Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 8, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 12


Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 8, 2022 



Dear Savvy Senior:

Are there any tax breaks that you know of for family caregivers? I help financially support my 82-year-old 
mother and would like to find out if I can write any of these expenses off on my taxes. Supplemental Sam

Dear Sam:

There are actually several tax credits and deductions available to adult children who help look after their 
aging parents or other relatives. Here are some options 
along with the IRS requirements to help you determine 
if you’re eligible to receive them.

Tax Credit for Other Dependents

If your mom lives with you and you’re paying more than 
50 percent of her living expenses (housing, food, utilities, 
health care, repairs, clothing, travel and other necessities), 
and her 2021 gross income was under $4,300, 
you can claim your mom as a dependent and get a nonrefundable tax credit of up to $500.

If you happen to split your mom’s expenses with other siblings, only one of you can claim your mom as a 
dependent, and that person must pay at least 10 percent of her support costs. This is called a “multiple support 

The IRS has an interactive tool that will help you determine if your mom qualifies as a dependent. Go to IRS.
gov/help/ita, scroll down to “Credits,” and click on “Does My Child/Dependent Qualify for the Child Tax 
Credit or the Credit for Other Dependents?”

Medical Deductions

If you claim you mom as a dependent and you help pay her medical, dental and/or long-term care expenses, 
and weren’t reimbursed by insurance, you can deduct the expenses that are more than 7.5 percent of your 
adjusted gross income (AGI).

So, for example, if your adjusted gross income is $80,000, anything beyond the first $6,000 of your mom’s 
medical bills – or 7.5 percent of your AGI – could be deductible on your return. So, if you paid $8,000 in 
medical bills for her, $2,000 of it could be deductible. You can also include your own medical expenses in 
calculating the total.

You should also know that your state might have a lower AGI threshold, which means you might get a break 
on your state income taxes even if you can’t get one on your federal income taxes.

To see which medical expenses you can and can’t deduct, see IRS Publication 502 at

Dependent Care Credit

If you’re paying for in-home care or adult day care for your mom so you are free to work, you might qualify 
for the Dependent Care Tax Credit which can be worth as much as $4,000.

To be eligible your mom must have been physically or mentally incapable of self-care and must have lived 
with you for more than six months. To claim this tax credit, fill out IRS Form 2441 (
f2441.pdf) when you file your federal return.

Flexible Health Savings Accounts

If you have a health savings account (HSA) or your employer offers a flexible savings account (FSA), you can 
use them to pay for your mom’s medical expenses if she qualifies as a dependent. But be aware that if you use 
an HSA or FSA to pay for your mom’s medical costs, you can’t take a tax deduction on those expenses too.

For more information, see IRS Publication 969, “Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health 
Plans” at

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! …January Birthdays*

Gerald Day, Mary Tassop, Judy Webb-Martin, John Johnson, Mary 
Bickel, Marlene Enmark, Shirley Wolf, Ross Kellock, Ruth Wolter, Sandy 
Thistlewaite, Bobbi Rahmanian, Fran Syverson, Judy Zaretzka and Becky 

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



 In house lunch dining service will not resume at this time. Access to the computer/
classroom is temporarily unavailable. All Classes and programs will maintain a distance 
of 6 ft between participants. All equipment used will be sanitized after each 
use before it is stored. Each participant is responsible for providing their own water, 
masks and additionally needed supplies for each class. Please call the Community 
Services Department at 355-7394 with any questions or concerns. 

DOMINOES TRAIN GAME- Wed. 1/5 & 1/19, 11:00 am— 12:30 pm, Hart Park House

The object of the game is for a player to play all the tiles from their hand onto one or more 
trains, emanating from a central hub or “station”. Call Lawren with questions that you may 
have. Led by volunteer Loni.

PAINT PALS - Tuesday, 1/11 & 1/25, 10:00 am, Hart Park House

If you enjoy painting, sketching, water color, or making some other form of artistic creation 
please join our new program, PAINT PALS!!! Bring a project that you are working on to the 
HPH and enjoy some quality art time with other artists looking to paint with a new pal.

BOOK CLUB - Wednesday, 1/11 & 1/18, 9:00 am, Hart Park House

Staff has launched a new book club series, Tea and Talk, which meets twice a month to discuss 
the fun, suspense, intrigue, love and so much more that each selection will have in store!

FIBER FRIENDS - Tuesday, 1/4 & 1/18, 10:00 am, Hart Park House 

If you enjoy knitting, crocheting, embroidery, needlepoint, bunka, huck, tatting or cross stitch 
then we have a group for you! Bring your current project, a nonalcoholic beverage, then sit 
and chat with like-minded fiber friends.

BLOOD PRESSURE - 2nd Tuesdays Monthly, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm 

No appointment is necessary. Held in the Hart Park House Senior Center.

TAX ASSISTANCE – Wednesday, 1:00 pm-2:00 pm, Hart Park House

Beginning February 2nd – April 6th, Don Brunner is available for income tax consultation. 
Appointments are required: Please call 626-355-5278 x704.

CHAIR YOGA - Every Monday and Wednesday, 10-10:45 am, Hart Park House

Please join us for some gentle stretching, yoga, balance exercise and overall relaxation with 
Paul. Classes are ongoing.

HULA AND POLYNESIAN DANCING – every Friday, 10-10:45 am, Hart Park House

Bring a lei, your flower skirt or just your desire to dance! Hula in the park is back and waiting 
for you to join the fun.

SENIOR CINEMA – Wednesday 1/12 and 1/26 beginning at 1:00 pm, Hart Park House

CRUELLA, PG-13 2h14m


For more information please call 

Lawren Heinz at 626-355-5278 or email


 By Marc Garlett



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


No matter how well you think you know your loved ones, it’s impossible to predict 
exactly how they’ll behave when you die or if you become incapacitated. 
No one wants to believe their family members would ever end up fighting one 
another in court over inheritance issues or a loved one’s life-saving medical treatment, but the fact is, we see 
it all the time.

Family dynamics are extremely complicated and prone to conflict even during the best of times. But when 
tragedy strikes a member of the household, even minor tensions and disagreements can quickly evolve into 
bitter conflict. And when access to money (or quite often, sentimental items of furniture or jewelry) is on the 
line, the potential for discord is exponentially increased. Ultimately, there is no greater cost to families than 
the cost of lost relationships after the death or incapacity of a loved one.

The good news is you can dramatically reduce the chances for conflict in your family by working with an 
experienced estate planning lawyer, who understands and can anticipate these dynamics. In fact, preventing 
family conflict is one of the primary reasons to work with a good attorney, to create your estate plan, rather 
than relying on do-it-yourself estate planning documents. 

By becoming aware of some of the leading causes of conflict over your estate plan, you’re in a better position 
to prevent those situations through effective planning. Though it’s impossible to predict how your loved ones 
will react to your estate plan, the following issues are among the most common catalysts for conflict.

Poor Fiduciary Selection

Many estate planning disputes occur when a person you’ve chosen to handle your affairs following your 
death or incapacity fails to properly carry out his or her responsibilities. Whether it’s as your power of attorney 
agent, executor, or trustee, these roles can entail a variety of different duties, some of which can last 
for years.

The individual you select, known as a fiduciary, is legally required to execute those duties and act in the best 
interests of the beneficiaries named in your plan. The failure to do either of those things is referred to as a 
breach of fiduciary duty.

The breach can be the result of the person’s deliberate action, or it could be something they do unintentionally 
by mistake. Either way, a breach—or even the perception of one—can cause real and understandable 
conflict between your loved ones. This is especially true if the fiduciary attempts to use the position for personal 
gain, or if the improper actions negatively impact the beneficiaries.

Common breaches include failing to provide required accounting and tax information to beneficiaries, improperly 
using estate or trust assets for the fiduciary’s personal benefit, making improper distributions, and 
failing to pay taxes, debts, and expenses owed by the estate or trust.

If a suspected breach occurs, beneficiaries can sue to have the fiduciary removed, recover any damages they 
incurred, and even recover punitive damages if the breach was committed out of malice or fraud.

Solution: Given the potentially immense responsibilities involved, you must be extremely careful when selecting 
your fiduciaries, and make sure everyone in your family knows why you chose the person you did, 
and that the person you choose knows how to do the job—and do it well. You should only choose the most 
honest, trustworthy, and diligent individuals, and be careful not to select those who might have potential 
conflicts of interest with beneficiaries.

Furthermore, it’s crucial that your estate planning documents contain clear terms spelling out a fiduciary’s 
responsibilities and duties, so the individual understands exactly what’s expected of him or her. And should 
things go awry, you can add terms to your plan that allow beneficiaries to remove and replace a fiduciary 
without going to court.

Prevent Disputes Before They Happen

The best way to deal with estate planning disputes is to do everything possible to make sure they never occur 
in the first place. This means working with an experienced estate planning lawyer to put planning strategies 
in place aimed at anticipating and avoiding common sources of conflict. Moreover, it means constantly reviewing 
and updating your plan to keep pace with your changing circumstances and family dynamics.

Next week, in part 2 of this series, we’ll look at another potential source of conflict among family members 
after you die – someone contesting your will and trust. Until then, have a great start to your 2022! 

If you had the opportunity 
to speak to the Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage, 
she would probably tell you 
that one of my strengths is forgetting. I'm not 
sure how far into the subject she would get.

When it comes to forgetting, I am outstanding 
on the back lawn, and my expertise in this 
area is beyond description.

There is nothing I cannot forget. Also, I can 
forget things that never happened. So please 
don't ask me how because I have forgotten.

Unfortunately, this aspect of my personality 
is not very favorable with the Gracious Mistress 
of the Parsonage. She, contrary to me, 
never forgets anything, and if she happens to 
forget something, it never happened.

Forgetting is not a matter of age, because I 
could forget many things when I was in first 
grade, like my homework. I told the teacher 
several times that my dog ate my homework, 
but I had forgotten that I did not have a dog 
at the time.

I'm not sure what I have missed out in life by 
forgetting this or that. It might be good not to 
know what I have forgotten.

One day this past week, I had been working 
hard all day, sweating like a pig and was worn 
out. It was towards the end of the afternoon, 
and the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
came in, looked at me and said, "Are you 
ready to go?"

That question caught me off guard because 
I had no idea what she was talking about. I 
thought she was joking, so I replied to her by 
saying, "I'm sorry, I'm already gone." Then I 

She looked at me and was not laughing, so I 
put two and two together and came up with 
the solution that I was in trouble. This is the 
one thing that I have not forgotten in our relationship. 
I always know when I'm in trouble. 
But for the life of me, and it was my life 
on the line, I couldn't figure out what she was 
talking about.

"Don't you remember we have an appointment 
this afternoon with some friends?"

I responded by saying, "I guess I have 

Looking at me, she scowled and said, "Hurry 
up; we have to leave in five minutes."

Another idea invaded my tiny gray cells, and 
that was, I had forgotten to take a bath after 
my workload this afternoon.

"But," I tried to explain to my wife, "I haven't 
taken a bath yet."

"I know," she said sarcastically, "I can smell it 
from here."

In my condition, it would take me over a half 
hour to shower. Then, another half hour to get 
dressed for the occasion. On my way to the 
bathroom, I realized I was in grave trouble.

Forgetting is not that serious. It's what you 
forget that makes the difference.

I forgot to take a bath that afternoon after my 
work session, and therefore I put my wife and 
myself in serious trouble with our friends.

We made up for it and worked everything 
out, thankfully.

There are other things that I forget that get 
me into trouble.

If I forget to brush my teeth some morning, it 
makes no difference. If I forget to shave one 
morning, that in itself doesn't make much of 
a difference. There are many things that I can 
forget that make no difference at all.

Looking back, I remember the first time 
I forgot our wedding anniversary. That is 
something that does make a difference. It was 
an expensive experience that I have never 

I found out that wives always remember anniversaries 
and special dates.

I can't forget her birthday because it is two 
days after my birthday. If she gets me a birthday 
card on my birthday and maybe a present, 
I have two days to get her birthday card 
and a present. That has worked out very well 
throughout the years.

The problem is, there is no reminder to me 
of our wedding anniversary. Yes, I do know 
when we were married, how in the world 
could I ever forget that? But, throughout the 
years, time goes by so fast that I forget it's our 
anniversary coming up.

Then there is the subject of our family's birthdays. 
I'm not sure, but I think someone in our 
family has a birthday every month, and I have 
no idea whose it is. I can't even remember our 
children's birthday.

The day they were born was a very special 
day, but I can't remember when it comes up 
after all these years.

Several years ago, I worked out a solution to 
this. I don't have to know whose birthday it 
is on any given month. My wife knows it exactly. 
She knows the day and the hour that all 
her relatives were born.

What I do at the beginning of each month is 
casually float a question to her, "Whose birthday 
is it this month?" Then I smile a very infection 
smile in her direction.

One time she smiled back at me and said, 
"This month is your birthday."

I thought about one of my favorite verses of 
Scripture. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and 
forget not all His benefits:" (Psalm 103:2).

I may forget many things, but I work hard at 
not forgetting God's benefits in my life. God’s 
benefits are the richest blessings I have in this 




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