Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 25, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 12


Mountain View News Saturday, March 25, 2023 



There are many myths about Assisted Living being like 
Nursing Homes. This is not true at all. Nursing facilities 
are for those with chronic health issues who require care 
around the clock from medical professionals. 

In Assisted Living, one will get the support as needed, 
such as getting help with showering, grooming, and 
dressing. Again, these services are based on the seniors 

There are many reasons in working with us. At Safe Path 
for Seniors, we will assess the senior and depending on their care needs and budget, make recommendations. 
For example, we may suggest that the right fit is a Board and Care Home (normally a 6-bedroom house) as 
opposed to an Assisted Living Community or a Memory Support Facility. You will work with an experienced 
agent who 

knows the industry well and will give you recommendations. The good news is that there is no cost for this 

If you have any questions about placing a loved one, visit or call Steve at 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …March Birthdays*

Cathy Flammer, Clare Marquardt, Karen Blachly, Carla Duplex, Ella 
Guttman, Viky Tchatlian, Mary Cooper, Sun Liu, Helen Wallis, Nancy Fox, 
Martha Cassara, Rita Johnson, Sharon Murphy, Heather Sheets, Mercedes 
Campos, Dorothy Webster,Terri Elder, Carol Cerrina, Amy Putnam, Sally 

 * To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. 
YEAR of birth not required


1st & 3rd Wednesdays 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.


Wednesday, 2/15 9:00 am Hart Park House

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 store!


Tuesday, 1/17 10:00 am Hart Park House 

If you enjoy knitting, crocheting, embroidery, needlepoint, bunka, huck, tatting or 
cross stitch then we have a group for you! Bring your current project, sit and chat 
with like-minded fiber friends.


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.


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. 


Thursday, 1/19 Hart Park House 1:00 pm-2:00 pm

Please join in a fun and lively game of BINGO. Several rounds fun will be had with 
prizes for each rounds winner.


Dear Savvy Senior:

What’s the best way to go about choosing an assisted 
living facility for my 86-year-old father? Since mom 
died last year, his health has declined to the point that 
he can’t live at home anymore but isn’t ready for a 
nursing home either. Searching Susan


Dear Susan:

If your dad needs help with things like bathing, 
dressing, preparing meals, managing his medica-
tions or just getting around, an assisted living facility 
is definitely a good option to consider. 

Assisted living facilities are residential communities 
that offer different levels of health or personal 
care services for seniors who want or need help with 
daily living. 

There are nearly 29,000 assisted living communities 
(also called board and care, supportive-care or 
residential-care facilities) in the U.S. today, some of 
which are part of a retirement community or nursing 
home. Most facilities have anywhere between 10 
and 100 suites, varying in size from a single room to 
a full apartment. And some even offer special memory 
care units for residents with dementia. 

To help you choose a good assisted living facility for 
your dad, here are some steps to follow. 

Make a list: There are several sources you can turn 
to for referrals to top assisted living communities 
in your area including your dad’s doctor or nearby 
hospital discharge planner; friends or neighbors 
who’ve had a loved one in assisted living; or you can 
do an online search at 

Do some research: To research the communities on 
your list, put a call into your long-term care ombudsman. 
This is a government official who investigates 
long-term care facility complaints and advocates for 
residents and their families. This person can help 
you find the latest health inspection reports on specific 
assisted living facilities and can tell you which 
ones have had complaints or other problems in the 
past. To find your local ombudsman visit LTCombudsman.

Call the facilities: Once you’ve identified a few good 
assisted living facilities, call them to see if they have 
any vacancies, what they charge and if they provide 
the types of services your father needs. 

Tour your top choices: During your visit, notice the 
cleanliness and smell of the facility. Is it homey and 
inviting? Does the staff seem responsive and kind to 
its residents? Also be sure to taste the food, and talk 
to the residents and their family members, if available. 
It’s also a good idea to visit several times at different 
times of the day and different days of the week 
to get a broader perspective.

On your facility visit, get a copy of the admissions 
contract and the residence rules that outline the 
fees (and any extra charges), services and residents’ 
rights, and explanations for when a resident might 
be asked to leave because their condition has worsened, 
and they require more care than the facility 
can provide. 

Also, find out their staff turnover rate, COVID infection-
control procedures and if and when medical 
professionals are on site. To help you rate your 
visit, offers a checklist of questions that 
you can download and print at

How to pay: Monthly costs for assisted living ranges 
anywhere from $2,500 to $6,000 or more, depend-
ing on where you live, the facility you choose, and 
the services provided. Since Medicare does not cover 
assisted living, most residents pay out-of-pocket 
from their own personal funds, and some have long-
term care insurance policies. 

If your dad has limited financial resources and can’t 
afford this, most states now have Medicaid waiver 
programs that help pay for assisted living. Or, if 
he’s a veteran, he may be able to get funds through 
the VA’s Aid and Attendance benefit. To find out 
about these programs, ask the assisted living facility 
director, or contact his local Medicaid office 
(see or the regional VA benefit office 

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. 
Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.
org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today 
show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


Occasionally I go to my computer and search for the wealthiest 
preachers in America. I am curious to know who came up with this 
idea, but I check it out occasionally to see who they are.

As often as I have checked this information, I have never found my 
name on that list. I so much wanted to see my name on that list. Everybody knows 
that the Internet never lies. So, I need to accept that I am not one of the wealthiest 
preachers in America. Poor me!

That may explain many things in my life that I did not quite understand before.

When traveling in the Sissy Van, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is always 
behind the steering wheel. I make it a point not to drive that Sissy Van anymore than 
I have to.

As we drive, my wife will say, "Did you see that car? They're from Idaho."

Of course, I did not see it because I was not paying attention. When The Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage drives, she focuses on everything within her focus. Even 
when driving my truck, and she is in the passenger seat, she sees everything around 
her. Do not let this get back to her, but she sees things that I do not think exist. I will 
never contest her on that subject.

Unlike my wife, I don't have that much focus to see everything that is happening 
around me. Once when she asked me if I saw something, I replied, "No, I'm just too 
poor to pay attention."

I laughed, of course, but she didn't think it was funny. 

Driving across town to church one Sunday morning, she said, "Did you see that sign? 
What did it say?" I didn't see it, so I responded, "I'm sorry, but I'm too poor to pay 
attention." Then I chuckled. She just threw me one of her infamous grimaces.

For some reason, she believes I should pay attention to everything around me. I don't 
know why because I'm not interested in many of the things around me. And, I am too 
poor to pay attention.

While driving to an appointment the other day, I asked, "Could I borrow a dollar from 
you?" She looked at me quizzically and said, "Why do you need a dollar from me?" 
"Oh," I said softly, "I just need some money to pay attention while you're driving."

She did not respond to me; of course, she never gave me that dollar. So I tried to explain 
to her that it is very expensive to pay attention. I don't think she believed me.

Several weeks later, we went to our Sunday morning church service, and I noticed a 
license plate and said, "Look at that license plate. They're from Montana."

There was silence on the other side of the car, and finally, she looked at me and said, 
"Where did you get that dollar?"

I had no idea what she was talking about, so I just said, "What dollar are you talking 

She snickered like I had not heard her snicker in a long time and said, "You know, the 
dollar so that you can pay attention." The only thing I can say is that she has enough 
money to pay attention to everything, even some things I don't know.

Having enough money to pay attention to everything around you must be nice. I'm 
sure my life would change if I could afford to pay attention to everything.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage can pay attention even when fast asleep. One 
time we were taking a trip to St. Augustine. She leaned back in her side and took a 
nap. At least, I thought she was asleep.

I was coming to where I needed to turn, but I wasn't sure if this was the right place. As 
I slowed down, I heard The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage say, "No, you need to 
turn at the next light." Looking over, I saw her eyes were closed, and it looked like she 
was sound asleep. She is rich enough to pay attention even when she is sound asleep.

I often wonder where she has all this money, probably in the Central Bank of Mind 
Your Own Business.

Watching television, suddenly, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, "Did you 
see that? I wonder who that is?" I begin to say, "No…." My wife jumped in and said, 
"I know, dear, you're too poor to have paid attention."

Boy, has she got me figured out? I'm going to have to open up some kind of a savings 
account, maybe a little piggy bank, and try to save up enough money to finance my 
poor attention. So far, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has refused to loan me 
money for this cause.

During my Bible reading recently, I read 1 Timothy 6:9-10, "But they that will be 
rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which 
drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: 
which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves 
through with many sorrows."

Being rich does have its challenge, which I will never face. The disturbing aspect of 
this passage is where Paul says, "the love of money is the root of all evil." That is my 

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


 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 proceedings, 
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. 

How Probate Works

How probate begins depends on whether you have a 
valid will in place at the time of death. A will allows 
you to appoint an executor for your estate, waive 
bond for that person, and name your beneficiaries 
and what they will receive. Without a will, or the will 
is deemed invalid, the Court determines those details. 
Otherwise, the probate process itself plays out 
similarly, regardless of a will or not.

1. Authenticating the Validity of Your Will: Following 
your death, your executor is responsible for filing 
your will and death certificate with the court, and 
this initiates the probate process. From there, the 
court must authenticate your will to ensure it was 
properly created and executed in accordance with 
state law, and this may involve a court hearing. 

Notice of the hearing must be given to all the beneficiaries 
named in your will, along with all potential 
heirs who would stand to inherit under state 
law in the absence of a will. This hearing gives these 
individuals the opportunity to contest the validity 
of your will on the grounds that it was improperly 
executed (signed and witnessed) as required by state 
law, or that you were unduly influenced or coerced 
into signing the will. If such a contest is successful, 
the court declares your will invalid, which effectively 
means you died without a will.

2. Appointing the Executor or Administrator: If 
your will is validated, the court must formally appoint 
the person you named in your will as your 
executor before they can legally act on your behalf. 
If you died without a will, the court would appoint 
someone—typically your closest living relative—to 
serve in this role, known as your personal representative 
or administrator.

In some cases, the court might require your executor 
to post a bond before they can serve. The bond functions 
as an insurance policy to reimburse the estate 
in the event the executor makes a serious error during 
probate that financially damages the estate.

3. Locating & Valuing Your Assets: Once probate 
begins, the executor must identify, locate, and take 
possession of all your assets, so the value of your estate 
can be protected and maintained. Any assets the 
executor is unable to locate will end up in our State 
Controller's Office (SCO). In California, more than 
$8 billion (yes, that’s billion with a ‘b’) of assets are 
unclaimed property held by the SCO. Fortunately, 
this is easy to prevent when you create – or work with 
an attorney who will help you create – a comprehensive 
asset inventory, and make sure this inventory 
stays updated throughout your lifetime.

In the case of real estate, the executor is required to 
ensure that your mortgage, homeowners insurance, 
and property taxes are paid while probate is ongoing. 
These and all other debts can be paid from your 
estate. Once all your assets have been located, the executor 
must determine their value, which is typically 
done using financial statements and/or appraisals. 
From there, the combined value of all your assets is 
used to estimate the total value of your estate.

4. Notifying & Paying Your Creditors: To ensure all 
your outstanding debts are paid before your assets 
are distributed, the executor must notify all your 
creditors of your death. In California, any unknown 
creditors can be notified by publishing a death notice 
with your local newspaper. 

Creditors typically have four months after being notified 
to make claims against your estate. The executor 
can challenge any creditor claims he or she considers 
invalid, and in turn, the creditor can petition 
the court to rule on whether the claim must be paid. 
From there, valid creditor claims are then paid. The 
executor will use your estate funds to pay all your 
final bills, including any outstanding medical and 
funeral expenses.

5. Filing & Paying Your Taxes: In addition to paying 
all your outstanding private debts, the executor is 
also responsible for filing and paying any outstanding 
taxes you owe at the time of death. This includes 
personal income and capital-gains taxes, as well as 
any state and federal estate taxes due. 

That said, the federal estate tax exemption is currently 
set at $11.7 million for individuals and $23.4 
million for married couples, so most families won’t 
have to worry about estate taxes (and for those who 
do exceed that threshold, there are several strategies 
you can use to reduce the size of your estate to 
avoid these taxes). Any taxes due are paid from estate 
funds. In some cases, this may require liquidating 
assets to raise the needed cash. 

6. Distribution Of Your Remaining Assets: Once the 
court confirms all of your debts and taxes have been 
paid—which typically requires the executor to file 
an accounting of all transactions he or she engaged 
in during the probate process—the executor can petition 
the court for authorization to distribute the 
remaining assets in your estate to the beneficiaries 
named in your will, or according to state intestate 
succession laws, if you didn’t have a will.

Once all assets have been distributed, the executor 
must file a petition with the court to close probate. 
If all creditors and taxes have been paid, your assets 
have been distributed, and there are no other outstanding 
issues to be addressed, the court will issue 
an order formally closing the estate and terminating 
the executor’s 

Marc Garlett, Esq.

Cali Law Family Legacy Matters


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