Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, July 22, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 12


Mountain View News Saturday, July 22, 2023 



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:

What can you tell me about green funeral options? 
At age 80, I would like to pre-plan my funeral and 
make it as natural as possible. 

Old Environmentalist


Dear Environmentalist:

Great question! Green funeral options are becoming 
increasingly popular in the United States as 
more and more Americans are looking for environmentally 
friendly alternatives to traditional funerals. 
Here’s what you should know about “green 
burial” and “green cremation” options, along with 
some tips to help you locate services in your area.


Green Burial

If you wish to be buried, a green/natural burial will 
minimize the environmental impact by forgoing 
the embalming chemicals (which is not required 
by law), traditional casket and concrete vault. Instead, 
you’ll be buried in either a biodegradable 
container or shroud with no vault, and you won’t 
be embalmed. This allows the body to decompose 
naturally and become part of the earth.


If you want to temporarily preserve the body for 
viewing or a memorial service, instead of embalming, 
you can request dry ice or Techni ice, a refrigeration 
unit, or a nontoxic embalming agent.


You’ll also be happy to know that green burials 
are much cheaper than traditional funerals, which 
average around $8,000 in 2023. By scrapping the 
coffin, vault and embalming, which are expensive, 
you’ll save yourself several thousand dollars on 
your funeral costs.


To find green burial services in your area, a good 
first step is to see if there’s a certified green funeral 
home in your area and contact them. The Green 
Burial Council offers an online directory of providers 
and other resources at


If there isn’t one nearby, your next step is to contact 
several traditional funeral homes to see if they offer 
green funeral service options – many do.


You’ll also need to find a green cemetery. There are 
nearly 100 green cemeteries throughout the U.S., 
along with more than 300 traditional (hybrid) cemeteries 
that offer green burials too. To find them, 
the New Hampshire Funeral Resources, Education 
and Advocacy website has a list at NHfuneral.
org. Or, if you own rural property you may be able 
to have a home burial there, if your state and county 
allow it.


If, however, there are no green cemeteries nearby 
you can still make your burial more environmentally 
friendly by not being embalmed. And, if the 
cemetery al-lows, using a biodegradable casket or 
shroud and skipping the vault. If a vault is required, 
ask to have holes drilled in the bottom, or use a concrete 
grave box with an open bottom so the body 
can return to the earth.


Green Cremation

If you would rather be cremated, you have some 
green choices here too. While cremation has always 
been touted as being more eco-friendly than a typical 
burial, a traditional cremation, which uses high 
heat to incinerate the body, does emit greenhouse 
gases into the air.


A green cremation, however, uses water and potassium 
hydroxide to reduce a deceased body to its 
basic element of bone ash within a few hours. This 
green technique, which is known as alkaline hydrolysis, 
is a little more expensive than traditional 
cremation but, unfortunately, it’s not legal in every 
state. Contact some local funeral providers to find 
out if this is available in your area, or Google “alkaline 
hydrolysis cremation” followed by your city 
and state.


Another green consideration is deciding what to do 
with the remains. Instead of scattering, which can 
be harmful to the environment, there are a wide 
variety of biodegradable urns that dissolve into the 
earth or water over time, and memori-al urns that 
will grow a plant or tree in combination with your 


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


Have you ever had the 
feeling that you've been 
hoodwinked? You can't 
point out the specifics, 
but something deep inside suggests you 
have been.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
and I had a wonderful vacation at St. Augustine, 
one of our favorite places to go.

Something happened toward the end of 
our vacation that led me to suspect I was 
hoodwinked, but I couldn't unwind the 
situation yet. The toilet in our bathroom 
had clogged, and The Gracious Mistress 
of the Parsonage went to the front desk to 
get a plunger.

She brought the plunger back to our 
room and for several minutes tried fixing 
our toilet. I heard her in there working 
on it, but she didn't seem to be able to fix 
it, which surprised me.

I walked by the bathroom, looked in, and 
said something stupid, "Can I help you 
with that?"

The problem with that question was the 
response from my wife. "Yes, you can. 
Come in here and see if you can unplug 
the toilet." I had no expectation of fixing 
this problem; I just wanted to sound 
friendly. After a few severe plunges, all of 
a sudden, the toilet was unplugged and 
working perfectly.

Looking at me, my wife said, "Wow, you 
fixed it. You did a great job." Not realizing 
or noticing the hoodwinked element 
of what she was saying, I smiled and responded, 
"I'm so glad I could help."

Driving home the next day, she mentioned 
several times that she was truly 
grateful for the wonderful job I did with 
the toilet. After an hour of driving and 
listening, I sensed something was wrong. 
I could not put my fingers on it, but I felt 
something was wrong somewhere in the 
atmosphere I was living in.

We returned from our trip, unpacked, 
and returned to our routine. The next 
day about the middle of the morning, 
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
came to my office and said, "I was wondering, 
could you come and help me with 

A leg on one of her tables needed to be 
replaced, and she could not unscrew the 
bolt that held it together.

Looking at me, she said, "Do you think 
you could unscrew that bolt for me?"

I have screwed up many things, but very 
few have I unscrewed. So I picked up 
the wrench, and after several minutes of 
struggling, I finally got it loose. I smiled 
at my wife and said, "There you are, my 
dear." Then I walked back to my office.

For the next several days, she called me to 
help her fix something, and most of them 
I could not fix. Maybe I can unscrew a 
screw or a bolt, but that's the extent of my 
fix-it ability.

At supper that night, she smiled at me 
and said, "I still can't get over how you 
fixed that toilet on our vacation."

As she smiled at me, I saw some twinkle 
in her eye that caused me to think something 
was amiss. I'm not skilled in the 
hoodwinking business, but I was beginning 
to think that the Gracious Mistress 
of the Parsonage was. She is excellent in 
many things, and I'm beginning to understand 
that if any-body can hoodwink 
me, it is her.

Am I being hoodwinked? And if so, what 
do I do about it? I had to think this thing 
through in developing a plan that would 
work. She can see through many things, 
so I had to develop something to the far 
right of her seeing ability.

I devised a plan but did not think I could 
go through with it. After all, there would 
be a lot of plot-ting and, eventually, a 
drop or two of blood. But it might be 
worth it if I do it correctly.

Not too long after, she called on me for 
another fix-it project. I had gone over 
this plot in my mind 100 times and was 
hoping it would work.

She appeared at the door of my office 
one morning and asked, "Can you help 
me fix something? I've been working on 
it all morning. I just cannot get it right." 
Then she flashed a smile at me. I flashed 
a smile back and followed her to her latest 
fix-it project. She had a dresser on the 
back porch she was trying to fix. One 
drawer was stuck, and she could not get 
the screw out to enable the drawer to 
come out.

She handed me the screwdriver and said, 
"I just can't get that screw out."

I sighed very deeply because I knew that 
it was now or never. I bent over with the 
screwdriver to be a little bit out of her 
sight, and as I was working on the screw, 
I pinched my left thumb so that it would 
start to bleed, and then I yelled, "Ouch."

I turned around and showed her my 
bloodied thumb, and boy, was it paining. 
She looked at me rather frightened and 
said, "Come with me to the bathroom, 
and I'll fix your thumb." Some things are 
worth it.

I couldn’t help but think of a verse in the 
Bible, “For it is better, if the will of God 
be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than 
for evil doing” (1 Peter 3:17).

Sometimes it is better not to correct 
something but rather “suffer for well doing.” 
I’m still trying to learn that.

Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL 
with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. 
E-mail jamessnyder51@gmail.
com, website www.jamessnyderministries.


 By Marc Garlett


Including a Trust as part 
of your estate plan is a 
smart decision. It allows 
you to avoid probate, 
maintain privacy, and distribute your assets to your 
loved ones while also allowing you to provide them with 
a lifetime of asset protection. But, here’s the thing you 
might not know, and is critically important to remember: 
simply creating a Trust is not enough. For your Trust to 
work, it must be funded properly and may need to be updated 
over time.

Funding your Trust means transferring ownership of 
your assets from your own name into the name of your 
Trust. This can include bank accounts, investments, real 
estate, and other valuable possessions. 

By funding your trust properly, you ensure your assets 
are managed according to the terms of your Trust and 
will be distributed according to your wishes when you die 
or if you become incapacitated.

But, if you fail to fund your Trust, it becomes nothing 
more than an empty vessel. Your assets will not be protected 
or distributed as intended, at least partially defeating 
the purpose of creating a Trust in the first place! 
While your assets may still be able to get into your trust 
and be governed by your Trust after your death, that 
means your family must go to court to get your assets 
there, and that is a costly endeavor.

To make sure your Trust works for you, avoid these funding 
fiascos and work with an attorney who will ensure 
everything that needs to get into your Trust does.

1. Forgetting to Update Your Account Beneficiaries

Many people mistakenly believe that a Will or Trust 
alone is enough to dictate how their financial accounts 
should be distributed after they die. However, this isn’t 
the case. Without proper beneficiary designations on 
your accounts, your wishes may not be honored, and 
your assets could end up in the wrong hands.

Remember, the beneficiaries you designate on your accounts 
supersede any instructions in your Will or Trust, 
so this step is vitally important. 

Take a moment to review your various accounts, such as 
bank accounts, retirement plans, and life insurance policies. 
Ensure know your designated beneficiary and understand 
the why for that designation. 

When you are working with a lawyer, make sure your 
lawyer has a plan for each one of your beneficiary-designated 
assets, communicates that plan to you, and that 
the two of you decide who will handle updating your beneficiary 
designations. Then, make sure you review your 
beneficiary designations at least every three years, if not 

2. Your Attorney Didn’t Move Your Home into 
Your Trust

For many of us, our home is our most important and 
valuable asset. But if your attorney doesn’t deed your 
home into your Trust, your home won’t be included under 
the terms of your Trust if you become incapacitated 
or pass away. 

That means your home could end up going through the 
long and expensive probate court process in order to be 
managed during an illness or passed on to your loved 
ones after you die. If you own a $500,000 home, that 
means your family could lose up to $25,000 or more just 
to transfer your home to your trust and then distribute 
your home pursuant to the terms of the trust - and that’s 
not including any other assets that would have to go 
through probate.

A knowledgeable estate planning attorney shouldn’t miss 
this step, but it does happen. And if you’re using a DIY 
service online to create a Trust without the help of any 
attorney at all, it’s almost guaranteed to happen!

That’s why it’s so important to work with a lawyer who 
takes the time to make sure every asset you own is in your 
Trust before they say their farewells.

3. Not Reviewing Your Plan and Accounts 

You might wonder how not reviewing your estate plan 
every few years could really make your plan worthless. 
Well, the good news is that failing to review your plan is 
unlikely to completely eliminate the benefits it provides 
you with because an estate plan is made up of a number 
of moving parts, not just a Will or a Trust.

But, failing to keep your financial assets up to date and 
aligned with your estate plan can result in huge issues for 
you and your family and can even make the Trust you invested 
in worth little more than the paper it’s printed on!

That’s because your Trust can’t control any assets that 
don’t have the Trust listed as the owner or beneficiary. 
By reviewing your accounts at least every 3 years, you can 
help catch any accounts that don’t have your Trust listed 
in this way.

For example, it’s very common for clients to open a new 
bank account and forget to open the account in the name 
of their Trust or add their Trust as a beneficiary.

Thankfully, by comparing your financial accounts to 
your estate plan at least every 3 years, you’ll able to catch 
simple oversights like this that could cause your assets to 
be completely left out of your Trust. 

Make Sure All of Your Assets Are Included in Your Plan 
with Help from Your Lawyer

Getting your legal documents in place is an important 
step, but it's equally important to know that the documents 
themselves are not magic solutions (as magical 
as they may seem!). Merely creating a Trust or naming 
beneficiaries on your accounts does not guarantee your 
wishes will be carried out unless all the pieces of your 
plan are coordinated to work together. 

And if you aren’t experienced in estate planning, trying 
to coordinate all these pieces yourself can be a recipe for 

That’s why I work closely with my clients to not only create 
documents but to create a comprehensive plan that 
accounts for all their assets and how each one needs to 
be titled to make sure the plan works exactly the way it’s 

I recommend that before anyone engages an attorney to 
help with their estate plan, they ask that attorney what 
processes they have in place to ensure all client assets 
are included in the plan. If they don’t have a specific 
process or can’t clearly explain it to you, find someone 
else or risk wasting your time and money on a plan likely 
to cost your family dearly. There are good attorneys out 
there who understand this and incorporate it into their 
practice. Make sure you’ve found one before signing any 
engagement agreement.

To your health, wealth, and family legacy,

Marc Garlett, Esq.

Cali Law Family Legacy Matters


This material was created for educational and informational purposes only 
and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you are seeking 
legal or other advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be 
obtained on your own, separate from this educational material.

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