Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, September 10, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 11


Mountain Views-News Saturday, September 10, 2022 



"Testing Your Outdoor Survival Skills" 

[Nyerges is an educator and author of numerous books. More information at www.] 

I am often asked why I teach and write about the topics of self-reliance and survival. 
Here is part of my answer. 
“The city” developed organically from the earliest 
times of human history, presumably for the 
mutual survival and upliftment of all those who 
became a part of it. The city became the locus 
for heightened social interaction, where farmers 
could barter and sell their goods to the far reaches 
of the domain, where the brightest and the best 
could answer your questions and resolved your 
needs, whether about technical, medical, or other 
issue. It’s obvious why cities developed, though it 
has not always so altruistic. 

We know, for example, that the great Mayan cities 
most likely had theocratic rulers whose orders 
were law, and sometimes that worked out well for 
the people. But it could also spell the demise for 
the city if deluded self-important religious leaders 
saw themselves as more important than “the 
people.” Right here in North America, there was 
the great city of Cahokia in what is now Illinois, 
which emerged, dominated, changed and improved 
the lives of everyone it touched, and then, 
for various reasons, it disappeared. 

Cities and civilizations arise out of the common 
interests of those it serves, and they seem to follow 
a pattern of growth, peaking, declining, disappearing 
(that’s the 25 cent version of what usually 
takes a full semester anthropology course). 

Every school child has heard about the great Roman empire, and how it “fell.” We read the great details 
and shake our heads at the Roman stupidity that allowed such greatness to fall, and secretly, we believe 
it can never happen to us. Really? Well, we don’t want it to happen to us, of course, but consider that 
a “civilization” is a living, dynamic entity. . 

We aren’t sure exactly where we are as a people in the curve of the decline of a civilization, or whether or 
not we can affect that decline. However, there is always something that the individual can do – always. 

To gain a higher perspective of what you can do, in your own life, in your own family and in your own 
town, I strongly encourage you to read Morris Berman’s “The Twilight of American Culture.” 

Sometimes we can feel like we are just a drop of water in the ocean, but as we network and work with 
like-minded others, we can move in the direction of living solutions. 

When I began teaching about wild foods and survival skills when I was still a teenager, I had all these 
ideas about the decline of civilization in my mind, and so I taught mostly to clarify my own thinking 
on the subject. You could call it enlightened self-interest. Plus, by teaching and writing, I was able to 
meet others along the same path, people that I would have never met if I were hiding out somewhere 
in a cave. 

I taught field trips, and I taught in the classroom. When I taught in the classroom, I found it useful 
to organize each subject by topic, and to teach by constantly asking questions of the students. Those 
refined and edited questions became the basis for my “Testing Your Outdoor Survival Skills” textbook, 
which is still used by many today. (It’s available on Amazon, or from the store at www.SchoolofSelfReliance.

Once, a student objected to my manner of teaching because I was constantly asking question. “I came 
to this class because I do not know,” said the flustered student. “I expect you to tell me!” Indeed. Yet, 
when I was learning these skills, I had a harsh master who always attempted to get me to find the answer 
myself. That allowed me to consider, and think, and research. “When you discover the answers 
on your own,” my teacher would tell me, “then you know the answer by your own experience, not 
because someone told you.” Ever since, I found that to be an ideal teaching method. 

My book, the newly revised “Testing Your Outdoor Survival Skills,” allows you to test yourself on a 
variety of topics from plants, to water, to navigation, etc. It can be used by teachers and their students 
as well. And, of course, all answers and supplemental information is included, immediately following 
every quiz. 





Lifeline for Pets 

presents this spe

cial beauty who 

was found aban

doned in a park

ing lot, screaming 

out for care! She had been wandering the neigh

borhood for months, scrounging for food, when 

two kind women scooped her up to foster her, determined to help her thrive from her 

ordeal! At first, Ivory was very skittish and shy. She has a howling LOUD cry when dis

tressed from any changes in environment or people. The cry will be heard easily through 

thin walls. Once she is settled in the screeching cry resolves and she will just talk to you 

calmly. She is also a hard of hearing cat who loves close, loving attention by a familiar 

human companion. Her adopter has to be nimble because she is less stressed if you lie on 

the floor close to her for petting and play. Ivory's playthings are soft toys filled with catnip 

filled toys and a long fabric string. She also loves her scratching board, catnip, and being 

scratched around head and neck. She is very gentle play-mate. Seems not to be bothered 

by cats but her foster mom's neutered males did not like her. Ivory is an adorable girl that 

would make a very loving, loyal companion!! She's about age 1 or 2. See more pictures of 

Ivory and her video on our website’s Teen Cats page, and see the adoption application at 

Pet of the Week 

Two-year-old Nerissa is ready to meet you! This lovely

lady is extremely affectionate-she immediately rubs 

her head into your hands for pets and scratches. While

she may be an adult cat, Nerissa definitely remains

a kitten at heart. She enjoys playing with toys and

playing “gotcha” from her hiding place in her kennel.

This sweetheart will fill her forever home with endless 

fun and games!

 All cat adoptions include spay or neuter, microchip,

and age-appropriate vaccines.

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health

and-wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals and

a goody bag filled with information about how to care

for your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets at

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters

by phone calls or email. 

177 East Colorado Boulevard, Suite 550, Pasadena, California 91105 
(626) 792-2228 | 
Providing Objective and Experienced 
Investment Counsel to Financially 
Successful Families since 1915 
August is “National Make-A-Will 

Month,” and if you have already pre

pared your will, congratulations—too 

few Americans have taken this key 

first step in the estate planning process. 
In fact, only 33% of Americans have created their will, according 
to’s 2022 Wills and Estate Planning Study. 

Yet, while having a will is important—and all adults over age 
18 should have this document in place—for all but a few people, 
creating a will is just one small part of an effective estate 
plan that works to keep your loved ones out of court and out 
of conflict. 

In part one of this series, we looked at the different things having 
a will in place allows you to do. Here, in part two, we detail 
all the things your will does not do, along with identifying the 
specific estate planning tools and strategies you should have in 
place to make up for the potential blind spots that exist in an 
estate plan that consists of only a will. 

If you have yet to create your will, or you have not reviewed 
your existing will recently, contact a trusted estate planning 
lawyer to get this vital first step in your estate planning handled 
right away. 

What A Will Won’t Do 

While a will is a necessary part of most estate plans, your will 
is typically only a small part of a comprehensive estate plan. To 
demonstrate, here are the things you should not expect your 
will to accomplish: 

1. Keep your family out of court: Following your death, for assets 
in your will to be transferred to your beneficiaries, the will 
must pass through the court process known as probate. During 
probate, the court oversees the will’s administration, ensuring 
your assets are distributed according to your wishes and the law, 
with court supervision to oversee any disputes. 
Like most court proceedings, probate is time-consuming, costly, 
and open to the public. Moreover, during probate, there’s 
also the chance that one of your family members might contest 
your will, especially if you have disinherited someone or plan 
to leave significantly more money to one relative than another. 
And even if such contests don’t succeed, those court fights only 
increase the time, expense, and strife your family has to endure. 

Bottom line: If your estate plan consists of a will alone, you are 
guaranteeing your family will have to go to court if you become 
incapacitated or when you die. Fortunately, it’s easy to ensure 
your loved ones can avoid probate using different types of 
trusts, so with a bit of effort, you can spare your family this unnecessary 

Your lawyer can make certain that upon your death, 
the individual would have the financial means they 


need to live a full life, without jeopardizing their ac

By Marc Garlett 

cess to government benefits. 


5. Reduce estate taxes: If your family has significant 
2. Pass on certain types of assets: Since a will only covers assets 
solely owned in your name, there are several types of assets that 
your will has no effect on, including the following: 
Assets with a right of survivorship: Property held in 

joint tenancy, tenancy by the entirety, and community prop

erty with the right of survivorship, bypass your will. These 

types of assets automatically pass to the surviving co-owner(s) 

when you die.

Assets with a designated beneficiary: When you die, 

assets with a designated beneficiary pass directly to the indi

vidual, organization, or institution you designated as benefi

ciary, without the need for any additional planning. Common 

assets with beneficiary designations include retirement ac

counts, IRAs, 401(k)s, and pensions; life insurance or annuity 

proceeds; payable-on-death accounts; and transfer-on-death 


Assets held in a trust: Assets held by a trust automati

cally pass to the named beneficiary upon your death or in

capacity, so these assets cannot be passed in your will. This 

includes assets held by both revocable living trusts and irre

vocable trusts. 

3. Pass ownership of a pet and money for its care: Because animals 
are considered personal property under the law, you cannot 
name a pet as a beneficiary in your will. If you do, whatever 
money you leave it would go to your residuary beneficiary, who 
would have no obligation to care for your pet. In fact, this person 
could legally keep all the money and drop off your pet at a 
The best way to ensure your pet gets the care it deserves following 
your death is by creating a pet trust. Your estate planning 
attorney can help you set up, fund, and maintain such a trust, 
so your furry family member will be properly cared for when 
you’re gone. 

4. Leave funds for the care of a person with special needs: There 
are a number of unique considerations that must be considered 
when planning for the care of an individual with special needs. 
In fact, you can easily disqualify someone with special needs for 
much-needed government benefits if you do not use the proper 
planning strategies. For this reason, a will should never be used 
to pass on money for the care of a person with special needs. 
If you want to provide for the care of your child or another 
loved one with special needs, you must create a special needs 
trust. However, such trusts are complicated, and the laws governing 
them can vary greatly between states. 

Given such complexities, you should always work with an experienced 
estate planning lawyer to create a special needs trust. 

wealth, you may wish to use estate planning to reduce 
your estate tax liability. However a will is useless for this 
purpose. To reduce or postpone your estate taxes, you will need 
to set up special types of trusts. If you are looking to reduce 
your estate tax liability, consult with your lawyer to discuss your 

6. Protect you from incapacity: Because a will only goes into 
effect when you die, it offers no protection if you become incapacitated 
and are no longer able to make decisions about your 
financial, legal, and healthcare needs. If you do become incapacitated, 
your family will have to petition the court to appoint 
a guardian to manage your affairs, which can be costly, time-
consuming, and traumatic for your loved ones. 
And there’s always the possibility that the court will appoint a 
relative as a guardian that you’d never want making such critical 
decisions on your behalf. Or the court might select a professional 
guardian, putting a total stranger in control of your life, 
which leaves you open to potential fraud and abuse by crooked 
guardians. It happens. 

However, using a trust, you can include provisions that appoint 
someone of your choosing—not the court’s—to handle your 
assets if you are unable to do so. When combined with a well-
prepared medical power of attorney and living will, a trust can 
keep your family out of court and out of conflict in the event 
of your incapacity, while ensuring your wishes regarding your 
medical treatment and end-of-life care are conducted exactly as 
you intended. 

Get Professional Support with Your Estate Planning

Although creating a will may seem fairly simple, you should 
always consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer to 
ensure the document is properly created, executed, and maintained. 
And as we’ve highlighted here, there are many scenarios 
in which a will won’t be the right estate planning solution, nor 
would a will keep your family and assets out of court. 

You see, estate planning is far more than simply planning for 
your death and passing on your “estate” and assets to your loved 
ones—it’s about planning for a life you love and a legacy worth 
leaving by the choices you make today—and ensuring your 
loved ones will be protected and provided for no matter what 
happens to you. 

Marc Garlett, Esq.
Cali Law Family Legacy 

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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