Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 19, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 12

Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 19, 2022 


Dear Savvy Senior,
A while back I saw an article on different ways to scatter a person’s ashes after they’re cremated, but I’ve misplaced 
it. Can you help me with this? I’m preplanning my funeral and would like to include instructions on 
what to do with my remains that my family will appreciate. Planning Ahead 

Dear Planning:
There’s no shortage of options when it comes to 
handling or disposing of your cremated remains 
after you’re gone. Your family can keep, bury or 
scatter them in a variety of imaginative ways that 
reflect your life and personality. Here are some different 
options to consider. 

Scatter them: The most popular option is to have 
your ashes scattered at a location you loved to be i.e., a favorite fishing spot, camping area, golf 
course, beach, park or at home. If you choose this route, keep in mind that some places, such as 
national parks, require a permit. And many public areas, like parks or sports stadiums may prohibit 

Store them at home: Many families choose to keep their loved ones close, by storing them at home. 
If you and your family choses this option, you can purchase a decorative urn through your funeral 
provider or online at Or you may want to use an old cookie jar or favorite container 
that reminds your family of you. 

Bury/inter them: The burial option is good if you wish to have a special place for your family to 
visit. This is also the only option for cremated ashes sanctioned by the Catholic Church, which 
specifies that ashes of the dead should be kept in sacred places like a cemetery or a columbarium 
and not kept at home or scattered. 

Plant them: If you’re the environmental type, you can have your ashes planted with a tree. There 
are companies that offer living urns – like or – that mix your 
ashes with other nutrients that can be used to grow a plant or tree in your yard or a place of your 

Scatter them at sea: If you love the water, there are many businesses that offer ash scattering services 
at sea, especially close to coastal areas, or your family could rent a boat and do it themselves. 
There are also companies like that offer reef memorials so your ashes can rest 
on the ocean floor. 

Scatter them by air: This option will scatter your ashes into the sky so the particles can be taken 
by the wind. To do this, they could hire a private plane, helicopter or hot air balloon service, or 
use a balloon scattering service like Or they could even send your ashes into outer 
space with 

Turn them into a record: If you love music, a UK company called Vinlyly ( will 
turn your ashes into a vinyl record. You supply the music (or voice recording) and cover image, 
and the company creates a memorial that your family can listen to for years to come. 

Turn them into jewelry or glass: If you love jewelry or glass trinkets, there are companies – like, and – that will turn your ashes into 
wearable jewelry or glass art memorials. 

Go out with a bang: If you’re a hunter or a gun lover, a company called Holy Smoke (MyHolySmoke.
com) will create loaded ammunition out of cremated remains. Your family could store the ammo 
in the engraved wooden box it comes in, or they can send you off in a gun salute. 

Turn them into art: If you love art, arrange for an artists or family member to paint your portrait, 
or a picture, with some of your ashes mixed into the paint. Or, if your family is into tattoos, many 
tattoo artists will mix some ashes with ink to create a memorial tattoo. 

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. 


 By Marc Garlett 


Unless you’ve created a proper estate plan, when you die many of your 

assets must first pass through the court process known as probate before 

those assets can be distributed to your heirs. Like most court proceed

ings, probate is time-consuming, costly, and open to the public, and because 
of this, avoiding probate—and keeping your family out of court—is a central goal of most 
estate planning. 

During probate, the court supervises several different legal actions, all of which are aimed at 
finalizing your affairs and settling your estate. Although each case is unique, probate typically 
consists of the following processes: 

Determining the validity of your will (if you have one).
Appointing an executor or administrator to manage the probate process and settle your 
Locating and valuing all your assets.
Notifying & paying your creditors.
Filing & paying your taxes.
Distributing your assets to the appropriate beneficiaries. 

In most cases, going through these steps is painful for the people you love. Probate is expensive, 
takes substantial time and energy, will be highly inconvenient at the least, and often gets downright 

When Probate Is Required 

Without a proper estate plan in place, your assets must likely go through probate before they can 
be distributed to your heirs. In general, this includes those individuals who have no estate plan at 
all, those whose estate plan consists of a will alone, and those who have a defective, ineffective, or 
improper living trust in place. 

California does allow estates with value of $166,250 or less to bypass probate and use an abbreviated 
process to settle the estate. In those cases, beneficiaries can claim the estate’s assets using 
simpler legal actions, such as by filing an affidavit or other forms. 

If you die without a will, it’s known as dying intestate, and in such cases, probate is required to pay 
your debts and distribute your assets. However, since you haven’t expressed how you wish your 
estate to be divided among your heirs, your assets will be distributed to your closest living relatives 
based on California’s intestate succession laws. These laws give priority to spouses, children, 
and parents, followed by siblings and grandparents, and then more distant relatives. If no living 
heirs can be found, then your assets go to the state. 

If you die with a will, if that’s all you have, it’s known as dying testate. Dying testate also triggers 
probate. The difference is that your will names who you want to oversee your estate (rather than 
leaving it up to the courts to decide), generally waives bond for that person (otherwise the courts 
are likely to require your representative to post a bond as part of the proceeding) and designates 
who will receive your assets at the end of the probate process. 

Finally – and this happens all too often – there are people who spend the time, effort and money 
to set up a living trust in order to avoid probate for their loved ones, but the trust was defective, 
ineffective, or improper on one or more levels. Those cases often end up in probate or worse – 
even costlier litigation. 

Keep Your Family Out of Court & Out of Conflict 

One of your primary goals when creating an estate plan is to keep your family out of court and 
out of conflict no matter what happens. Yet, as you can see, many estates fall woefully short of that 
goal, leaving loved ones stuck in an unnecessary, expensive, time-consuming, and public court 

Fortunately, it’s possible to spare your family the burden of probate with proactive, proper planning. 
If you haven’t begun that process yet, stop procrastinating. If you have a plan in place but 
haven’t reviewed it within the last few years, call your attorney go over your plan with him or her 
so you can catch anything which might have changed or become out of date. A little effort on your 
part now can save your loved ones from an enormous effort later. 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …March Birthdays* 

Cathy Flammer, Clare Marquardt, Karen Blachly, Carla Duplex, Ella 
Guttman, Viky Tchatlian, Mary Cooper, Sun Liu, Helen Wallis, Joan 
Crow, Nancy Fox, Martha Cassara, Rita Johnson, Sharon Murphy, Heather 
Sheets, Mercedes Campos, Dorothy Webster,Terri Elder, Carol Cerrina, 
Amy Putnam, Sally Contreras 
* To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 
626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not required 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


As old as I am, and I ex

pect to get as old as pos

sible, I have noticed that I 

see things differently than 
I did a few years ago. I’m not sure if my 
vision has changed or my perspective. 
But one thing is certain; something has 

A lot of things are very aggravating in my 
life. When I think I got them all lined up, 
I find something more aggravating than 
all of them put together. I guess that’s just 
the way life is and there is nothing I can 
do about that. 

One of the most aggravating things in my 
life is the mirror in my bathroom. 

I would like to know who it was that invented 
the mirror and I would like to give 
him a piece of my mind, if I have any 
pieces left. A few things may be okay with 
the mirror, but my mirror is terrible from 
my current perspective. 

The other morning it dawned on me. I 
walked into the bathroom, glanced at my 
mirror, and laughed. At first, I did not 
know what I was laughing at until I reexamined 
my mirror. 

That morning, the image in that mirror 
was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long 

There this person was, hair going in every 
direction, at least the hair that was 
left, and wrinkles all over the face to such 
an extent I could not recognize the face. 
So I just busted out laughing for all I was 

I guess it’s good to start each day with 
laughter. If I’m having a good day, I can 
measure it by my laughter. 

The more I looked at the image in the 
mirror, the more I began to see something 
familiar. Then, all at once, I gasped 
and said, “Oh, my goodness. That’s me!” 

When that dawned on me, I realized that 
either the mirror was crazy or I was. For 
the record, I believe it was the mirror that 
was crazy. 

Looking at the reflection in the mirror, 
I said to myself that nobody, I mean 
nobody, could look that crazy even in 
the morning after a night of dreaming 

I know some people, especially those living 
under our roof, believe that the mirror 
is very truthful in its reflection. So 
what you see in that mirror is what is absolutely 

I don’t think I’m the only one to suspicion 
the legitimacy of the bathroom mirror. 
After all, it’s in that bathroom 24 hours a 
day every day, so what does it do during 
all of that time? What is it seeing? 

Thinking about this, I thought it might be 

good to put some blinds on my bathroom 
mirror only to use it when I want to use it. 
Who knows what that bathroom mirror 
is seeing all day long. So how do I know 
that that mirror has not crossed the line 
somewhere into crazyville? 

The thing that I thought about the other 
day was, is the reflection I see in that mirror 
what other people see when I’m on 
the outside? I certainly hope not. 

That bathroom mirror is very judgmental. 
And by that, I mean, it only sees me 
on the outside and defines me by my outer 
appearance. It doesn’t see the inside of 
me, which would make all the difference 
in the world. 

I thought maybe I should talk this over 
with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage; 
is my mirror lying to me? 

The danger of that is, what if she agreed 
with my mirror? What if she told me that 
what I see in the mirror is what other 
people on the outside are seeing as well? 

Of course, it could explain why so many 
people laugh when they see me coming. 
Up to this point, I thought they were 
laughing because they enjoyed my company. 
What if it’s not that? 

The other morning the wife went shopping, 
so I thought I would try an experiment. 
I would go into my bathroom, look 
in my mirror, and then go into her bathroom 
and look in her mirror to see any 

Imagine my disappointment when my 
wife’s mirror reflected the same image 
that my bathroom mirror did. I think 
those two mirrors are in cahoots with one 
another, and this reflection proves it. 

Another thought was to take a picture of 
me when I was young and have it blown 
up to the size of the mirror and put it on 
my mirror. Then, every morning, when I 
looked into the mirror, I would see a very 
young version of myself. 

I went as far as to pick out the picture I 
would use for my bathroom mirror. 

I’ve been thinking of many ways to trick 
my mirror into getting a better image of 
myself when I get up in the morning. So 
far, nothing has worked, and I still have 
that old man in the mirror looking back 
at me laughing. 

I couldn’t help but think of a verse of 
Scripture, “Woe unto them that are wise 
in their own eyes, and prudent in their 
own sight!” (Isaiah 5:21). 

Sometimes my sight is wrong and what 
I’m seeing is not reality. I discovered that 
God leads me down a path I’m unfamiliar 
with, and I can’t see the next step; I cannot 
judge how I’m going by my sight. 

I simply need to trust God. 

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