Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, September 15, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:2




Mountain Views-News Saturday, September 15, 2018 

Jeff’s Book Pics By Jeff Brown



With the cost of long-term care (LTC) skyrocketing, you 
may be concerned about your (or your elderly parents’) 
ability to pay for lengthy stays in assisted living and/or 
a nursing home. Such care can be massively expensive, 
with the potential to overwhelm even the well-off. 
Because neither traditional health insurance 
nor Medicare will pay for LTC, some people are 
looking to Medicaid to help cover this cost. To 
become eligible for Medicaid, however, you must 
first exhaust nearly every penny of your savings. 
Given this, you may have heard that if you transfer 
your house to your adult children, you can avoid 
selling the home if you need to qualify for Medicaid. 
You may think transferring ownership of the house 
will help your eligibility for benefits and that this 
strategy is easier and less expensive than handling 
your home (and other assets) through estate planning. 
However, this tactic is a big mistake on several levels. It 
can not only delay—or even disqualify—your Medicaid 
eligibility, it can also lead to numerous other problems. 
Medicaid Changes

In February 2006, Congress passed the Deficit Reduction 
Act (DRA), which included a number of provisions 
aimed at reducing Medicaid abuse. One of these was a 
five-year “look-back” period for eligibility.

 This means that before you can qualify for Medicaid, 
your finances will be reviewed for any “uncompensated 
transfers” of your assets within the five years preceding 
your application. If such transfers are discovered, it can 
result in a penalty period that will delay your eligibility. 
If you transfer your house to your children and then 
need LTC within five years, it may significantly delay 
your qualification for Medicaid benefits—and possibly 
prevent you from ever qualifying. 

A potentially huge tax burden

Another drawback to transferring ownership of your 
home is the potential tax liability for your child. If 
you’re elderly, you’ve probably owned your house for 
a long time, and its value has dramatically increased, 
leading you to believe that by transferring your home to 
your child, he or she can make a windfall by selling it. 
Unfortunately, if you do that, she or he will have to 
pay capital gains tax on the difference between your 
home’s value when you purchased it and your home’s 
value at the time she or he received it. Depending on 
the home’s worth, these taxes can be astronomical. 
In contrast, by transferring your home at the time of 
your death, your child will receive what’s known as a 
“step-up in basis.” It’s one of the only benefits of death, 
and it allows your child to pay capital gains taxes based 
on the value of the home at the time of inheritance, 
rather than the value at the time you bought it. 
Debt, Divorce, Disability, and Death

There are numerous other reasons why transferring 
ownership of your house to your child is a bad idea. If 
your child has significant debts, his or her creditors can 
make claims against the property to recoup what they’re 
owed, potentially forcing your child to sell the home to 
pay those debts.

 Divorce is another problematic issue. If your child goes 
through a divorce while the house is in his or her name, the 
home may be considered marital property. Depending 
on the outcome of the divorce, this may force your child 
to sell the home or pay his or her ex a share of its value. 
The disability or death of your child can also lead 
to trouble. If your child becomes disabled and seeks 
Medicaid or other government benefits, having the 
home in his or her name could compromise eligibility, 
just like it would your own. And if your child dies before 
you and has ownership of the house, the property could 
be considered part of your child’s estate and be passed on 
to your child’s heirs, creating a problem for you.

 No substitute for proper estate planning
Given these potential problems, transferring ownership 
of your home to your children as a means of “poor-man’s 
estate planning” is almost never a good idea. Instead, 
follow a sound estate planning strategy designed to 
protect your assets while enabling you to better afford 
whatever long-term healthcare services you might 

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.

The Man Who Went Up in 
Smoke: A Martin Beck Police 
Mystery (Martin Beck Police 
Mystery Series) by Maj Sjöwall 
, Per Wahlöö 

The masterful second novel in the 
Martin Beck series of mysteries 
by the internationally renowned 
crime writing duo, Maj Sjöwall and 
Per Wahlöö, finds Beck searching 
Budapest for a well-known Swedish 
journalist who has disappeared 
without a trace. With an introduction 
by Val McDermid: “So many of the 
elements that have become integral...
in the police procedural subgenre 
started life in these ten novels....Their 
plots are second to none.” Inspector 
Martin Beck of the Stockholm 
Homicide Squad has his summer 
vacation abruptly terminated when 
the top brass at the foreign office 
pack him off to Budapest to search 
for Alf Matsson, a well-known 
Swedish journalist who has vanished. 
Beck investigates viperous Eastern 
European underworld figures and-
-at the risk of his life--stumbles 
upon the international racket in 
which Matsson was involved. With 
the coolly efficient local police on 
his side and a predatory nymphet on 
his tail, Beck pursues a case whose 
international implications grow with 
each new clue. 

Falling Awake: How to Practice 
Mindfulness in Everyday Life by 
Jon Kabat-Zinn 

Think you have no time for 
mindfulness? Think again.” 
Thoughtful and provocative.... 
The relevance of this work is 
unquestionable, as it leaves us inspired and 
optimistic that true healing really is possible” 
(Sharon Salzberg). For four decades, Jon Kabat-
Zinn has been teaching the tangible benefits of 
meditation in the mainstream. Today millions 
of people have taken up a formal mindfulness 
meditation practice as part of their everyday lives. 
But how do you actually go about meditating? 
What does a formal meditation practice look like? 
And how can we overcome some of the common 
obstacles to incorporating meditation into daily 
life in an age of perpetual self-distraction? Falling 
Awake directly answers these urgent and timely 
questions. Originally published in 2005 as part 
of a larger book titled Coming to Our Senses, 
it has been updated with a new foreword by the 
author and is even more relevant today. Science 
shows that the tangible benefits of 
a mindfulness meditation practice 
are impossible to ignore. Kabat-Zinn 
explains how to incorporate them into 
our hectic, modern lives. Read on for 
a master class from one of the pioneers 
of the worldwide mindfulness 

Liespotting: Proven Techniques 
to Detect Deception by Pamela 

Get to the truth. People--friends, 
family members, work colleagues, 
salespeople--lie to us all the time. 
Daily, hourly, constantly. None of us 
is immune, and all of us are victims. 
According to studies by several 
different researchers, most of us 
encounter nearly 200 lies a day. Now 
there’s something we can do about 
it. Pamela Meyer’s Liespotting links 
three disciplines--facial recognition 
training, interrogation training, and 
a comprehensive survey of research 
in the field--into a specialized body 
of information developed specifically 
to help business leaders detect 
deception and get the information 
they need to successfully conduct 
their most important interactions 
and transactions. Some of the 
nation’s leading business executives 
have learned to use these methods to 
root out lies in high stakes situations. 
Liespotting for the first time brings 
years of knowledge--previously 
found only in the intelligence 
community, police training 
academies, and universities--into the 
corporate boardroom, the manager’s 
meeting, the job interview, the legal 
proceeding, and the deal negotiation. 
Learn communication secrets previously known 
only to a handful of scientists, interrogators and 
intelligence specialists. Liespotting reveals what’s 
hiding in plain sight in every business meeting, 
job interview and negotiation: The single most 
dangerous facial expression to watch out for in 
business & personal relationships.10 questions 
that get people to tell you anything. A simple 
5-step method for spotting and stopping the 
lies told in nearly every high-stakes business 
negotiation and interviews. Dozens of postures 
and facial expressions that should instantly 
put you on Red Alert for deception. The telltale 
phrases and verbal responses that separate 
truthful stories from deceitful ones. How to 
create a circle of advisers who will guarantee your 

All Things By Jeff Brown


‘’Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were 
a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.’’- Mark Twain 

 ‘’The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified 
into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and 
corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist 
bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance 
racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM 
radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in 
pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons. ... Republicans: The No. 1 
reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb, and 
dangerous.’’-Garrison Keillor 

 ‘’As Americans, we must ask ourselves: Are we really so 
different? Must we stereotype those who disagree with us? 
Do we truly believe that ALL red-state residents are ignorant 
racist fascist knuckle-dragging NASCAR-obsessed cousin-
marrying roadkill-eating tobacco juice-dribbling gun-
fondling religious fanatic rednecks; or that ALL blue-state 
residents are godless unpatriotic pierced-nose Volvo-driving 
France-loving left-wing communist latte-sucking tofu-
chomping holistic-wacko neurotic vegan weenie perverts?’’ 
—Dave Barry 

 ‘’Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to 
speak out and remove all doubt.’’ Abraham Lincoln



Are you going through 
day-to-day motions or do 
you feel you are thriving 
in your life? 

 It’s a good question to 
ask - and notice -- what 
the answer is. Yoga exists 
to help us achieve a joyful, 
vibrant and peaceful state 
of being. The answer is there in all its practices and 
all its philosophy to nourish us and to help us thrive 
in the world. Struggle and dissatisfaction exist when 
we are not thriving. Everyday living lacks depth and 
meaning if we just exist in the day-to-day. 

 It’s important to note that we are human. 
This experience of joy, vibrancy and peace isn’t 
permanent. We have to keep returning to the 
practices of yoga, meditation, lifestyle, diet and self-
care to get back to the state of thriving. 

What does it mean to thrive? Thriving is a measure of 
high functionality in your life: healthy relationships, 
physical health, emotional health and living in a way 
that falls in line with your beliefs. 

 Yoga strengthens the outside and leads us inside. 
It challenges us to identify what prevents the 
experience of full embodiment of joy and love in our 

 All this just from doing downward facing dog? 
Body, breath, mind and perception are all affected 
by practicing yoga. Step on the mat and get ready 
to flourish. Please contact me to join a class, a 
community meditation series, or an Ayurveda 
immersion to explore the sister science to yoga. 
Email: or visit my website 


Keely Totten 

Yoga & Meditation Teacher 

Thriving in the World, One Day at a Time

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: