Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 6, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page B:2




Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 6, 2019 

Jeff’s Book Pics By Jeff Brown



Selecting a beneficiary for your life insurance policy 
sounds pretty straightforward. You’re just deciding who 
will receive the policy’s proceeds when you die, right? 
But as with most things in life, it’s a bit more 
complicated than that. Keep in mind that naming 
someone as your life insurance beneficiary really has 
nothing to do with you: It should be based on how the 
funds will affect the beneficiary’s life once you’re no 
longer here. 

It’s very likely that if you’ve purchased life insurance, you did so to make someone’s life better or 
easier in some way after your death. But unless you consider all the unique circumstances involved 
with your choice, you might actually end up creating additional problems for the people you love. 

Given the potential complexities involved, here are a few important questions you should ask 
yourself when choosing your life insurance beneficiary:

1. What are you intending to accomplish?

The first thing to consider is the “real” reason you’re buying life insurance. On the surface, the 
reason may simply be because it’s the responsible thing for adults to do. But I recommend you 
dig deeper to discover what you ultimately intend to accomplish with your life insurance.
Are you married and looking to replace your income for your spouse and kids after death? Are 
you single without kids and just trying to cover the costs of your funeral? Are you leaving behind 
money for your grandkids’ college funds? Are you intending to make sure your business continues 
after you’re gone? Or perhaps your life insurance is in place to cover a future estate-tax burden?
The real reason you’re investing in life insurance is something only you can answer. The answer is 
critical, because it is what determines how much and what kind of life insurance you should have in the 
first place. And by first clearly understanding what you’re actually intending to accomplish with the 
policy, you’ll be in a much better position to make your ultimate decision—who to select as beneficiary.

2. What are your beneficiary options?

Your insurance company will ask you to name a primary beneficiary—your top choice to get the insurance 
money at the time of your death. If you fail to name a beneficiary, the insurance company will distribute the 
proceeds to your estate upon your death. If your estate is the beneficiary of your life insurance, that means 
a probate court judge will direct where your insurance money goes at the completion of the probate process. 
And this process can tie your life insurance proceeds up in court for months or even years. To keep 
this from happening to your loved ones, be sure to name—at the very least—one primary beneficiary.
In case your primary beneficiary dies before you, you should also name at least one contingent (alternate) 
beneficiary. For maximum protection, you should probably name more than one contingent beneficiary 
in case both your primary and secondary choices have died before you. Yet, even these seemingly 
straightforward choices are often more complicated than they appear due to the options available.
For example, you can name multiple primary beneficiaries, like your children, and have the proceeds 
divided among them in whatever way you wish. What’s more, the beneficiary doesn’t necessarily 
have to be a person. You can name a charity, nonprofit, or business as the primary (or contingent) 

It’s important to note that if you name a minor child as a primary or contingent beneficiary (and 
he or she ends up receiving the policy proceeds), a legal guardian must be appointed to manage 
the funds until the child comes of age. This can lead to numerous complications, so you should 
definitely consult with an experienced Family Law attorney like us if you’re considering this option.

3. Does your state have community-property laws?

If you’re married, you’ll likely choose your spouse as the primary beneficiary anyway. But what if you 
want to choose a close friend, your favorite charity, or simply the person you think needs the money most.

In California, community-property laws dictate that your spouse is entitled to the policy proceeds 
and will have to sign a form waiving his or her rights to the insurance money if you want to name 
someone else as beneficiary. Sometimes it makes sense to name your trust as the primary beneficiary 
instead of your spouse. If you go that route, you’ll definitely want to talk to a trusted estate planning 
attorney before you sign anything because of the extra complications.

The team at my firm doesn’t just draft documents; we guide you to make informed, educated, and 
empowered choices to plan for yourself and the ones you love most. Contact us today if you have any 
questions about life insurance or other estate planning options.

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. for more information.

THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI WEST, 1840-1860 by John D. Unruh 

The Plains Across became an instant standard work in western trail 
literature after it first appeared in 1979. It won seven awards, including 
the John H. Dunning Prize from the American Historical 
Association and the Billington Book Award from the Organization 
of American Historians. Reviewers termed it "majesterial," "rich in 
anecdote," "sparklingly written," "best book yet written on the overland 
journey," and "a milestone in western historical scholarship." 
Unruh died at age thirty-nine, three years before the book was published.
Unruh deals with the over-landing experience thematically 
but in semi-chronological order. He looks at the climates of public 
opinion that developed regarding overlanding, first for the 1840–48 
period and then for the 1849–60 era. Then, he assesses migrants' 
motivations. Significant chapters deal with interaction between emigrants 
and Indians and in-teraction between wagon trains. He also 
discusses the private enterprisers who helped service the overland 
travel—including Mormon ferry operations. The Plains Across has 
become one of the standard works that must be consulted by anyone 
who seriously studies the California, Oregon, and Mormon trail 
experiences; U.S. nineteenth-century migration patterns; and the prerailroad period of the American 
West. Its approachable style makes it useful to those who need reference material for family 

DOWN RIVER by John Hart 

Down River is the winner of the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Novel. 
Everything that shaped him happened near that river... Now its banks 
are filled with lies and greed, shame, and murder. In Down River, Hart 
makes a scorching return to Ro-wan County, where he drives his characters 
to the edge. acquitted of a murder charge, Adam is hounded out of 
the only home he's ever known, exiled for a sin he did not commit. For 
five long years he disappears, fades into the faceless gray of New York 
City. Now he's back and nobody knows why, not his family or the cops, 
not the enemies he left behind. But Adam has his reasons. Within hours 
of his re-turn, he is beaten and accosted, confronted by his family and 
the women he still holds dear. No one knows what to make of Adam's 
return, but when bodies start turning up, the small town rises against 
him and Adam again finds himself em-broiled in the fight of his life, not 
just to prove his own innocence, but to reclaim the only life he's ever 
wanted. Bestselling author John Hart holds nothing back as he strips his 
characters bare. Secrets explode, emotions tear, and more than one person crosses the brink into 
deadly behavior as he examines the lengths to which people will go for money, family, and revenge. 
Hart holds nothing back as he strips his characters bare. Secrets explode, emotions tear, and more 
than one person crosses the brink into deadly behavior as he examines the lengths to which people 
will go for money, family, and revenge. A powerful, heart-pounding thriller, Down River will haunt 
your thoughts long after the last page is turned.


From preeminent math personality and author of The Joy of x, a 
brilliant and end-lessly appealing explanation of calculus – how it 
works and why it makes our lives immeasurably better. Without 
calculus, we wouldn’t have cell phones, TV, GPS, or ultrasound. 
We wouldn’t have unraveled DNA or discovered Neptune or figured 
out how to put 5,000 songs in your pocket. Though many of 
us were scared away from this essential, engrossing subject in high 
school and college, Steven Strogatz’s brilliantly creative, down to 
earth history shows that calculus is not about complexity; it’s about 
simplicity. It harnesses an unreal number—infinity—to tackle real 
world problems, breaking them down into easier ones and then 
reas-sembling the answers into solutions that feel miraculous. 
Infinite Powers recounts how calculus tantalized and thrilled its 
inventors, starting with its first glimmers in ancient Greece and 
bringing us right up to the discovery of gravitational waves (a phenomenon 
predicted by calculus). Strogatz reveals how this form 
of math rose to the challenges of each age: how to determine the 
area of a circle with only sand and a stick; how to explain why 
Mars goes “backwards” sometimes; how to make electricity with 
magnets; how to ensure your rocket doesn’t miss the moon; how to turn the tide in the fight against 
AIDS. As Strogatz proves, calculus is truly the language of the universe. By unveiling the principles 
of that language, Infinite Powers makes us marvel at the world anew. The 3 reviews are from Amazon.

All Things By Jeff Brown


Mushrooms are a much-loved ingredient in cuisines around the world. They are nutritious and especially 
rich in antioxidants, which protect cell health. Edible mushrooms both cultivated and wild 
species contain a high amount of dietary fi-ber, antioxidants, and protein, as well as vitamins and 
minerals. New research has found that people who integrate mushrooms into their diets even if they 
only con-sume them in small portions appear to have a lower risk of mild cognitive impair-ment 
(MCI), which often precedes Alzheimer's . As to the kinds of mushrooms, the study included four of 
the most commonly eaten varieties: golden, oyster, shii-take and white button. Mushrooms are rich 
in ergothioneine, which the human body can’t produce on its own, so it’s at least plausible that this 
compound is part of the story. Since mushrooms are already well studied for their nutrient profiles 
and possible links to supporting cell health and immunity, there’s plenty to dig in-to here and no 
doubt more findings to come.


Dear Sierra Madre Playhouse Friends and Family,

We have a real treat for you the next two weekends with our co-
production of Doris & Me, Scott Dreier's sentimental journey of the 
music and films of an American Icon, Doris Day. Scott Dreier calls 
the award-winning show he created, One Man's Obsession with Doris 

She should be equally recognized for the Doris Day Animal Foundation 
supporting animal welfare worldwide. Some of the Pasadena 
Humane Society's lucky rescue dogs will be serenaded during a live Facebook feed at each performance. 
Join us. It should be a great evening of easy entertainment.



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