Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, March 26, 2016

MVNews this week:  Page 10



Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 26, 2016 



Dear Savvy Senior, 

What will happen to my money and possessions if I die 
without a will? 

Getting Old

Dear Getting,

If you die without a will, what happens to your assets will 
be determined by the state you reside in. Every state has 
intestacy laws in place that parcel out property and assets 
to a deceased person’s closest relatives when there’s no 
will or trust. But these laws vary from state-to-state.

 A good resource to help you find out how your state 
works is’s Wills and Estate Planning site, 
which provides a state-by-state breakdown of how your 
estate would be distributed if you die without a will. See for a direct link to this page.

 In the meantime, here is a general (not state specific) 
breakdown of what can happen to a person’s assets, 
depending on whom they leave behind. 

 Married with children: When a married person with 
children dies without a will, all property, investments and 
financial accounts that are “jointly owned” automatically 
goes to the surviving co-owner (typically the spouse or 
child), without going through probate, which is the legal 
process that distributes a deceased person’s assets. 

 But for all other separately owned property or 
individual financial accounts, the laws of most states 
award one-third to one-half to the surviving spouse, 
while the rest goes to the children.

 Married with no children or grandchildren: Some 
states award the entire estate to the surviving spouse, or 
everything up to a certain amount (for example the first 
$100,000). But many other states award only one-third 
to one-half of the decedent’s separately owned assets to 
the surviving spouse, with the remainder generally going 
to the deceased person’s parents, or if the parents are 
dead, to brothers and sisters. 

 Jointly owned property, investments, financial 
accounts, or community property automatically goes to 
the surviving co-owner.

Single with children: All state laws provide that the entire 
estate goes to the children, in equal shares. If an adult 
child of the decedent has died, then that child’s children 
(the decedent’s grandchildren) split their parent’s share.

 Single with no children or grandchildren: In this 
situation, most state laws favor the deceased person’s 
parents. If both parents are deceased, many states divide 
the property among the brothers and sisters, or if they 
are not living, their children (your nieces and nephews). 
If there are none of them, it goes to the next of kin, and if 
there is no living family, the state takes it. 

Make a Will

To ensure your assets go to those you want to receive 
them, you need to create a will. If you have a simple 
estate and an uncomplicated family situation, there are 
several good do-it-yourself resources that can help you 
for very little money. 

 One of the best is the Quicken WillMaker Plus 2016 
software (available at that costs $55, works 
with Windows personal computers and is valid in every 
state except Louisiana. If you use a Mac, they offer an 
online will maker for $35.

 If, however, you want or need assistance or if you 
have a complicated financial situation, blended family 
or have considerable assets, you should hire an attorney. 
An experienced attorney can make sure you cover all 
your bases, which can help avoid family confusion and 
squabbles after you’re gone.

 Costs will vary depending on where you reside, but 
you can expect to pay anywhere between $200 and 
$1,000 for a will. 

 The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (naela.
org) and the National Association of Estate Planners 
and Councils ( are good resources that have 
online directories to help you find someone in your area.

 If money is tight, check with your state’s bar 
association (see to find low-cost legal 
help in your area. Or call the Eldercare Locater at 800-
677-1116 for a referral. 

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

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …March Birthdays

Clare Marquardt, Karen Blachly, Carla Duplex, Ella Guttman, Viky Tchatlian, Mary 
Cooper, Georgina “Snooky” Greger, Sun Liu, Helen Wallis, Joan Crow, Nancy Fox, 
Martha Cassara, Rita Johnson, Mercedes Campos, Dorothy Webster,Terri Elder, 
Carol Cerrina, Amy Putnam, Sally Contreras and Lori Cooper. * To add your 
name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not required 
but you must be over 60.


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



 YWCA San Gabriel Valley - Intervale Senior Cafe 

Seniors 60 years of age and up can participate in the YWCA Intervale daily lunch program held 
at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Meals are served Monday through Friday at 12:00 pm 
and participants are encouraged to arrive by 11:45 am. Meals are a suggested donation of $3.00 
for seniors 60 and over or $5.00 for non-senior guests. Daily reservations are necessary, space is 
limited. Please reserve your lunch by calling 626-355-0256.

Tech Talk: Held on Monday, January 25th from 1:30-2:30pm. Learn how to use your new 
technology devises. Please reserve your space with the Hart Park House by calling 626-355-7394. 


Hawaiian and Polynesian Dance Class: Every Tuesday morning from 10am to 11am. Join 
instructor Barbara Dempsey as she instructs you in the art of hula. 


Bingo: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00pm. Cards are only $0.25 each! Everyone is welcome to 
join. May be canceled if less than 5 people. 


Free Blood Pressure Testing: 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11am to 12pm. No appt. is 


Brain Games: Thursday, January 21st, 10:30am - 11:30am, improve your memory and strengthen 
your brain. Activities facilitated by Hugo, Community Liaison for New Wave Home care of 


Free Legal Consultation: Wednesday, January 27th from 10:30am to Noon. Attorney Lem 
Makupson is available for legal consultation. He specializes in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates, 
and Injury. Appointment are required by calling 626-355-7394. 

Balance Class: No Balance Class due to Martin Luther King Holiday. 


Chair Yoga: Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00 to 11:45 am. A suggested donation of $5 at one 
of the classes is requested, but is not required. 


Case Management: Meets the 2nd Thursday of the month. Case Management services are 
provided by the YWCA and provide assistance in a variety of areas. Appointments are required 
and can be scheduled by calling the HPH Office at 626-355-7394. 


Birthday Celebrations: Every second Thursday of the month at the Hart Park House. The free 
birthday cake is provided by the Sierra Madre Civic Club. 


Game Day: Every Thursday starting at 12:00pm. (Please note the time change.) A regular group of 
seniors play poker. Other games available for use. 


Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 12:45pm to 1:30pm with Lisa Brandley. The 
class utilizes light weights for low impact resistance training. All materials for the class are 


Senior Club: Every Saturday at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Brown bag lunch at 11:30am. 
Club meeting at noon. Bingo 12:30-3:30pm. Annual Membership is only $10.00. 

KATIE Tse.....................This and That


With Easter upon us, I thought of recycling one of 
my previous Resurrection Day articles. However, 
I’ve been struck lately with the realization that 
everyone, not just church-goers, are looking for 
some sort of savior.

 The coming of an ultimate deliverer is a topic 
that is clearly evident on most religious fronts. 
Jews are waiting for the Messiah to arrive. 
Christians are waiting for Him to return. But 
Christians and Jews aren’t the only ones looking 
for Him. Muslims, too, are waiting for the arrival 
of the Twelfth Imam, the Mahdi, who they believe 
will set up a worldwide Muslim caliphate. Shia 
and Sunni Muslims disagree on certain elements 
of this, but they are both waiting for their savior 
of the world. 

 We also see the yearning for a savior in national 
and global politics. One need look no farther 
than our own presidential election. We all know 
the country’s in rough shape, and we either need 
someone to fix the mess for us, or we need to save 
the day ourselves by making sure [fill in with the 
name of your least favorite candidate] doesn’t take 

 Any discussion of religion would be incomplete 
without touching upon environmentalism. Yes, 
environmentalism is very religious when you 
consider its values. Don’t get me wrong, it is the 
Christian’s responsibility to respect this planet 
God created and entrusted to our stewardship. 
One of my favorite pastors, the late Chuck 
Smith, used to criticize his congregants when 
they went on retreats and littered. “You go to 
fellowship with God and throw your dirty trash 
on His creation!” I’m paraphrasing, but you 
get the idea. The Bible clearly teaches respect 
for the land and animals. God instructed the 
Israelites in crop rotation to give the land the 
opportunity to rest and replenish itself. There 
are also numerous verses instructing the 
humane treatment of animals. However, there 
is a fine line between a healthy respect for God’s 
creation and worship of the creature or creation 
over its Creator. There is not much difference 
between the ancients’ worship of the sun, moon, 
stars, and seasons and the present-day emphasis 
on celebrating and protecting Mother Earth. Of 
the groups discussed so far, environmentalists 
are probably the ones most fervently seeking to 
save the world by their own collective power.

 Even Hollywood has gotten increasingly religious 
over the years. This is evident in entertainment 
such as “The Walking Dead” and “The Hunger 
Games.” The long lasting and universal appeal 
of superheroes in and of itself illustrates the 
human condition --we need help! Why are so 
many people hooked on movies about the end of 
the world, either by nuclear holocaust or zombie 

 It’s because deep down we know that, rather than 
getting better, things are going from bad to worse. 
We may have colleges, the United Nations, and 
smart phones to show for generations of human 
progress. But we’ve lost other, more important, 
humanitarian tenets along the way --like how to 
live and work together in respectful unity, or how 
to express differing opinions without degenerating 
into a riotous mob! We think we’ve come so 
far but really we’ve started to slide backwards. 
There’s a very thin veneer of civilization covering 
a fomenting cauldron of racial, religious, and 
cultural tension. The slightest provocation rips 
it open, allowing the underlying rage to violently 
erupt. It’s starting to happen so often that people 
are becoming desensitized, probably as a survival 
mechanism. Welcome to the new normal...

 In our search for a scapegoat for the world’s 
problems, we blame our politicians, people of 
other races or religions, or climate change. That’s 
because, painful as it is to admit --we are the 
problem, more accurately, our sin nature. The 
Bible teaches that the heart of man is deceitful and 
desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9). And unfortunately, 
reducing environment pollutants won’t change 
it. The most promising political leaders are sure 
to leave us miserably disappointed. Our problems 
are even beyond the help of Superman. 

 You see, it is right for us to look for someone to 
save us from this mess, but so often we’re looking 
in the wrong places. A great evangelist once said 
that God has made us with a hole in ourselves that 
only He can fill, and we are restless until we find 
our rest in Him. The biggest difference between 
a relationship with Jesus and the other religions 
of the world is that in Christianity you bring 
absolutely nothing to the table. You cannot make 
it to heaven by having your good deeds outweigh 
your bad ones. None of us are “good people,” 
because Jesus is the measuring stick of goodness, 
and compared to Him even the holiest saint falls 
short. Not only that, but once you give your life 
and problems to Jesus, you don’t have to worry 
about things like saving the world, because the 
good news of Easter is that He already has! And 
He’s the only one who ever could. Any person will 
fail to right the wrongs of history, but when Jesus 
returns He will set it all straight in such a perfect 
way that none of us can even imagine. And your 
place with Him there is already paid for! It is not 
His will that anyone should miss out on eternity 
in His presence. All you need to do is accept His 
sacrifice in your place. You do not need to wait 
any longer for your Messiah --that is the good 
news of Easter!

 If you choose to accept Jesus as your savior you 
can pray this prayer and He will come into your 
heart and give you peace with God --today and 

 “Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, 
and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died 
for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from 
my sins and invite You to come into my heart and 
life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and 
Savior. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

626-355-5700245 West Sierra Madre BlvdSierra Madre, CA 91024www.TheKensingtonSierraMadre.comRCFE License198601953At first, Dad and I didn’tsee eye to eye about moving toThe Kensington, but sincehe did, we’re both thrilledLimited Senior Living Suites Still AvailableCall or Visit to Reserve Yours Today
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