Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, June 11, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page A:9

Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 11, 2022 


Dear Savvy Senior:
I’m planning to enroll in original Medicare in a few months 
and have been told I probably need to get a Medicare supplemental 
policy too. Can you offer any tips on selecting one? 
Almost 65 

Dear Almost: 
If you’re enrolling in original Medicare, getting a supplemental 
policy (also known as Medigap insurance) too is 
a smart idea because it will help pay for things that aren’t 
covered by Medicare like copayments, coinsurance and the 
Part A deductible. Here are some tips to help you choose an 
appropriate plan. 

Medigap PlansIn all but three states (Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin), 
Medigap plans, which are sold by private health insurers, 
are available to new enrollees in eight different standardized 
plans. These plans are labeled with the letters A, B, 
D, G, K, L, M and N, with two more, C and F, that are only 
available to those eligible for Medicare before 2020. 

Plan G is the most popular policy among new enrollees because 
it covers the most comprehensive range of benefits. 
Monthly premiums for Plan G typically range between $100 
and $300, depending on your age and the state you reside 
in. If that’s more than you’re willing to pay, there are also 
high-deductible plans that have lower premiums but impose 
higher out-of-pocket costs. 

For more information on the different types of plans and 
coverage details, including Medigap options in Massachusetts, 
Minnesota, and Wisconsin, go to
publications and type in “choosing a medigap policy” in 
the Keyword box, and download their 2022 guide. Or call 
1-800-MEDICARE and ask them to mail you a copy. 

How to Choose 
To pick a Medigap policy that works best for you, consider 
your health, family medical history and your budget. The 
differences among plans can be small and rather confusing. 

To help you choose, visit
insurance-plans and type in your ZIP code. This will 
give you a list of the plans available in your area, their price 
ranges and the names, and contact information of companies 
that sell them. But to get specific pricing information, 
you’ll need to contact the carriers directly or call your State 
Health Insurance Assistance Program. See or 
call 877-839-2675 for contact information. 

Since all Medigap policies with the same letter must cover 



ing an 

plan, people are often most concerned 
with passing on the “big things” like 
real estate, bank accounts, and vehicles. 
Yet these possessions very often 
aren’t the items that have the most 
meaning for the loved ones we leave 

Smaller items, like family heirlooms 
and keepsakes, which may not have a 
high dollar value, frequently have the 
most sentimental value for our family 
members. But for several reasons, 
these personal possessions are often 
not always specifically accounted for 
in wills, trusts, and other estate planning 

It’s critical, however, you don’t overlook 
this type of property in your estate 
plan, as the distribution of such 
items can become a source of intense 
conflict and strife for those you leave 
behind. In fact, if you don’t properly 
address family heirlooms and keepsakes 
in your estate plan, it can lead 
to long-lasting disagreements that can 
tear your family apart. 

Heirlooms & Keepsakes: Little Things 
with Big ValueHeirlooms and keepsakes are both 
prized for their sentimental value, but 
these possessions are slightly different 
from one another in terms of the manner 
in which the items are passed on. 

Heirlooms: Heirlooms are passed 
down among family members for generations, 
and the passing of heirlooms 
sometimes involves traditions. For 
example, the first daughter to marry 
inherits grandmother’s heirloom wedding 

Keepsakes: Keepsakes, on the other 
hand, are possessions that are given 
or kept specifically for sentimental or 
nostalgic reasons, and these items may 
only get passed on once. For example, 
photo albums are a typical keepsake 
that are treasured by many families. 
If a keepsake gets passed on multiple 
times, it may eventually become a 
family heirloom. 

Although just about any personal possession 
could be considered an heirloom 
or keepsake, some of the most 
common examples of these items include 
the following: 

Musical instruments 
RecipesFamily documents (such as birth 
certificates, baptism records, and 
citizenship papers)
Collections (such as sports memorabilia, 
coins, stamps, and doll 

Issues Raised by Passing on Heirlooms 
& KeepsakesIn the legal world, both heirlooms and 
keepsakes are considered “non-titled 
personal property.” As mentioned earlier, 
when there is no plan in place for 
the distribution of these items following 
the owner’s death, it can create bitter 
conflicts among family members. 
Indeed, all too often, fights over heirlooms 
and keepsakes cause close family 
members to never speak with one 
another again. 

In her book Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow 
Pie Plate? Professor Marlene S. 
Stum, an expert in family social science 
at the University of Minnesota, 
warns of the infighting that can occur 
when there’s no plan for who inherits 
these personal effects. 

“What surprises many people is that 
often the transfer of non-titled per-

the exact same benefits (it’s required by law), you should 
shop for the cheapest policy. 

You’ll get the best price if you sign up within six months 
after enrolling in Medicare Part B. During this open-enrollment 
period, an insurer cannot refuse to sell you a policy or 
charge you more because of your health. 

You also need to be aware of the pricing methods, which will 
affect your costs. Medigap policies are usually sold as either: 
“community-rated” where everyone in an area is charged 
the same premium regardless of age; “issue-age-rated” that 
is based on your age when you buy the policy, but will only 
increase due to inflation, not age; and “attained-age-rated,” 
that starts premiums low but increases as you age. Community-
rate and issue-age-rated policies are the best options 
because they will save you money in the long run. 

You can buy the plan directly from an insurance company, 
or you can work with a reputable insurance broker. 

Drug CoverageYou also need to know that Medigap policies do not cover 
prescription drugs, so if you don’t have drug coverage, you’ll 
need to buy a separate Medicare Part D drug plan too. See to compare plans. Also note 
that Medigap plans do not cover vision, dental care, hearing 
aids or long-term care. 

Alternative OptionInstead of getting original Medicare, plus a Medigap policy 
and a separate Part D drug plan, you could sign up for a 
Medicare Advantage plan (see 
that provides all-in-one coverage. These plans, which 
are sold by insurance companies, are generally available 
through HMOs and PPOs that require you to get your care 
within a network of doctors. 

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 


sonal property creates more challenges 
among family members than the 
transfer of titled property,” says Stum. 
“Research has shown that disputes 
over inheritance and property distribution 
are one of the major reasons for 
adult siblings to break off relationships 
with one another.” 

Given the potential trouble the distribution 
of heirlooms and keepsakes can 
cause for your heirs, you’ll want to take 
extra care in seeing that these family 
treasures are passed on properly. And 
this means incorporating them into 
your estate plan in one way or another. 

Strategies For Peacefully Distributing 
Heirlooms & KeepsakesWhile there is no one perfect way to 
distribute these items in your estate 
plan, your primary goal should be to 
maintain harmony among your loved 
ones during an already emotional 
time. As with most sensitive issues, 
clear communication is vital to this 

Because your family members can 
have vastly different values associated 
with certain heirlooms and keepsakes 
and you may have little idea about how 
each person feels, you should speak 
with each family member in advance. 
By talking with family members about 
their feelings and expectations regarding 
your possessions ahead of time, 
you will have a much better idea how 
to distribute these items to your loved 
ones with the least amount of conflict. 

Additionally, you should decide ahead 
of time if you need to have any of your 
heirlooms or keepsakes appraised. In 
doing so, you provide your heirs with 
the necessary documentation to gauge 
the monetary value of these items, and 
you can save them from extra work 
while they are mourning your death. 

Again, the way you distribute your 
heirlooms and keepsakes will depend 
largely on the items you have to pass 
on and your specific family situation. 
That said, here are a few estate planning 
strategies to consider when passing 
on these precious possessions. 

Gifting during your lifetime: Of 
course, you don’t have to wait until 
you die to pass on your heirlooms and 
keepsakes, and you may prefer to give 
away certain special items while you 
are still living. By doing so, you get to 
personally witness the joy your loved 
ones experience when they receive the 
gift, and you can also personally explain 
the reasons you want each person 
to have a particular item. 

If your heirlooms and/or keepsakes 
have a high monetary value, you 
should keep gift tax issues in mind 
when you give them away. That said, 
the IRS has a relatively high annual 
gift tax exclusion ($16,000 in 2022) 
and another high lifetime exclusion 
($12.06 million in 2022), so few people 
will need to worry about such taxes. 

But be aware, the lifetime exclusion 
amount is scheduled to revert to its 
pre-2018 level of around $5 million 
per individual in 2026, so if you are 
considering gifting high-value possessions, 
you may want to do it sooner, 
rather than later. In any case, if you 
have possessions you want to give 
away that might trigger gift taxes, 
meet with your lawyer and accountant 
to discuss your options. 

Include items in your estate plan using 
a personal property memorandum: As 
with other assets you want to pass on 
after your death, you can include heirlooms 
and keepsakes in your estate 
plan by adding them to your will or 
trust. The best way to do this is by using 
what’s known as a personal property 

A personal property memorandum 
is a separate document that is referenced 
in your will or living trust. The 

memorandum allows you to list which 
items you wish to leave to each individual 
and detail the reasons you are 
giving each item. In many states, if it’s 
properly incorporated into your will 
or trust, a personal property memorandum 
is a legally binding document. 

Furthermore, unlike a will or trust, 
you can update your memorandum 
without a lawyer’s help. You can 
change your memorandum as many 
times as you like, just make sure you 
sign and date it each time to ensure 
authenticity. Your memorandum can 
be as long or short as you like, which 
allows you to account for even the 
smallest or seemingly insignificant 

Most types of tangible personal property 
can be included in your memorandum, 
but it’s important to note 
that you cannot list certain assets in a 
memorandum, including titled property, 
such as real estate and vehicles; 
assets with a beneficiary designation, 
such as life insurance, 401(k)s, and 
bank accounts; or intellectual property, 
such as works protected by a copyrights 
or trademark. If you are unsure 
if you should include a certain possession 
in your personal property memorandum, 
consult with your lawyer. 

Although you don’t need a lawyer to 
modify your personal property memorandum, 
reach out to a trusted estate 
planning professional if you need any 
help or support with yours. And you 
should seek the help of a qualified 
lawyer if you’d like to create or update 
your will or trust. 

Pass on the values & stories behind 
the possessions: You may also want 
to consider creating letters or audio 
recordings to accompany your heirlooms 
and keepsakes. In this way, 
your loved ones not only get the items, 
but they will also be able to learn the 
stories behind the possessions, as well 
as the reasons why you gave each person 
a particular item. 

These stories not only help connect 
you with future generations but having 
a strong family narrative also helps 
young people develop strong personal 
identities and boosts their self-esteem. 
In the New York Times article, “The 
Stories that Bind Us,” author Bruce 
Feiler comments on this phenomenon: 
“The more children knew about 
their family’s history, the stronger 
their sense of control over their lives, 
the higher their self-esteem, and the 
more successfully they believed their 
families functioned.” 

Don’t Let Anything Fall Through The 
Of course, if no one can find your 
heirlooms and keepsakes, they aren’t 
going to do anybody any good. For 
this reason, it’s vital that you create 
and maintain a comprehensive inventory 
of all of your assets, including 
each of your family heirlooms and 
keepsakes. Indeed, you should not 
only create a comprehensive asset 
inventory, but you should also make 
sure your inventory stays consistently 
updated throughout your lifetime. 
Keep The Peace After You Are GoneTo ensure your heirlooms and keepsakes 
don’t create any unnecessary 
conflicts among your heirs, make 
sure that your estate plan includes all 
of your assets, especially your family 
heirlooms and keepsakes. Be intentional 
and thoughtful about how you 
include them so they will become precious 
treasures connecting you to the 
generations to follow. 

Marc Garlett, Esq.
Cali Law Family Legacy 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …June Birthdays* 

Joanne Thrane, Nellie Haynes, Dorothy McKay, Diane Hatfield, Georgette 

Dunlay, Elizabeth Shul, Donna Doss, Mary Carney, Carol Handley, Marilyn 

McKernan, Pat Fujiwara, John Shier, Beth Smith-Kellock, Ann Disbrow, 

Joan Ellison, Anne Montgomery, Trini Ornelas, Martha Spriggs, Pat Starkey, 

Kathleen Coyne, Suzanne Decker, Jacque Persing, Jeanne Peterson and Grace Sanders 

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 bonds. 


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 


Recently, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were able to take a 

well-earned vacation. One of our grandsons graduated from high school in 

Ohio, and we decided to go and celebrate with him. It is amazing what you 
learn when you go on a vacation. 

I learned some things about the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. You would think by 
this time I would have discovered everything there is about her. But I was to be delightfully 
surprised. Up to this point, she is known as the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage as well 
as the BOGO Queen. If that isn’t enough I was to learn a lot more about her. As soon as we 
started our vacation, I realized she had a new identity. She is the Travel Princess, and she sits 
on her throne behind the wheel of her Sissy Van. 

This new identity caught me off guard, but the longer on the road, the more I understood 
this new identity. 

As we drove along, I could not help but smile as I thought about this. Before us was a 9 
½-hour drive to our destination. We planned to cut it in half and spend the night at some 
motel along the way. 

Our second day was rather interesting. I think there were at least ten trucks on the highway 
for every car. I have never seen so many trucks in all my life. Despite all the trucks, the Travel 
Princess was able to maneuver around them, and I was rather impressed. 

Then a certain situation developed. There was a truck in front of us, a truck behind us, a 
truck on the right side and a truck on the left side of us. We were blocked in by four different 

I noticed that the situation was getting a little stressful for the Travel Princess. 

Then the situation took on a somewhat different attitude. The truck on the left side was in 
line with the Sissy Van, and someone was sitting on the passenger side looking out towards 
us and waving defiantly at the Travel Princess. I am sure he did not know what kind of mess 
he was getting involved in. 

The Travel Princess looked at him with one of her looks that I'm sure he never saw before. 
Then I glanced at the guy sitting on the passenger side, and all of a sudden, his chin dropped 
down, his eyes bulged like he had seen a ghost, and I'm sure he had never been as scared 
before in all his life. 

At that moment, the truck he was in slowed down and allowed us to change lanes, go around 
and get ahead of the trucks. Then, as we changed lanes and passed the truck in front of us, 
I could see her face was still carrying that defiant attitude and look that she gave the guy 
driving the truck next to us. 

Passing the truck in front of us, the driver looked at us with one of those looks hard to 
explain but the kind of look that you know he had been surprised. When encountering the 
Travel Princess, none of those truck drivers realized whom they were dealing with. I certainly 
would not want to have been one of those truck drivers at that time. Believe me; I've 
been in their shoes. 

I was so glad to be riding with the Travel Princess at the time, knowing I was in good hands.
A week later, we drove through some rather bumpy roads when we were coming back. I am 
not sure how we got into that situation, but I was very comfortable knowing that the Travel 
Princess was in charge, and I had nothing to worry about. That is until something changed.
As we were bumping along, I heard the Travel Princess sigh deeply and then heard her say 
something very alarming. 

"Something needs to be done with these roads. Somebody needs to fix it."
What I heard made me drop my jaw, and my eyes bulged. I said to myself, "Did I hear what 
she said?" I knew that when she saw something that needed to be fixed, she would do everything 
within her power to stop and fix everything. So now, I thought she wanted to fix 
the road. 

Very carefully, I explained to her, "To fix this road, you have to have a state contractor's license 
and then permits from the county to do it. And those things will take an awful lot of 
time, which we don't have." 

Without even looking in my direction, she slowly said, "Well, I think you're right, and I really 
don't have time to stop and fix this road." 

I cannot tell you how relieved I was to dodge that bullet, which does not happen to me very 
often. But I sighed very deeply and could not wait until we got off this kind of road.
As we were finishing our drive home, I could not help but think one of my favorite verses of 
Scripture. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:4-6).
Like many other people, I sometimes get all caught up in the weeping stage and forget about 
the joy stage. No matter how bad the weeping might be, there is down the road for me joy 
and that is great anticipation of my life. 

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