TV Lessons in Estate Planning: The Simpsons

The Simpsons is an animated sitcom that first aired on FOX on December 17, 1989. The series, which has been on the air for the last 27 (TWENTY-SEVEN!!!) seasons, revolves around the Simpson family and their friends and neighbors in Anytown, USA a.k.a Springfield. Homer and Marge are the parents of Bart, Lisa and Maggie. As a 35-year-old, my mind cannot wrap… Continue Reading

Deductible Medical Expenses for Seniors

The older people get, the more medical expenses they tend to incur. The only saving grace is the expenses may add up to a federal income tax deduction. Specifically, you can deduct medical expenses you are not reimbursed for to the extent they exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2016 (unchanged from 2015). However, the write-off is only available if you…  Continue Reading

The Potential Risks of Do-It-Yourself and Internet Wills

Perhaps you’ve seen the ads on television and on the Internet. For less than $100 (sometimes a lot less), you can get a will. It may appear to be a good way to save money and time (one site says you can finish your will “in less than 15 minutes.” But along with the savings, there are plenty of risks.  Continue Reading



Answers to Your Questions About Picking an Executor

Your executor is responsible for handling the final details of your estate, such as paying off debts and distributing whatever is left to the rightful heirs and beneficiaries. It can be a difficult job if the person doesn’t have the skills necessary to handle it. Here are answers to some of the commonly asked questions that you may have about choosing an executor. Continue Reading


TV Lessons in Estate Planning: Happy Days

Happy Days was a sitcom that first aired on ABC on January 15, 1974.  The series, which was on the air for 11 seasons, revolved around the Cunningham family in the mid-1950s through mid-1960s.  The Cunninghams lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and were your normal middle class family. Continue Reading



What Immediate Actions Must Be Taken Right After Someone Dies?

When a loved one dies, family members are not only in mourning — they may be in a state of uncertainty about what to do next. While everyone is respectful to the loss of the loved one, tension can arise over who must take responsibility for arrangements and costs. Confusion often arises. In the weeks and months after the death, a person will be appointed… Continue Reading

Revocable Living Trusts

One of the most popular estate planning tools is a Revocable Living Trust. The main reason for its popularity is that it allows you to pass most assets to your heirs without going through probate — a court process that is expensive, time consuming and open to public scrutiny. A living trust also provides for the management and control of assets during lifetime… Continue Reading

Service Member Survivor Benefit Plans and Special Needs Trusts

On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed the Disabled Military Child Protection Act. This law allows a military parent to provide a survivor benefit for a disabled child and have it paid to a special needs trust for the child’s benefit. Until recently, service members were reluctant to name children with special needs as beneficiaries of their Survivor Benefit Plan… Continue Reading


Important Tax Figures for 2016

The following table provides some important federal tax information for 2016, as compared with 2015. Many of the dollar amounts are unchanged or have changed only slightly due to low inflation. Other amounts are changing due to legislation. Continue Reading



Living Wills and Health Care Proxies: The Terri Schiavo Case

The Terri Schiavo case is a landmark case that was on everyone’s minds. The bitter battle between her family and her husband lasted a decade and a half after Terri suddenly collapsed in 1990. However, her story has had an enormous impact on American consciousness, demonstrating the importance of having a living will and health care proxy. Continue Reading




Seven Reasons to Update a Will

A will is an essential part of planning for the future. But don’t think creating a will is a one-time proposition. Even if you have a valid document, it may need to be updated for a variety of reasons. For example: Deaths – If individuals named (as heirs or executors) have died or they become incapacitated, a will should be changed. Continue Reading



TV Lessons in Estate Planning: Beverly Hills, 90210

Beverly Hills, 90210 made its television debut on October 4, 1990 on Fox and had an initial run of 10 years. The teenage soap opera revolved around a group of friends attending the posh West Beverly Hills High School and then followed them through the trials and tribulations of college and “real” life. Continue Reading



TV Lessons in Estate Planning: Family Ties

Family Ties is a sitcom that first aired on NBC on September 22, 1982. The series, which ended in 1989, revolves around the Keaton family living in Columbus, Ohio in basically real time (during the Reagan Administration). Steven and Elyse are parents to Alex P., Mallory, Jennifer and later, Andrew. Steven and Elyse are children of the 60s and the hippie… Continue Reading


TV Lessons in Estate Planning: Family Guy

Family Guy is an animated sitcom that first aired on Fox on January 21, 1999. The series, which was cancelled in 2003 only to be revived a few years later, revolves around the Griffin family in the fictitious New England town of Quahog, a suburb of non-fictitious state capital Providence, Rhode Island. Peter and Lois Griffin are parents to Chris, Meg and baby Stewie. Lois… Continue Reading