Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 26, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page A:10

Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 26, 2022 


Dear Savvy Senior: 

I need to find someone honest and reliable to look after my estate, health and long-term care when I’m no longer 
able to do it myself. I’m a 67-year-old recent widow with no children and one sibling I rarely talk to. Any suggestions? 
Solo Ager 

Dear Solo: 
This is big concern for millions of older Americans 
who don’t have a spouse, children or other family they 
can depend on to watch out for their well-being. While 
there’s no one solution to this issue, here are some tips 
and resources that can help you plan ahead. 

Essential Documents 
If you haven’t already done so, your first step, before 
choosing a reliable deci-sion maker, is to prepare a basic 
estate plan of at least four essential legal docu-ments. This will protect yourself and make sure you’re wishes 
are carried out if you become seriously ill or when you die. 

These essential documents include: a “durable power of attorney” that allows you to designate someone to 
handle your financial matters if you become inca-pacitated; an “advanced health care directive” that includes 
a “living will” that tells your doctor what kind of care you want to receive if you become incapaci-tated, and 
a “health care power of attorney,” which names a person you author-ize to make medical decisions on your 
behalf if you’re unable to; and a “will” that spells out how you’d like your property and assets distributed 
after you die. It also requires you to designate an “executor” to ensure your wishes are carried out. 

To prepare these documents your best option is to hire an attorney, which can cost anywhere between $500 
and $2,000. Or, if you are interested in a do-it-yourself plan, Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2022 ($199, Nolo.
com) and ($179) are some top options. 

Choosing Decision Makers & HelpersMost people think first of naming a family member as their power of attorney for finances and health care, 
or executor of their will. If, however, you don’t have someone to fill those roles, you may want to ask a 
trusted friend or associate but be sure to choose someone that’s organized and younger than you who will 
like-ly be around after you’re gone. 

Also be aware that if your choice of power of attorney or executor lives in anoth-er state, you’ll need to check 
your state’s law to see if it imposes any special re-quirements. 

If, however, you don’t have a friend or relative you feel comfortable with, you’ll need to hire someone who 
has experience with such matters. 

To find a qualified power of attorney or executor for your will, contact your bank, a local trust company or 
an estate planning attorney. If you need help lo-cating a pro, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys 
( is a great resource that provides online directory to help you find someone in your area. 

Another resource that can help you manage and oversee your health and long-term care needs as they arise, 
and even act as your health care power of attor-ney, is an aging life care manager. These are trained professionals 
in the area of geriatric care who often have backgrounds in nursing or social work. To search for an 
expert near you, visit 

Or, if you need help with bill paying and other financial/insurance/tax chores there are professional daily 
money managers (see that can help. 

Aging life care managers typically charge between $75 and $200 per hour, while hourly rates for daily money 
managers range between $75 and $150. 

It’s also important to note that if you don’t complete the aforementioned legal documents and you become 
incapacitated, a court judge may appoint a guardian to make decisions on your behalf. That means the care 
you receive may be total-ly different from what you would have chosen for yourself. 

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 

with an attorney who will help you create – a com-
proper estate plan, when 

prehensive asset inventory, and make sure this invenyou 
die many of your 

tory stays updated throughout your lifetime. 
assets must first pass 
through the court pro-

In the case of real estate, the executor is required to 
cess known as probate before those assets can be dis-

ensure that your mortgage, homeowners insurance, 
tributed to your heirs. Like most court proceedings, 

and property taxes are paid while probate is ongoprobate 
is time-consuming, costly, and open to the 

ing. These and all other debts can be paid from your 
public, and because of this, avoiding probate—and 

estate. Once all your assets have been located, the ex-
keeping your family out of court—is a central goal of 

ecutor must determine their value, which is typically 
most estate planning. 

done using financial statements and/or appraisals. 

From there, the combined value of all your assets is 
How Probate Works 

used to estimate the total value of your estate. 
How probate begins depends on whether you have a 
valid will in place at the time of death. A will allows 

4. Notifying & Paying Your Creditors: To ensure all 
you to appoint an executor for your estate, waive 
your outstanding debts are paid before your assets 
bond for that person, and name your beneficiaries 

are distributed, the executor must notify all your 
and what they will receive. Without a will, or the will 

creditors of your death. In California, any unknown 
is deemed invalid, the Court determines those de

creditors can be notified by publishing a death notice 
tails. Otherwise, the probate process itself plays out 

with your local newspaper. 
similarly, regardless of a will or not. 

Creditors typically have four months after being no

1. Authenticating the Validity of Your Will: Followtified 
to make claims against your estate. The execuing 
your death, your executor is responsible for filing 

tor can challenge any creditor claims he or she con-
your will and death certificate with the court, and 

siders invalid, and in turn, the creditor can petition 
this initiates the probate process. From there, the 

the court to rule on whether the claim must be paid. 
court must authenticate your will to ensure it was 

From there, valid creditor claims are then paid. The 
properly created and executed in accordance with 

executor will use your estate funds to pay all your 
state law, and this may involve a court hearing. 

final bills, including any outstanding medical and 

funeral expenses. 
Notice of the hearing must be given to all the beneficiaries 
named in your will, along with all potential 

5. Filing & Paying Your Taxes: In addition to pay-
heirs who would stand to inherit under state law in 
ing all your outstanding private debts, the executor is 
the absence of a will. This hearing gives these in-

also responsible for filing and paying any outstanddividuals 
the opportunity to contest the validity of 

ing taxes you owe at the time of death. This includes 
your will on the grounds that it was improperly ex-

personal income and capital-gains taxes, as well as 
ecuted (signed and witnessed) as required by state 

any state and federal estate taxes due. 
law, or that you were unduly influenced or coerced 
into signing the will. If such a contest is successful, 

That said, the federal estate tax exemption is cur-
the court declares your will invalid, which effectively 

rently set at $11.7 million for individuals and $23.4 
means you died without a will. 

million for married couples, so most families won’t 

have to worry about estate taxes (and for those who 

2. Appointing the Executor or Administrator: If your 
do exceed that threshold, there are several stratewill 
is validated, the court must formally appoint 

gies you can use to reduce the size of your estate to 
the person you named in your will as your execu

avoid these taxes). Any taxes due are paid from estate 
tor before they can legally act on your behalf. If you 

funds. In some cases, this may require liquidating as-
died without a will, the court would appoint some-

sets to raise the needed cash. 
one—typically your closest living relative—to serve 
in this role, known as your personal representative 

6. Distribution Of Your Remaining Assets: Once the 
or administrator. 
court confirms all of your debts and taxes have been 

paid—which typically requires the executor to file an 
In some cases, the court might require your executor 

accounting of all transactions he or she engaged in 
to post a bond before they can serve. The bond func

during the probate process—the executor can petitions 
as an insurance policy to reimburse the estate 

tion the court for authorization to distribute the 
in the event the executor makes a serious error dur

remaining assets in your estate to the beneficiaries 
ing probate that financially damages the estate. 

named in your will, or according to state intestate 
succession laws, if you didn’t have a will. 

3. Locating & Valuing Your Assets: Once probate 
begins, the executor must identify, locate, and take 
Once all assets have been distributed, the executor 
possession of all your assets, so the value of your es-

must file a petition with the court to close probate. 
tate can be protected and maintained. Any assets the 

If all creditors and taxes have been paid, your assets 
executor is unable to locate will end up in our State 

have been distributed, and there are no other outController's 
Office (SCO). In California, more than 

standing issues to be addressed, the court will issue 
$8 billion (yes, that’s billion with a ‘b’) of assets are 

an order formally closing the estate and terminating 
unclaimed property held by the SCO. Fortunately, 

the executor’s appointment. 
this is easy to prevent when you create – or work 


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 


When it comes to shopping, I am three coupons short of sanity. I have 
never liked going shopping unless it has to do with books. Then I’m on 
my turf.
When first married, I did go grocery shopping once but have never since 
been asked to do it again. I don’t want to know the reason; I will just accept the situation.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is a different story, and is why I call her the BOGO 
Queen. She has earned this title a thousand times.
It took me a long time to understand what the word BOGO meant, then the wife explained 
it to a leader like me, Buy One Get One.
If anybody knows anything about BOGO, it is my wife. Her whole shopping agenda is 
based upon this. She will never buy one thing if she can get a second one for free. I like that 
sort of thing. Any-thing that is “free” is okay with me.
She will search several times a week for these BOGO coupons on her computer. Every once 
in a while, I will hear her say, “That’s what I’m looking for.” Then I will hear several clicks, 
and soon the printer will be printing out dozens of coupons for the day.
She knows every store within 100 miles and their inventory and when they are going to 
have a BOGO sale. I understand she knows that by searching the Internet. She knows what 
BOGO coupon to print and where to go to find them and then where to use them.
The only thing that worries me is when she says, “Honey, could I borrow your truck for 
the day?”
That’s not good news on any level. But then I have a hard time saying no. You can suspect 
the out-come. That’s why I never keep my fuel tank full just in case. If she uses it she has to 
put gas in it. That’s not BOGO that is BINGO.
I must confess that I do have an ice cream fetish. I need to have ice cream at the end of 
the day or the day is not complete. My favorite ice cream is the one I’m eating at the time.
I’m delighted to say there is enough ice cream in the refrigerator to last two months because 
of these BOGO coupons. But, of course, I could speed up my eating and bring it 
down to one month. Nobody would know.
If I am in need of anything, say aftershave, all I need to do is mention the fact that I am 
out of af-tershave. Within the next 10 minutes, the BOGO Queen will have found a dozen 
BOGO aftershave coupons for her next trip to the store.
Our cupboards are filled with all kinds of groceries and food items in other things of which 
I have no idea. 
Recently, when the BOGO Queen was out coupon shopping, I ran across a cache of cookies 
hiding in one of the cupboards. It was a “happy dance” moment for me. Then, with a 
great deal of cau-tion, I opened one box and took out a cookie.
I surely enjoyed that cookie, knowing that nobody knew that I was enjoying that cookie.
About an hour later, the BOGO Queen came home and put her shopping bags on the 
kitchen table. 
She stopped for a moment, looked at me rather curiously, and said, “You did not find the 
cookies, did you?”
How she knew I found them, I will never know. I tried to stutter and change the subject 
and deny everything. But nothing worked.
Then I came up with an idea.
“You bought those cookies with a. BOGO coupon, right?”
I smiled as I asked the question.
She looked at me and said, “Yes, I think you’re right.” And she smiled as she was telling me 
“I,” replying very cautiously, “only ate the free one.” 
She smiled a rather curious smile at me and did not know what to say.
Whoever came up with this BOGO idea, I would like to congratulate them. And there are 
several reasons why.
First of all, it keeps my wife busy following through with all these BOGO coupons. How 
she can find so many at any given time is beyond my imagination. But, she does and 
spends quite a bit of time finding the coupon and then going to the stores and purchasing 
those BOGO products.
It’s hard to imagine how much money she has saved us these many years.
Second, anything that is free will find welcoming arms with me. I love things that are free 
as long as they really are free. I love things that occupy my wife in a very positive way. And 
boy, does she do a good job in this area.
As I was going over this, I thought of a very special Bible verse.
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, 
and run-ning over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye 
mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38). 

A generous spirit does have its rewards. What I have is a reflection of what I have given. I 
have discovered that the more I give the more I get. Of course, if I only give to get I have 
the wrong attitude. 

Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 
1-352-216-3025, e-mail Website is www.jamessnyderministries.

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