer, Lisa Brandley. The class utilizes light weights for low-impact resistance training. Weights 
are provided by the Sierra Madre Senior Center. It’s a great way to stay in shape and to

 socialize with your peers. 

Senior Citizens Club: Every Saturday at the Hart Park House (Senior Center). Brown bag lunch at 
11:30am; Club meeting at Noon; Bingo 12:30- 3:30 pm. Only .25c per card… For more information 
call Pat Birdsall at 626.355.7290.


Save the Dates!

Friday, August 16, 2013- USS Iowa (San Pedro)

Registration can be done in person at the Hart Park House Senior Center & Community Recreation 
Center or online at Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted. Make 
checks payable to “City of Sierra Madre.” Payment must be made at the time of registration.


Senior Movie Program: 

FREE movies are chosen by the seniors themselves and shown on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the 
month in Sierra Madre’s City Council Chambers, 232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. ~ Start 
time is 1:00pm ~


 Recycling --it’s something 
that’s become so second nature 
we barely give it a thought. But 
there was a time when it had a 
political connotation, kind of 
like climate change does now. 
But enough about politics, 
because there are enough other 
columns in this paper to satisfy your political 
appetite (and I’m as much of an authority on politics 
as I am on higher math).

 It’s probably safe to say most of us don’t see 
recycling as a necessary income. We recycle 
because it’s the right thing to do and we don’t 
want to feel guilty. But I remember in grad school 
our department used recycled bottles and cans 
to raise money for different projects. (Most grad 
students are whizzes at finding ways to stretch a few 
pennies.) Spotting a soda can in the trash would 
cause a minor uproar. “Who threw this in there? 
Hello! The grad can is right next to it!” The “grad 
can” was a recycling bin with a big sign proclaiming 
support of our class.

 Even after grad school, 
the habit of hoarding cans 
for recycling continued. 
Occasionally my husband and 
I would be out somewhere 
and dither about tossing the 
soda cans from lunch into the 
recycling bin versus keeping 
them in the car until we got 
back. Hmm... Is the CRV really 
worth it?

 All recycling enthusiasts know 
that maximizing your refund 
requires a few extra steps. 
For starters, entering each 
and every container individually into the machine 
yields a slightly higher return than if you go the 
easier route and have a recycling center attendant 
weigh it. Another catch is that the recycling centers 
aren’t all open at the same times, usually close for 
lunch, and often malfunction. Overcoming these 
odds make the difference between the determined 
recycler and the more passive ones.

 My mom falls more into the latter category. 
One day she offered to accompany me on one of 
my recycling trips, it was this time of year, when 
the heat off the asphalt makes it shimmer in the 
distance, and stepping into your car is like sliding 
into a pizza oven. My car was loaded up with bags 
of cans and bottles as we drove to a recycling center 
by Ralph’s. There were a few people in line for the 
machines, both of which were working --Woo Hoo! 
We lugged our bags to the end of the line and waited. 
“Waited,” as all recyclers know, is the key word. 

 One of the most frequent occurrences at 
recycling centers, and one of the best ways to test 
the true civility of people, is when you get a person 
who has gone through all their bags and are now 
down to the last three oddly shaped bottles that the 
machine keeps spitting back out. The constant hum 
of the conveyor belt is interrupted with an annoying 
buzzer as the rejected bottle pops out again. This 
happens to all of us, but there are times when the 
person keeps doggedly replacing the unwelcomed 
bottle, in hopes that this time the machine will 
reconsider and accept it. They will replace the 
bottle in the opposite direction or on its side, or any 
number of machinations to try to force it along.

 The annoyance of being behind someone like this 
isn’t the point. It’s about what you do when faced 
with this annoyance. Some people start huffing 
loudly and others even tell the offender to give it up 
already. Of course the humane reaction is to wait 
patiently. But that day we didn’t have the challenge 
of the person with the odd bottles. We had a lady 
with never-ending bags.

 She was the last person in front of us with 
about five garbage bags of cans. We waited as she 
deposited them one by one. When she had only a 
few cans left, she walked to a van parked close by 
and pulled seven more tightly stuffed bags to the 
machine. It was a big van, the type you’d use to ship 
washers and driers, and through 
the tiny windows we could see 
it was entirely jam packed with 
recycling bags. She repeated this 
retrieval process several times. 
My mom was starting to look 
distressed and said she’d wait for 
me in the car with the doors open 
(remember the temperature was 
in the 90’s). I assured her we’d be 
done soon.

 Finally the lady in front was 
down to the very last of the very 
last cans. We could see the 
light at the end of the conveyor 
belt tunnel! Then from out of 
nowhere, a guy drove up in another van similarly 
stuffed to the gills with bags. He hopped out, 
greeted the lady, pulled out a bunch of bags, and 
started inserting them into the machine. I thought 
my mom was going to have an attack!

 But she kept calm and carried on, and eventually 
it was my turn at the machine. One by one, I started 
sticking the cans onto the conveyor belt, reaching 
back into the hot plastic bag with sticky, sweaty 
fingers to take hold of another. About two thirds 
of the way through, I caught a glimpse of my mom 
in the car, her eyes like those of the puppies at the 
pound that silently plead “Please GET ME OUT!”

 At this point I realized my selfishness in making 
my mom suffer so I’d reap the greatest CRV benefit 
from my stash. Guiltily, I asked the attendant to 
weigh the rest of it, took the receipt, and my mom 
and I fled the Ralph’s parking lot not much worse for 
wear. Sometimes, like when you’re buying insanely 
overpriced text books for grad school, it pays to get 
every last cent you can. And other times, like when 
you’ve sucked in unsuspecting victims, such as my 
mom was, the most charitable thing is to settle for