Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, July 1, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page A:11


Mountain Views-News Saturday, July 1, 2023 



Steve Sciurba, Senior Placement Specialist 

There are many reasons in working with Safe Path 

for Seniors, we will assess your loved ones and make

recommendations depending on care needs and 

With our many years of experience, we will make an

informed recommendation. 

We work with large communities to the small 6-bed, 

board & care residential homes.

You will tour with an experienced consultant who will 

work with you through the entire process. from selecting 
the right living environment to all of the necessary 
paperwork involved.

The good news is that there is no cost for this service.

If you have any questions about placing a loved one, 
visit our web site: 

or call Steve at 626-999-6913


Nina Bartolai, Mary Lou Caldwell, Louise Neiby, Betty Hansen, Melinda 
Rogers , Christine Durfort, Shahrzad Azrani, Jeanne Borgedahl, Janet Cox, 
Dorothy Montgomery, Bess Pancoska, Janet Swanson, Barbara Watson, Pat 
Alcorn, Karma Bell, Alice Clark, and Betty Dos Remedios, Bonnie Diener

Jan Greteman, Linda Heller

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

SENIOR CLUB Every Saturday at Noon Hart Park House

Open to all seniors 50+ Fun - Games - And More! Call Mark at 626-355-3951 


Wednesday, 7/12 and 7/26 9:00 am Hart Park House

Tea and Talk, meets twice a month to discuss the fun, suspense, intrigue, love and so 
much more that each selection will have in store! Call Lawren 626-355-5278 for 

current selection and feel free to join at any time.


 BEGINNERS - Every Thursday 10-11:00 am

 INTERMEDIATE Every Friday 10-11:00 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 Covered 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. 


Dear Savvy Senior: How are Social Security benefits 
handled when someone dies? After a long illness, my 
68-year-old father has only weeks left to live. I am 
helping my mom figure out her financial situation 
going forward, including what to do about my dad’s 
Social Security after he passes away but could use 
some help. Only Son

Dear Only:

I’m very sorry about the impending loss of your father. 
To help you and your mom understand what 
Social Security provides and what needs to be done 
when a family member dies, here are some key 
points you should know. 

Your first order of business will be to make sure the 
Social Security Administration is notified when 
your father dies, so his monthly benefits will be 
stopped. In most cases, the funeral home providing 
his burial or cremation services will do it. You’ll 
need to provide your dad’s Social Security number 
to the funeral director so they can make the report. 
But, if they don’t offer that service or you’re not using 
a funeral home, you’ll need to do it yourself by 
calling Social Security at 800-772-1213.

When Benefits Stop

There are a couple of things to be aware of regarding 
your dad’s Social Security benefits. For starters, you 
need to know that a person is due no Social Security 
benefits in the month of their death.

With Social Security, each payment received represents 
the previous month’s benefits. So, if your 
dad were to pass away in August, the check for that 
month – which would be paid in September – would 
need to be returned if received. If the payment is 
made by direct deposit, you would need to contact 
the bank or other financial institution and ask them 
to return any benefits sent after your dad’s death. 

Survivor Benefits

When your father passes away, your mother may be 
eligible for survivor benefits on his record if she’s at 
least age 60 (50 if disabled). Here’s how that works 
depending on her situation.

If your mom is currently receiving Social Security 
benefits based on your father’s work record, her 
spousal benefit will automatically convert to survivors 
benefits when the government gets notice of 
your dad’s death. She cannot receive both spousal 
and survivor benefits at the same time.

Widows are due between 71 percent (at age 60) and 
100 percent (at full retirement age) of what the husband 
was getting before he died.

If, however, your mom is eligible for retirement benefits 
(but hasn’t applied yet), she can apply for retirement 
or survivors benefits when her husband passes 
away and switch to the other (higher) benefit later. 
Or, if your mom is already receiving her retirement 
benefits on her own work record, she could switch 
to survivors benefits if it offers a higher payment. 
She cannot, however, receive both benefits. 

To apply for survivors’ benefits, your mom will need 
to call Social Security at 800-772-1213 and schedule 
an appointment. She can’t do it online.

You should also know that survivor benefits are 
available to former spouses and dependents who 
meet SSA qualifications – see

Also note that if your mom collects a survivor benefit 
while working, and she’s under full retirement 
age, her benefits may be reduced depending on her 
earnings. See for 

Death Benefit

In addition to survivor benefits, Social Security 
will also pay a one-time payment of $255 to your 
mom (the surviving spouse) if she was living with 
your dad at the time of his death. If they were living 
apart, she may still receive this one-time payment if 
she’s collecting spousal benefits on his work record. 
In the absence of a surviving spouse, the lump-sum 
payment can go to a son or daughter who is eligible 
for benefits on the deceased’s work record. 

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” 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


Sometimes things happen 
that you never expected. 
When those unexpected 
things happen, if they are good, that is 
a blessing, if they are bad, that’s a different 

I learned this expectation of good from 
my good old Uncle Ted. He was a truck 
driver, and boy, did he have the stories 
to tell.

The one story I never believed was about 
him having lunch at a restaurant. According 
to his story, he would order a 
nice lunch, and when almost done, he 
would take out a hair he had brought 
along, put it on his plate, and called the 

“Look at this hair on my plate,” he said 
to the waitress.

Of course, she was surprised because 
that doesn’t happen much in a restaurant. 
She was so frus-trated that she 
called the manager and introduced him 
to my uncle. He didn’t know what he 
was in for.

“There’s a hair on my plate, which disgusts 

The manager looked at it and did not 
know what to say, but finally, he said to 
my uncle, “I’m so sorry for this and to 
compensate your lunch is on the house 

He had somewhat of a scow on his face. 
He looked at the manager and then 
looked back at the waitress and finally 
said, “Okay, I’ll let it go this time, and I 
thank you for taking care of this for me. 
I appreciate that very much.”

For many years I thought this was just 
one of his stories, but he, my father, and 
I went to a restau-rant together once. I’m 
not sure of the occasion, but it was always 
fun to get together for lunch.

When Uncle Ted was just about done 
with his lunch, I saw him pull from his 
inside pocket an en-velope, and when he 
opened it, there was a variety of hairs 
inside. He pulled a rather large one out 
and laid it on his dish. He didn’t say 
anything but just called for the waitress.

“Look at this hair on my plate! Can you 
explain it?”

Of course, she couldn’t, so she called for 
the manager to come to our table.

When he arrived, he said, “Is there anything 
I can do to help you men?”

“There sure is,” my uncle said. “Look at 
this hair on my plate. Can you explain 

The manager was stunned when he saw 
the hair and, at first, did not know what 
to say.

“I’m so sorry for this. Please accept 
my apology and lunch is on the house 

With his familiar scow, my uncle looked 
at the manager, then looked back at the 
waitress, and then back at the manager 
and said, “Okay, I accept your apology 
and thank you for your understand-ing.”

As my dad and I sat at that table, we did 
not know what to do. Was this a joke or 

The waitress returned and told us that 
everything was taken care of and we 
didn’t have to worry, and she apologized 

When we got into our car to go home, 
my uncle gave a little snicker and said, 
“You know, that works all the time.” 
And then he laughed.

I had forgotten about that until last 
week. Some of our family had gotten 
together to celebrate Fa-ther’s Day at a 
very nice pizza restaurant. There were 
five of us plus the Princess of the Family, 
our six-month-old great-granddaughter. 
Of course, she was the center of our 
lunchtime, even though it was a Father’s 
Day lunch.

We had a wonderful time, and the pizza 
was just delicious. It’s one of our favorite 
pizza restaurants in town.

As we finished, The Gracious Mistress 
of the Parsonage sighed deeply and said, 
“Oh no. It can’t be?”

We did not know what she was talking 
about, and then she called the waiter 
over and showed him that in the crust 
of her pizza was a human hair. It was 
baked into the crust, and only The Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage would 
ever be able to see that.

The waiter came, and she showed him 
the hair, and he was rather stunned and 
said, “I’ll go get the manager.”

The manager came out, and we could 
tell the hair did not belong to him because 
he was bald. Not even facial hair.

He looked at the hair to ensure it was 
what she said it was. She turned out to 
be right, as usual.

“I don’t know how that happened, and 
I’m very sorry. Could I bring you a free 

We told him we were full and could not 
eat any more pizza. Then he surprised 

“I’m so sorry for this, and let me say 
right now that your lunch is on me today. 
This will not cost you anything.”

He wouldn’t take no for an answer, so 
we accepted his generosity.

I know The Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage can do anything and everything, 
but I never real-ized that she also 
could clone my uncle.

On the way home I couldn’t help but 
think of Ecclesiastes 2:15, “Then said I 
in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, 
so it happeneth even to me; and why 
was I then more wise? Then I said in my 
heart, that this also is vanity.”

Instead of judging other people for what 
they do, I need to pay close attention to 
what I’m doing daily.

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


 By Marc Garlett


Estate planning is an 
obvious concern for all 
parents, but if you have 
a child with special needs, it’s crucial that you’re 
aware of the unique considerations that go into 
planning for a child who may be dependent on 
you at some level for their entire lifetime. If your 
child has special needs, you must plan to provide 
for the emotional, physical, and financial needs 
of your child, in the event of your own eventual 
death or potential incapacity.

 When creating your estate plan, there are two 
major considerations to focus on: 1) Who would 
care for your child if you cannot (also known as 
guardianship), and 2) How will your child’s financial 
needs be met when you are not there to meet 


Naming Legal Guardians for a Lifetime of Care

The first and most critical step in ensuring the future 
well-being of your child with special needs 
is to name both short and long-term legal guardians 
to take custody of and care for your child in 
the event of your death or incapacity. And as you 
well know, if your child will never become fully 
capable of independently caring for him or herself, 
your parenting responsibilities will continue 
long after your child reaches adulthood.

Although this lifetime responsibility likely feels 
overwhelming, we’ve been told repeatedly by 
our clients who have a child with special needs 
that naming legal guardians and knowing their 
child will be cared for in the way they want, by 
the people they want, creates an immense sense 
of relief. Not only that, but you may want to build 
in unique directives through which the named 
guardians are carefully instructed—and even incentivized—
to give your child the same level of 
attention and care you provide. 

Providing for Your Child’s Financial Future: Special 
Needs Trusts

Beyond naming legal guardians for your child 
with special needs, you’ll also need to provide financial 
resources to allow your child to live out 
his or her life in the manner you desire. And this 
is where things can get tricky for children with 
special needs. 

In fact, it may seem like a “Catch-22” situation—
you want to leave your child enough money to afford 
the care and support he or she needs to live a 
comfortable life, yet if you leave money directly to 
a person with special needs, you risk disqualifying 
that individual for much-needed government 
benefits like Medi-Cal and Supplemental Social 
Security Income (SSI).

Fortunately, the government allows assets to be 
held in what’s known as a “special needs trust” 
to provide supplemental financial resources for a 
physically, mentally, or developmentally disabled 
child, without affecting his or her eligibility for 
public healthcare and income assistance benefits. 
However, the rules for such trusts are complicated 
so you should always work with a trusted 
lawyer to create a comprehensive special needs 
trust that’s properly structured and appropriate 
for your child’s specific situation.

Setting Up the Trust

Funds from a special needs trust cannot be distributed 
directly to your child, and instead must 
be disbursed to a third party who’s responsible for 
managing the trust. Given this, when you initially 
set up the trust, you will likely be both the Grantor 
(trust creator) and Trustee (the person responsible 
for managing the trust), and your child with 
special needs is the trust’s Beneficiary.

You’ll then name the person you want responsible 
for administering the trust’s funds upon your 
death or incapacity as the Successor Trustee. To 
avoid conflicts of interest, overburdening the legal 
guardian with too much responsibility, and 
providing a system of checks and balances, it may 
be a wise decision to name someone other than 
your child’s legal guardian as a Trustee.

As the parent, you serve as the Trustee until you 
die or become incapacitated, at which time the 
Successor Trustee takes over. Each person who 
serves as Trustee is legally required to follow the 
trust’s terms and use its funds and property for 
the benefit of your special needs child.

There are two ways to set up a special needs trust. 
In the first option, it is built into your revocable 
living trust, and it will arise, or spring up, upon 
your death. From there, assets that are held in 
your living trust will be used to fund your child’s 
special needs trust.

In the other option, a special needs trust acts as a 
vehicle for receiving and holding assets for your 
child right now. This option makes sense if your 
child’s grandparents or other relatives want to 
give him or her gifts sooner rather than later.

Finally, it is important to ensure that the trust will 
have sufficient funds to last throughout the life 
of your child. One common method to provide 
funding is for you (or another loved one) to name 
the special needs trust as the beneficiary of your 
life insurance policy. Another way is for family 
members and friends to make donations or gifts 
to the trust and/or include it as a beneficiary in 
their will.

Marc Garlett, Esq.

Cali Law Family Legacy Matters


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