Mountain Views News, Pasadena Edition [Sierra Madre] Saturday, September 8, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:2




Mountain Views-News Saturday, September 8, 2018 

Jeff’s Book Pics By Jeff Brown



Aretha Franklin, heralded as the “Queen of Soul,” 
died from pancreatic cancer at age 76 on August 
16th at her home in Detroit. Like Prince, who died 
in 2016, Franklin was one of the greatest musicians 
of our time. Also like Prince, she died without a will 
or trust to pass on her multimillion-dollar estate. 
Franklin’s lack of estate planning was a huge mistake 
that will undoubtedly lead to lengthy court battles 
and major expenses for her family. What’s especially 
unfortunate is that all this trouble could have been easily 

A common mistake

Such lack of estate planning is common. A 2017 
poll by the senior-care referral service,, 
revealed that more than 60 percent of U.S. adults 
currently do not have a will or trust in place. The 
most common excuse given for not creating these 
documents was simply “not getting around to it.” 
Whether or not Franklin’s case involved similar 
procrastination is unclear, but what is clear is that 
her estimated $80-million estate will now have to 
go through the lengthy and expensive court process 
known as probate, her assets will be made public, 
and there could be a big battle brewing for her family.

Probate problems

 Because Franklin was unmarried and died without 
a will, Michigan law stipulates that her assets are to be 
equally divided among her four adult children, one of 
whom has special needs and will need financial support 
for the rest of his life. 

 It’s also possible that probate proceedings 
could last for years due to the size of her estate. 
And all court proceedings will be public, 
including any disputes that arise along the way. 
Such contentious court disputes are common with 
famous musicians. In Prince’s case, his estate has 
been subject to numerous family disputes since his 
death two years ago, even causing the revocation of a 
multimillion-dollar music contract. The same thing 
could happen to Franklin’s estate, as high-profile 
performers often have complex assets, like music rights.
Learn from Franklin’s mistakes

Although Franklin’s situation is unfortunate, you 
can learn from her mistakes by beginning the estate 
planning process now. It would’ve been ideal if Franklin 
had a will, but even with a will, her estate would still 
be subject to probate and open to the public. To keep 
everything private and out of court altogether, Franklin 
could’ve created a will and a trust. And, within a trust, 
she could have created a Special Needs Trust for her 
child who has special needs, thereby giving him full 
access to governmental support, plus supplemental 
support from her assets. 

 While trusts used to be available only to the mega 
wealthy, they’re now used by people of all incomes and 
asset values. Unlike wills, trusts keep your family out of 
the probate court, which can save time, money, and a 
huge amount of heartache. Plus, a properly funded trust 
(meaning all of your assets are titled in the name of the 
trust) keeps everything totally private.

 Trusts also offer several protections for your assets and 
family that wills alone don’t. With a trust, for example, it’s 
possible to shield the inheritance you’re leaving behind 
from the creditors of your heirs or even a future divorce. 
Don’t wait another day

 Regardless of your financial status, estate planning 
is something that you should immediately 
address, especially if you have children. You never 
know when tragedy may strike, and by being 
properly prepared, you can save both yourself 
and your family massive expense and trauma. 
Don’t follow in Franklin’s footsteps; use her death as 
a learning experience. Proper estate planning can keep 
your family out of conflict, out of court, and out of the 
public eye. If you’re ready to create a comprehensive 
estate plan, or need your plan reviewed, call us today.

 Dedicated to empowering your family, building your 
wealth and defining your legacy,

A local attorney and father, Marc Garlett is on a mission 
to help parents protect what they love most. His office is 
located at 55 Auburn Avenue, Sierra Madre, CA 91024. 
Schedule an appointment to sit down and talk about 
ensuring a legacy of love and financial security for your

family by calling 626.355.4000 or visit www.GarlettLaw.
com for more information.

Leadership: In Turbulent Times 
by Doris Kearns Goodwin

In this culmination of five decades 
of acclaimed studies in presidential 
history, Pulitzer Prize-winning 
author Doris Kearns Goodwin offers 
an illuminating exploration of the 
early development, growth, and 
exercise of leadership. Are leaders 
born or made? Where does ambition 
come from? How does adversity 
affect the growth of leadership? 
Does the leader make the times or 
do the times make the leader? In 
Leadership, Goodwin draws upon 
the four presidents she has studied 
most closely—Abraham Lincoln, 
Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. 
Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson 
(in civil rights)—to show how they 
recognized leadership qualities 
within themselves and were 
recognized as leaders by others. By 
looking back to their first entries into 
public life, we encounter them at a 
time when their paths were filled with 
confusion, fear, and hope. Leadership 
tells the story of how they all 
collided with dramatic reversals that 
disrupted their lives and threatened 
to shatter forever their ambitions. 
Nonetheless, they all emerged fitted to 
confront the contours and dilemmas 
of their times. No common pattern 
describes the trajectory of leadership. 
Although set apart in background, 
abilities, and temperament, these 
men shared a fierce ambition and a 
deep-seated resilience that enabled 
them to surmount uncommon 
hardships. At their best, all four were 
guided by a sense of moral purpose. 
At moments of great challenge, they 
were able to summon their talents to 
enlarge the opportunities and lives of 
others. This seminal work provides an 
accessible and essential road map for 
aspiring and established leaders in every field. In 
today’s polarized world, these stories of authentic 
leadership in times of apprehension and fracture 
take on a singular urgency.

Becoming by Michelle Obama 

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by 
the former First Lady. In a life filled with meaning 
and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has 
emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling 
women of our era. As First Lady of the United 
States of America—the first African-American 
to serve in that role—she helped create the most 
welcoming and inclusive White House in history, 
while also establishing herself as a 
powerful advocate for women and 
girls in the U.S. and around the 
world, dramatically changing the 
ways that families pursue healthier 
and more active lives, and standing 
with her husband as he led America 
through some of its most harrowing 
moments. Along the way, she showed 
us a few dance moves, crushed 
Carpool Karaoke, and raised two 
down-to-earth daughters under 
an unforgiving media glare. In her 
memoir, a work of deep reflection 
and mesmerizing storytelling, 
Michelle Obama invites readers 
into her world, chronicling the 
experiences that have shaped her—
from her childhood on the South 
Side of Chicago to her years as an 
executive balancing the demands of 
motherhood and work, to her time 
spent at the world’s most famous 
address. With unerring honesty and 
lively wit, she describes her triumphs 
and her disappointments, both 
public and private, telling her full 
story as she has lived it—in her own 
words and on her own terms. Warm, 
wise, and revelatory, Becoming is 
the deeply personal reckoning of a 
woman of soul and substance who 
has steadily defied expectations—
and whose story inspires us to do the 

I’d Rather Be Reading: The 
Delights and Dilemmas of the 
Reading Life by Anne Bogel 

For so many people, reading isn’t just 
a hobby or a way to pass the time--it’s 
a lifestyle. Our books shape us, define 
us, enchant us, and even sometimes 
infuriate us. Our books are a part of 
who we are as people, and we can’t 
imagine life without them.I’d Rather 
Be Reading is the perfect literary 
companion for everyone who feels that way. In this 
collection of charming and relatable reflections on 
the reading life, beloved blogger and author Anne 
Bogel leads readers to remember the book that first 
hooked them, the place where they first fell in love 
with reading, and all of the moments afterward that 
helped make them the reader they are today. Known 
as a reading tastemaker through her popular podcast 
What Should I Read Next?, Bogel invites book lovers 
into a community of like-minded people to discover 
new ways to approach literature, learn fascinating 
new things about books and publishing, and reflect 
on the role reading plays in their lives.The 3 reviews 
are from

All Things By Jeff Brown


Children who are exposed to secondhand 
cigarette smoke have an increased risk for lung 
disease later in life, a new study has found. 
Researchers followed more than 70,000 adults 
who have never smoked. Over the 22 year study, 
the people who had lived in a household with a 
smoker when they were children were 31% more 
likely to die from chronic obstructive pulmonary 
disease. Secondhand smoke, both the fumes from 
the burning end of a cigarette,and those exhaled 
by smokers, has long been linked to asthma and 
other lung problems. But this is the first research 
to establish a correlation to COPD, says the 
Washington Post. Former Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention official Michael Enksen 
said the message for parents was clear: “Don’t 
smoke at home, and don’t smoke around your 



Real Life Tips from LIfe's Instruction Manual


Yoga, ideally, brings 
us closer to the truth. 
Both our own personal 
truth and the ultimate 
Truth of connection 
and universal divinity. 
It helps clear away that 
which covers our vision 
and that which pains 
our body and mind. 

 Seeking out yoga was definitely a truth-finding 
mission for me. I searched out yoga class initially 
to quell symptoms of anxiety and unease. Upon 
deeper reflection, I see this was me seeking my 
higher Self. Through the experience of practice, I 
came to discover Truth and myself. Little by little, 
using my body and breath as a means, a revelation 
began to take place. Yoga brings us back to 
ourselves. Yoga assists us in experiencing the Self. 

 There is a word in Sanskrit for truth - it’s Satya. 
Satya means truth in one’s thoughts, words and 
actions. This speaks to an alignment within each 
of us. A personal alignment of who we are (and 
our purpose for being here) and how we interact 
with the world around us. 

 Living the truth benefits everyone. That’s why 
we need to continually seek it, practice it, and 
strive for deeper levels of self-understanding. 
And yes, it can begin on the mat with your 
yoga practice. From asana (poses) to breathing 
and into deep meditation, a level of awareness, 
understanding, and expansion takes place. 
Learn more about this amazing practice we call 
Yoga. Contact me today to learn more: keely@


Keely Totten, 

Yoga & Meditation Teacher, 

Truth Seeker 

Lori A. Harris


In this life, we occasionally suffer bumps and 
bruises. Living can be difficult. The person we 
become, as we maneuver through life and manage 
our difficulties is the beauty of the journey. 
Sometimes it's tempting to ignore our scars and 
battle wounds, but they are what that shape us. 
Sometimes we develop negative habits from trying 
to pretend that we are not hurt.

 What would it take for you to love your broken 
places? When my husband and I separated one 
of the things I was most sad about was the loss of 
familiarity. He and I have been friends for a long 
time, and we still love each other deeply. We know 
how to navigate each others' rough edges and soft 
spots. He knows the story behind every physical 
scar and I his. We are tender with each other, we 
care. Since my divorce, I am learning to love my 
tender spaces, rather than ignore or deny them. I 
am learning to love all of me. It is difficult.

 There is a Japanese ceramic technique called 
Kintsugi, that means golden repair. A Kintsugi 
artisan uses a gold dusted 
epoxy to repair broken 
pottery. It is an extension 
of Zen philosophy, that calls 
upon the viewer to see beauty 
in flaws and imperfections. 

 I invite you to look into 
your mirror this week with 
kind eyes. See each freckle, 
wrinkle, and age spots as 
the golden connective veins 
telling the story of your life. Love every grey 
hair, caress your fat rolls, take the time to love 
and appreciate your body. Then take your body 
for a walk. Just 30 minutes of daily walking will 
improve your mood, cardiovascular health and 
reduce the risk for diabetes. Celebrate life; you are 

 Lori Harris is a lawyer and coach. She offers her 
services in group and individual packages, you can 
learn more at

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