Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 18, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 12





Are you or a loved one considering senior living? Safe Path 
for Seniors offers a FREE service to simplify your search. 
Our expert advisor will provide per-sonalized guidance, 
connecting you with the perfect assisted living community 
tailored to your needs and budget. With an extensive 
network and cost-effective options, we ensure peace of 
mind during this transition.

Why Safe Path for Seniors?

*Personalized Support: We understand unique requirements. * Extensive Network: Find communities that 
suit your preferences. *Budget-Friendly: Discover cost-effective solutions. * Streamlined Process: Save time 
with our seamless placement. *Compassion and Care: Your well-being is our priority.

 Let us be your trusted partner. Call (626) 999-6913 or visit for a FREE consultation. 
Begin a comfortable, fulfilling senior living journey with Safe Path for Seniors.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …November Birthdays*

Flo Mankin, Alberta Curran, Carmela Frontino, Kathy Wood, Lena Zate, 
Joe Pergola, Janice Kacer, Valerie Howard, Lois Stueck, Jean Wood, Shirley 
Yergeau, Pat Krok, Irene Nakagawa, Anna Ross, Mary Steinberg, Mary 
Bowser, Susan Clifton, Mary Higgins, Kim Buchanan, Leigh Thach, Sue 
Quinn, Jill Girod, Jeanne Martin. * 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 


Dear Savvy Senior:

What can you tell me about creating an incentive 
trust? I have an adult son and daughter that are both 
financially inept. Before I die, I want to put some type 
of requirements in place that they will need to follow 
in order to receive their portion of my estate.

Frustrated Father

Dear Frustrated:

If you want to influence your heirs even after you’re 
gone, an incentive trust is definitely an option to 
consider, but be careful how you construct it because 
it can cause unintended, unfair consequences. 
Here’s how it works, along with some tips to help 
you create one.

Incentive Trusts Basics

An incentive trust is an estate-planning tool designed 
to help encourage your heirs in a direction 
you desire when you’re no longer around.

With an incentive trust, some or all of your assets 
are passed to your trust when you die rather than 
directly to your heirs. Your trustee is empowered 
to distribute funds from the trust only if and when 
your beneficiaries do whatever it is you have specified 
in the trust.

For example, an incentive trust might encourage a 
beneficiary to graduate from college, enter a particular 
profession, get married or even have children. 
They could also reward beneficiaries who do 
charitable work or supplement the incomes of those 
who choose low paying, yet meaningful careers 
like teaching or social work. Or they could penalize 
beneficiaries who don’t work by cutting off or 
decreasing distributions or placing restrictions on 
heirs with addictions by requiring that payments go 
directly to rehab centers.

But be aware that these types of trusts can also have 
drawbacks. A poorly constructed incentive trust 
can have a high risk of unintended consequences. 
For example, if your trust provides a financial incentive 
for your children to be employed full-time, 
but one of them gets sick or seriously injured in a 
car accident and can’t work, they would be punished 

You also need to know that incentive trusts aren’t 
cheap. You can expect to pay an attorney $2,500 to 
$5,000 to draft one.

There are also legal limits on what you can do with 
an incentive trust. While state laws vary, incentive 
trusts that encourage a beneficiary to join or leave 
a particular religion, or leave a spouse or not marry 
at all, can be challenged in court and possibly struck 

How to Create One

To create a solid incentive trust that accomplishes 
what you envision, you need to hire an estate-planning 
attorney who will include precise instructions 
that clearly spells out your wishes. You’ll also want 
to include language granting your trustee the right 
to use his or her discretion and that the trustee’s decisions 
should be final and binding.

This allows your trustee to make common sense 
rulings, which will reduce or eliminate the chances 
of unintended and unfair consequences. It also 
makes it very difficult for beneficiaries to successfully 
challenge the trust or trustee in court. When 
a trust grants final decision-making authority to its 
trustee, it becomes almost impossible for beneficiaries 
to successfully argue that this trustee is not correctly 
implementing the trust’s terms.

The key is to select a trustee who’s smart enough to 
interpret your intent and has sufficient backbone to 
stand up to beneficiaries when necessary. You also 
need to select a successor trustee too if your first 
choice can no longer serve. Fees paid to a trustee 
vary widely depending on the state’s fee schedules, 
the size and complexity of the trust, and conditions 
laid out in the trust.

To find an experienced attorney in your area to 
help you create an incentive trust, see the National 
Academy of Elder Law Attorneys ( and 
the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel 

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 Michele Silence

Michele Silence, M.A. is a 37-year certified fitness 
professional who offers semi-private/virtual fitness 
classes and a weight management support group. 
If you have questions or ideas for this column 

contact Michele at 

Visit her Facebook page at: michelesfitness.

As we venture further into November, it won't be 
long before the holiday festivities disrupt our routines, 
and the risk of weight gain or skipped workouts 
becomes a reality. However, there are strategies 
to stay on track and still achieve your fitness 
goals during this time of year with some careful 
planning. Take a moment to think out of the box 
this year. Reflect on your typical responses to situations 
and consider a different approach.

This is an excellent opportunity to reach out to 
someone who doesn't usually exercise regularly 
and invite them to help you "stay on course" with 
your walks or accompany you as a guest to the 
gym. Include others who can provide support and 
be accountability partners during this busy time 
when it's easy to forgo exercise in favor of other 
tasks. Your encouragement might inspire them to 
start exercising, benefiting both of you by preventing 
holiday weight gain.

Give your holiday traditions a fresh twist. If your 
usual Thanksgiving routine involves feasting and 
then lounging on the couch, consider adding some 
physical activity to the day. Take a short family 
walk, engage in outdoor games, or even host 
a dance party. Any active endeavor burns more 
calories and is more memorable when shared with 
family and friends than simply watching TV or sitting 
on the couch.

Experiment with new recipes to complement your 
favorite dishes. Choose one or two healthier versions 
that prioritize vegetables, whole grains, and 
fruits. Swap out pre-meal snacks like nuts, cheese, 
and meats for vegetables with dip and fresh fruit 
platters. This small change alone can save you 
from consuming thousands of extra calories, excessive 
salt, and unhealthy fats. Don't forget to stay 
adequately hydrated, particularly when calorie-
laden beverages like sparkling wines, eggnog, and 
coffee drinks are so readily available.

Practice mindfulness in your eating habits. Pay 
attention to how much you consume, savor the 
flavors, and recognize when you're genuinely full 
rather than uncomfortably stuffed. Enjoying meals 
while engaging in conversation with others doesn't 
mean you have to eat until you're bloated and need 
to loosen your belt minutes later.

Be mindful of your company during the holidays. 
Sometimes, family gatherings bring together individuals 
who have trouble getting along under 
normal circumstances. The stress of being at odds 
with family members or friends who have different 
viewpoints can be uncomfortable. Have a plan for 
preventing heated discussions by sticking to non-
controversial topics. We all know which subjects to 
avoid - politics, religion, social controversies (like 
guns), and family conflicts. Bombarding someone 
you haven't seen all year with relentless questions 
is uncomfortable for them and the other listeners. 
If you're concerned about running out of conversation 
topics without these, prepare in advance 
and have other subjects ready to discuss, so no one 
reaches for their blood pressure medication after 

Be kind to yourself. If you manage to maintain 
your fitness level, weight, and routine during the 
last two months of the year, congratulate yourself. 
Most people gain up to 5 pounds over the holidays, 
so simply maintaining your current status puts you 
ahead. Remember that your mental health is just as 
crucial. Think ahead about the things that stress 
you out the most and plan alternative coping strategies 
now. Whether it's handling too many tasks 
(ask other family members for help), overspending 
(create a budget and stick to it, consider online 
shopping to prevent impulse buying), or stocking 
your home with unhealthy foods you wouldn't 
typically buy (limit yourself to one or two essential 

Throw in extra physical activity. Whenever you 
find yourself with even just 10 minutes of free 
time, engage in some form of physical activity. It 
helps manage stress, burn extra calories, and compensate 
for missed workouts. Activities like playing 
ball with the kids, taking a brief stroll around 
the block with the dog, or following a short YouTube 
fitness workout can significantly contribute 
to your overall well-being and peace of mind.

You alone are aware of the factors that tend to disrupt 
your holiday season—those elements that contribute 
most to increased stress, unwanted weight 
gain, and a sedentary lifestyle. By identifying these 
triggers and developing a strategic plan to break 
free from the cycle this year, you can enjoy the next 
two months with a plan to stay moving, experience 
less stress and look forward to more enjoyable personal 
interactions. Which is what the holidays are 
all about – friends, family and fun.

If you need a new/different activity to help you stay 
motivated during the holiday season, contact me at 
my Facebook page for help.


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


I enjoy the holiday season because 
of the food I get to eat. 
From Halloween to New Year's 
Day, the focus is food. Some of 
the best food of the whole year is during this 
time. In true confession, throughout the rest 
of the year, I eat Crow almost every day. It is 
a diet de-veloped by The Gracious Mistress of 
the Parsonage. It has taken some time for her 
to create such a diet for me, and she's done a 
marvelous job.

 It took me quite a while to understand 
this diet of eating crow. But if I understand it 
correctly, it means admitting you're wrong 
and were not right about what you thought or 
a statement you made to others. That's quite a 
definition, and I'm not sure I understand it even 

 I must admit that throughout the year, 
I vehemently made statements that were not 
true. It's not how many true statements I make 
throughout the year but the false statements I 
make that matter. How many times I've been 
wrong is beyond my calculation.

 Oh, if I only was 16 again when I knew 
everything. Sometimes, we will be with a group 
of friends, and I'll be telling a story that happened 
recently, and then in the middle of that 
story, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
will jump in and say, "No, it didn't happen that 
way." Then she will correct my story, and I'm 
standing there eating crow.

One of these days, I'm going to figure out a way 
so that The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
can find out what it means to eat Crow. So far, 
I have yet to come to any conclusion here. But I 
am working very hard to find something along 
this line.

 She was telling about our wedding one 
time, and I interrupted her and said, "No, my 
dear, the wedding was on August 14."

Looking at me with a confused look, she said, 
"That's what I just said. Our wedding was August 
14." "I'm sorry; I thought you said our 
wedding was August 14." Do you know what 
a pleasure it is to see so many people confused, 
especially The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage? 
Sometimes, it does pay to catch people off 
their guard, and you end up eating crow.

Sometimes, eating crow is worth the situation 
you find yourself in. I don't always create chaos 
in my life, but I try to make the best of it when 
it does happen.

 I'm looking for the opportunity when I 
catch my wife on something that will cause her 
to eat crow. I will not give up on this adventure.

But there is so much more to eat during the 
holiday season than crow. I could spend the rest 
of my time naming all the ingredients of our 
holiday meals.

 During this holiday season, I don't have 
time to eat Crow. All of the beautiful meals that 
are set before us have my attention all the way 

 The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
and I are a fantastic team. She loves to cook, 
and I love to eat. What better partnership can 
you have? All the crow I eat during the rest of 
the year is worth all the holiday meals at this 

 I must confess that The Gracious Mistress 
of the Parsonage is very careful how I eat 
Crow. She rarely lets me do it in front of people. 
I may be telling some story, but she doesn't correct 
me when people are around.

 On our way home from that gathering, 
she will begin the conversation by saying, 
"Soooo, is that really how that situation happened?" 
Usually, I'm not sure what she's talking 
about, and I respond by saying, "What situation?" 
Then begins the crow-eating marathon. 
I always get things wrong, and she loves correcting 
me, but usually when we are alone.

 I would probably get my name wrong 
if she weren't there to correct me. It's not that 
I don't like her correcting me because I do. It's 
agitating at the time, but in the long run, eating 
crow does have its advantages.

 If the truth were known, she has a way 
of preparing my crow, so I, to some degree, 
enjoy eating it. How she does it, I don't know; 
maybe I should begin taking notes. My problem 
is when she is talking about a situation in 
front of a group of people with me there, I really 
don't know if it's true or not. I assume what she 
is saying is true.

 Driving home from one of those meetings, 
she was quiet for a moment and then said 
something to the effect, "Well, did you get all 
the mistakes I made in that story I told?" She 
told the story and twisted it so much that nothing 
was true, and I never recognized it. That 
made me think she could get away with anything 
as far as I was concerned. Now, that's a 
differ-ent piece of crow to eat that I've never 
had before.

 Thinking about that a verse of scripture 
came to mind. "He that covereth his sins 
shall not pros-per: but whoso confesseth and 
forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 

 Probably the hardest thing I can do 
is to confess my sin and ask for forgiveness. 
However, it is the best thing to do. Eating crow 
sometimes is worth it.

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