Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 4, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 10



Mountain Views-News Saturday, May 4, 2019 


Dear Savvy Senior:

I have heard that the VA has a benefit that can 
help veterans and spouses with long-term care 
costs. We recently had to move my 86-year-old 
father – who served in the army nearly 60 years 
ago – into an assisted living facility, and my mom 
isn’t far behind. Can the VA help?

Seeking Aid 

Dear Seeking:

The Veterans Administration does indeed have a 
little-known, underutilized benefit that can help 
wartime veterans and their surviving spouses 
pay for a variety of long-term care costs. 

This benefit, called “Aid and Attendance,” is 
a special pension that’s paid in addition to a 
basic pension. It pays a maximum of $2,230 a 
month to married veterans; $1,881 a month to 
single veterans; or $1,209 a month to a surviving 
spouse. The money is tax free, and can be used to 
pay for in-home care, assisted living and nursing 
home care. 

Today, only around 230,000 veterans and 
survivors receiving Aid and Attendance, but 
millions more are eligible and either don’t know 
about it, or don’t think they can qualify for it. 

Eligibility Requirements 

To qualify, your dad must have served at least 
90 days of active military service with at least 
one day of service during a period of war, and 
not have been discharged dishonorably. Single 
surviving spouses of wartime vets are eligible if 
their marriage ended due to death. 

In addition, your dad will also have to meet 
certain thresholds for medical and financial 
need to be eligible. 

To qualify medically he must be either disabled, 
or over the age of 65 and need help with basic 
everyday living tasks such as eating, dressing, 
bathing or going to the bathroom. Being blind 
or in a nursing home or assisted living facility 
due to mental disability also qualifies him. Single 
surviving spouses have no age restrictions, but 
they must require help with basic everyday 
living tasks to be eligible.

To qualify financially, your parents must have 
limited assets, under $127,061, excluding 
their home, vehicle and personal belongings. 
And their annual income (minus medical and 
long-term care expenses) cannot exceed the 
Maximum Allowable Pension Rate (MAPR), 
which in 2019 is $26,766 for a veteran and their 
spouse; $22,577 for a single veteran; and $14,509 
for a surviving spouse. 

To calculate your parent’s income qualifications, 
add up their income over the past year (including 
Social Security, pensions, interest income from 
investments, annuities, etc.), minus any out-of-
pocket medical expenses, prescription drugs, 
insurance premiums and long-term care costs 
over that same period of time. If the final tally 
is under the MAPR, and he meets the other 
requirements, he should be eligible for aid. 

How to Apply

To learn more, or to apply for Aid and 
Attendance, contact your regional VA benefit 
office (see 
or call 800–827–1000) where you can apply 
in person. You can also apply by writing the 
Pension Management Center for your state (see 
You’ll need to include evidence, like VA Form 
21-2680 ( which your dad’s 
doctor can fill out that shows his need for Aid 
and Attendance. 

If you need some help, you can appoint a 
Veteran Service Officer (VSO), a VA-accredited 
attorney or claims agent to represent your dad. 
to locate someone. 


If your dad is eligible, it will take between six and 
12 months for his application to be processed, so 
be patient. 

You should also know that if your dad’s Aid and 
Attendance application is approved, the VA will 
send a lump sum retroactive payment covering 
the time from the day you filed the application 
until the day it was approved. Then your dad 
receives monthly payments going forward.

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! …May Birthdays*

Joann Serrato-Chi, Harriett Lyle, Jean Coleman, Birgitta Gerlinger, Donna Mathieson, 
Luciana Rosenzweig, Linda Wochnik, Marian Woodford, Debbie Sheridan, Joanne 
Anthony, Carole Axline, Kika Downey, Shirley Hall, Annie Scalzo, Janet Ten Eyck, Jane 
Thomas, Ray Burley.

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


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

Hawaiian & Polynesian Dance Class: Every Tuesday Morning from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. 
Join the class with Instructor Barbara Dempsey as she leads you in the art of Hula!

Bingo Time: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00 p.m. Cards are only $0.25 each! Everyone is welcome to play! Activity may 
be canceled if there are less than five people.

Free Blood Pressure Testing: 2nd Tuesdays Monthly from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

Brain Games: Every third Thursday of the month at 12:45-1:45pm Join us for Scattergories, a creative thinking game by 
naming objects within a set of categories; or Jenga, a block-building challenge that keeps you stacking and bal-ancing your 
tower. Everyone is welcome, and no experience is needed. A great way to strengthen your mind and make new friends... 
Games are facilitated by Senior Volunteers.

Free Legal Consultation: Wednesday, May 15th from 10:30 a.m. - Noon. Attorney Lem Makupson is available for legal 
consultation. Specializing in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates and Injury. Please call the Hart Park House for an 
appointment, 626-355-5278 ext. 704.

Senior Club: Meets Saturdays, Weekly at Hart Park House Brown Bag Lunch, great company and bingo at 11:30 a.m.

Chair Yoga: Mondays & Wednesdays 11:00 - 11:45 a.m. with Paul Hagen. Classes include Yoga and balance exercises. All 
ability levels are encouraged and welcomed!

Birthday Celebration: Every 2nd Thursday Monthly at the Hart Park House. Share free birthday cake and ice cream 
kindly provided by the Senior Community Commission!

Game Day: Every Thursday Monthly 12:00 Noon come into the Hart Park House and join a lively poker game with 

Free Strength Training Class: Fridays 12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. with Lisa Brandley.light weights, low impact resistance 
training and body conditioning. Class equipment provided.

Gentle Yoga for Active Seniors: Every Monday & Wednesday from 8:15 - 9:45 a.m. with Andrea Walsh at the Hart Park 
House. Classes include complete floor relaxation, standing and floor postures, balancing, and 

featuring extended meditations on the fourth Wednesdays of the month! 

Call (626)-355-5278 for more information.

Art with Kt - Wednesday, May 15th 1:00 - 2:00p.m.Watercolor florals, realistic and abstract techniques will be 
demonstrated. Reserve your spot today by calling 626-355-5278 x 704.

COMING SOON—TBD Grandparent to Grandparents: Please join a group of grandparents for an afternoon 
of learning, sharing and building community led by Community Services Commissioner Rowinsky. Call 355-
5278 for information.

May 15th “Mary Poppins Returns” PG 2hr 10 min. 

Decades after her original visit, the magical nanny returns to help the Banks siblings and 
Michael’s children through a difficult time.



 California Strawberry Festival (Oxnard) 

 Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019 Time: 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Cost: $20.00 

 Level of Walking: High **Lunch will be on your own **Bring money for lunch and souvenirs

The California Strawberry Festival is among the top festivals in the nation with over 50 food booths, 
contests, rides and attractions, over 200 arts & crafts vendors, concerts, celebrity chef demonstrations 
and family fun! Direct from the field to the festival, strawberries are the main ingredients for 
festival fun. A variety of lip-smacking favorites include: strawberry na ch os, strawberry pizza, 
straw-berry funnel cake, strawberry chimichangas, chocolate dipped strawberries, deep-fried 
strawberries, berry kabobs, strawberry tamales, strawberry shortcake, straw-berry beer, margaritas, 
smoothies and even strawberry popcorn. 

Want to get your groove on? Hot jamz, cool tunes, or just plain rockin’. We’ve got them all in a spectacular 
music lineup form some fantastic groups including bands back by your demand. It’s all happening 
throughout our 36th anniversary week-end. This year, we have not one, not two but three stages! That’s 
because last year we expanded the festival grounds by 50%. So now you have more elbow room to bob 
your head, tap your feet or dance your heart out. Close to 200 artists and craft-ers from across the 
nation showcase their original works with a festive array of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, children’s 
toys, accessories, photography, textiles, outdoor furniture, jewelry and more.

Non-Resident Registration begins May 2nd and last day to register May 17th.




Because getting divorced can be overwhelming on 
so many different levels, updating your estate plan 
often takes a back seat to other seemingly more-
pressing priorities. But failing to update your plan 
for divorce can have potentially tragic consequences, 
some of which you may have never considered before. 
In fact, this is something your divorce attorney 
probably won’t think to bring up, but it’s literally one 
of the most critical matters you need to handle if you’re 
ending your marriage. Last week, I discussed the first 
two estate planning changes you must make—updating 
your power of attorney documents and beneficiary 
designations—and today we’ll share the remaining 

3. Create a new will

You should create a new will as soon as you decide to get divorced, because once you file, you may not 
be able to change your will. Rethink how you want your assets divided upon your death. This most likely 
means naming new beneficiaries for any assets that you’d previously left to your future ex and his or her 
family. And unless it’s your wish, you’ll probably no longer want your ex—or any of his or her family—
listed as your will’s executor or administrator, either. 

 California has community-property statutes that entitle your surviving spouse to a certain percentage 
of the marital estate upon your death, regardless of what’s in your will. This means if you die before the 
divorce is final, you probably won’t be able to entirely disinherit your surviving spouse through the new 

 However, it’s almost certain you wouldn’t want him or her to get everything. Given this, you should 
update your will as soon as possible once divorce is inevitable to ensure the proper individuals inherit the 
remaining percentage of your estate should you pass away while your divorce is still ongoing.

4. Amend your existing trust or create a new one

If you have a revocable trust set up, you’ll want to review and update it, too. Like wills, 
the laws governing if, when, and how you can alter a trust during a divorce are complex. 
In addition to reconsidering what assets your ex-spouse should receive through the trust, 
you’ll probably want to replace him or her as a successor trustee if they are so designated. 
And if you don’t have a trust in place, you should seriously consider creating one, especially 
if you have minor children. Trusts provide a wide range of powers and benefits unavailable 
through a will, and they’re particularly well-suited for blended families. Given the likelihood 
that both you and your spouse will eventually get remarried—and perhaps have more children—
trusts are an invaluable way to protect and manage the assets you want your children to inherit. 
By using a trust, for example, should you die or become incapacitated while your kids are minors, you 
can name someone of your choosing to serve as successor trustee to manage their money until they reach 
adulthood, making it impossible for your ex to meddle with their inheritence. Beyond this key benefit, 
trusts afford you several other levels of enhanced protection and control not possible with a will. So you 
should at least discuss creating a trust with an experienced lawyer before ruling out the option entirely. 

5. Revisit your plan once your divorce is final

During the divorce process, your main planning concern is limiting your soon-to-be ex’s control over 
your life and assets should you die or become incapacitated before divorce is final. Given this, the 
individuals to whom you grant power of attorney, name as trustee, designate to receive your 401k, 
or add to your estate plan in any other way while the divorce is ongoing are often just temporary. 
Once the divorce is final and your marital property has been divided up, you should revisit all your estate 
planning documents and update them accordingly based on your new asset profile and living situation. 
From there, your plan should continuously evolve along with your life circumstances, particularly 
following major life events, such as getting remarried, having additional children, and/or when close 
family members pass away. Don’t wait; act now!

Even though divorce can be one of life’s most difficult transitions, it’s vital that you make the time to 
update your estate plan during this trying time. Meet with a trusted estate planning attorney to review 
your plan immediately upon realizing that divorce is unavoidable. 

 Putting off updating your plan, even for a few days, during a divorce can make it legally impossible to 
change certain parts of your plan, so act immediately. And if you’ve yet to create any estate plan at all, an 
impending divorce is the perfect time to finally take care of this crucial task. 

 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 for more information.


 A program aimed at helping families and other loved ones cope with anticipatory grief in cancer 
cases will be given at the Cancer Support Community-Pasadena on Tuesday June 4 2019 from 6.30 
p.m. to 8 p.m. The program is free of charge. 

 Jennifer R. Levin, a licensed therapist, will discuss how to identify anticipatory grief, and how to 
cope with the pain and losses associated with cancer.

 Location is the Cancer Support Community-Pasadena, 76 East Del Mar Blvd, Suite 215, Pasadena, 
Ca 91105. Reservations at 626-796-1083. www/

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