Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 28, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 12

Mountain Views-News Saturday, May 28, 2022 


Dear Savvy Senior: I recently saw a news segment on TV about a government funeral assistance program available 
to families who lost loved ones during the pandemic. What can you tell me about this? I lost my 78-year-old 
mother to COVID in 2021 and want to find out if I’m still eligible for any funeral funds, and if so, what I need 
to do to get them. Still Sad 

Dear Sad: 

I’m very sorry about the loss of your mother. The government 
program you are asking about is the COVID-
19 Funeral Assistance Program administered by the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency (or FEMA). 
This program is part of the American Rescue Plan, a 
stimulus package passed in 2021 in an effort to help the 
country financially manage amid the pandemic. 

This program, which has no end date, offers up to $9,000 to cover the cost of a funeral for someone who died 
of COVID-19 as far back as January 2020. 

Unfortunately, less than half the people believed eligible for funeral assistance have actually applied for it. 
Here’s what you should know about the program’s requirements and how to apply. 

Where to Start? 
To apply for COVID-19 funeral assistance, you must do it over the phone by calling FEMA at 844-684-6333, 
anytime Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. The application process takes about 
20 minutes. 

After you apply, FEMA will provide you an application number, which you may use to create an online account 
at if you choose. 

You will then need to submit supporting documents, including a death certificate for your mother, but it 
must state that her death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of ” COVID-19 or COVID19-
like symptoms. Her death must also have occurred in the U.S. on or after Jan. 20, 2020. 

If you don’t have this, you won’t be eligible. 

You’ll also need to submit proof of funeral expenses, such as itemized receipts, invoices or funeral home 

These supporting documents can be submitted either online (through your account), 
by mail (P.O. Box 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782) or via fax (855-261-3452). 

After the paperwork is received, it takes FEMA about 45 days to make an eligibility decision. 

Families who had multiple deaths due to the coronavirus can also apply. One family can receive up to $35,000 
across multiple funerals. 

Reimbursements can be used to cover any portion of funeral expenses including burial plots, caskets, preparation 
of the body, cremation, urns, clergy, services and headstones as well as costs related to state or local 
ordinances and producing death certificates. 

But be aware that pre-paid funerals are not eligible for reimbursements. Any payment made specifically for 
a funeral prior to death is considered a duplication and is not eligible. 

If FEMA approves your application, the funds will either be deposited into your bank account or sent by mail 
via check, usually within a few days of approval. 

If, however, you receive a letter from FEMA saying you’re ineligible, or if the amount awarded is not enough, 
you have the right to appeal within 60 days of FEMA’s decision letter. 

For more information on the COVID Funeral Assistance program, visit 

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 


If you are a mom or dad with children under the age of 18 at home, your 

number-one estate planning priority should be selecting and legally doc

umenting both long and short-term guardians for your kids. Guardians 
are the people legally named to care for your children in the event something happens to you. 

A Far Too Common Problem 

If you’ve only named guardians for your children in your will (the standard way most estate planners 
do it), your children could be vulnerable to being taken out of your home and placed in the 
care of strangers. This might be temporary, while the authorities figure out what to do, or they 
could even end up being raised to adulthood by someone you’d never choose. 

While it’s rare for something to happen to both parents of a minor child, it does occur, and the consequences 
are simply too severe to not take the few simple steps to select and legally name guardians 
the right way. Regardless of whether you own any other assets or wealth, it’s vital to complete 
this process immediately, so you know the ones you care about most—your kids—will always be in 
the care of people you’ve chosen, no matter what. 

What’s So Complicated About Naming Guardians? 

Naming and legally documenting guardians for your kids might seem like a straightforward process, 
but it entails several complexities most people simply do not think about. Even lawyers with 
decades of experience typically make at least one of six mistakes when naming long-term legal 

If you named legal guardians for your kids in your will—whether on your own using a do-ityourself 
(DIY) online document service or with the help of another lawyer—consider each of the 
following scenarios to see if you have a blind spot in your estate plan that would leave your kids 
at risk: 

Did you name back-up candidates in case your first choice of guardian is unable to serve? 
If so, how many back-ups did you name? 

If you named a married couple to serve and one of them is unavailable due to injury, death, 
or divorce, what happens then? Would it still be okay if only one of them can serve as your child’s 
guardian? And does it matter which one it is? 

What would happen if you became incapacitated by illness or injury and are unable to 
care for your kids? You might assume the guardians named in your will would automatically get 
custody, but did you know that a will only goes into effect upon your death and does nothing to 
protect your kids in the event of your incapacity? Have you created a guardianship plan that goes 
into effect if you become incapacitated? 

Do the guardians you named live far from your home? If so, how long would it take them 
to make it to your house to pick up your kids: a few hours, a few days, or even a few weeks? Who 
would care for your kids until those guardians arrive? Did you know that without legally binding 
arrangements for the immediate care of your children, may be placed in foster care until those 
named guardians arrive? 

Would your care providers know where to find your will and other legal documents if 
you didn’t make it home? If not, what would the authorities do while they tried to figure out who 
should care for your kids? 

If you named a family who live nearby as guardians, what happens if they are out of town 
or otherwise can’t get to your kids right away? 

Assuming the guardians you named can immediately get to your home to pick up your 
kids, do they know where your will is located? How will they prove they are the people you wanted 
named as your children’s legal guardians if they can’t find your estate planning documents? 

The Kids Protection Plan® 

These are just a few of the potential complications that can arise when naming legal guardians for 
your kids, whether in your will or as a stand-alone measure. And if just one of these contingencies 
were to occur, your children would needlessly suffer emotionally, even if just for a short period of 

If the idea of this is as frightening to you as it was to me when I discovered it, you should consider 
implementing a Kids Protection Plan® which provides parents of minor children with a wide array 
of legal planning tools—including legal documents to name short- and long-term guardians, 
instructions for those guardians, medical powers of attorney for your minor children, an ID card 
for your wallet, and much more—to make sure there is never a question about who will take care 
of your kids if you are in an accident or suffer some other life-threatening incident. 

 Marc Garlett, Esq. Cali Law Family Legacy Matters 626.355.4000 



Beth Copti, Marilyn Diaz, Anne Schryver, Jo Ann Williams, Paul Hagan, Lenore 
Crilly 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 

SIERRA MADRE SENIOR CLUB Every Saturday from 11:30am-3:30 pm in the 
Hart Park House Senior Center. Join us as we celebrate birthdays, holidays and pay 
BINGO. Must be 50+ to join. For more information call Mark at 626-355-3951. 

DOMINOES TRAIN GAME Wednesday, 5/18 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. 


Tuesday, 5/10 & 5/24, 10:30 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. 

TEA AND TALK SENIOR BOOK CLUB Tuesday, 5/25— 9:00 am 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 

FIBER FRIENDS Tuesday, 5/17 —10:00 am 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 
likeminded fiber friends. We meet in the Hart Park House 

BINGO Monday 5/16 1:00 pm- 2:00 pm Come on down to enjoy this time with 
friends. We are trying a new spin on BINGO fun so please bring your good luck 
charms and BINGO markers! 

CHAIR YOGA Every Monday and Wednesday, 10-10:45 am Please join us for some 
gentle stretching, yoga, balance exercise and overall relaxation with Paul. Classes are 
ongoing and held in the Memorial Park Covered Pavilion or the Hart Park House.. 

HULA AND POLYNESIAN DANCE Every Friday, 10-10:45 am Bring a lei, your 
flower skirt or just your desire to dance! Hula in the Park is back and waiting for you 
to join in on all the fun! Memorial Park Pavilion. 
MERMAIDS 1hr 50min An unconventional single mother relocates 
with her two daughters to a small Massachusetts town in 1963, where a number 
of events and relationships both challenge and strengthen their familial 


Every Saturday from 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in the Hart Park House Senior 
Center. Join us as we celebrate birthdays, holidays and play BINGO. 

Must be 50+ to join. For more information call Mark at 626-355-3951 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


There are a few things that I am good at, but I can’t recollect them 
at this point. But I will say there are many things I’m not good at. I 
think I probably am the king of Amateurism.
That being said, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is just the opposite. If there 
is something she isn’t good at, I have not yet discovered it, and neither has she. So 
that’s what makes our marriage so wonderful. What I don’t have, she has.
One thing I’m not very good at is Chillin’. It is something that’s beyond my personal 
experience. I have a hard time just quieting down and Chillin’ for the day. I have 
more important things to do, so I think.
The last few months have been rather hectic. Every day seemed to have been challenging, 
but I somehow got through it without taking one day off.
I was thinking it would be a nice time to sit back and chill for a day. I just did not 
know how to do it or when. Then, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage opened 
the door for me. 
On a particular Monday, she planned to go on one of her BOGO adventures. She 
had been saving up for this for quite a while, and suddenly it became possible. I love 
it when a plan comes together.
She asked me if I wanted to join her on this BOGO adventure, but I kindly declined 
the offer. I told her she could go and enjoy that day, and I would stay home and do 
some Chillin’. 
Looking at me strangely, she said, “Are you sure you want to do that?”
I nodded my head with a smile all over my face and said, “Oh, yes, dear, I sure do.” 
I could not wait for that day to arrive so I could practice some Chillin’ moves like 
never before. 
The day finally arrived. As my wife went through the front door, she looked at me 
and said, “Are you sure you can take care of yourself today? Are you sure you can 
get your own lunch?”
I assured her that I would be absolutely okay and she needn’t worry about me. As 
she shut the door behind her, I sat back in my easy chair and just smiled. This was 
going to be a day to remember for a long time.
I began to think about the day before me as I was sitting there. I planned to do 
absolutely nothing for the entire day. I was going to chill out the best I knew how.
Immediately I began thinking about some projects I could work on, then I called a 
halt to that and said to myself very sternly, “Today, you are just going to chill.” 
I got a cup of coffee and then sat down in my easy chair and did the best I could to 
turn my brain off. I thought the best thing I could do would be to watch a little TV. 
Nothing is more boring in this world than watching TV.
At lunchtime, I decided to get my own lunch. I went to the refrigerator and saw a 
freshly baked blueberry pie. Then in the freezer was some strawberry ice cream. 
Nothing is more exciting for lunch than fruit. Blueberries and strawberries would 
be my fruit choice of the day. A day without vegetables is what I call Chillin’. As long 
as someone in the house doesn’t find out. 
Everything was going just fine because I wasn’t doing anything. Once in a while, I 
had a thought that snuck into my head, but I firmly chased it out and resumed my 
Chillin’ attitude. 
As the TV was running, I soon, in the late afternoon, fell asleep. Oh, what a joy it 
was to sleep and not have anything on your mind.
Suddenly, I heard the door open. In walked The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
with her arms full of BOGO stuff she purchased that day.
I was a little groggy, but I did hear her say, “What are you watching?”
Not knowing what time of the day it was, and since my brain had not been functioning 
all day, I simply said to her, “I’m watching some political debate on TV. This 
is the first time I have understood what these politicians are saying.” 
As she put the bags on the kitchen table, she looked at me rather stunningly and 
said, “You do know you’re watching a Three Stooges movie, don’t you?”
Trying to motivate some gray cells, I looked at the TV, and much to my surprise, 
my wife was right as usual. So there they were, the Three Stooges on my TV screen.
Looking back at my wife, I said with a sour grin on my face, “I guess these guys make 
more sense than the politicians.” She just laughed and went back to the kitchen.
As my wife was sorting out her BOGO stuff I couldn’t help but think about one 
of my favorite Bible verses. “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall 
strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).
Spiritual Chillin’ is simply giving God time to do His work, His way. That is the 
most strengthening process and I plan to exercise this on a daily basis. 

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

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