Planning for Chronic Illness: A Conversation with Martin M. Shenkman

Posted on August 5th, 2013 at 3:40 PM

By: Robert L. Moshman, Esq.

Chronic illness may be the forest that gets overlooked amidst the trees. It is all around us, affecting about one out of every two American adults. Yet, incredibly, it is often invisible to practitioners and ignored during the estate and financial planning process.

How should financial planning be modified to address chronic illness? Here we examine basic strategies and talk to Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD, PFS, AEP, who has developed resources to assist professionals in facing these challenges.

Estate Tax is Passé

Ivan Pavlov demonstrated classical conditioning by ringing a bell when feeding dogs and then documenting that the dogs would salivate at the mere ringing of a bell. Modern estate planners now exhibit such a Pavlovian response at the mere mention of the Federal estate tax, focusing undue attention on what has become a political scrimmage. 

Headline: “Will Congress tweak the $5 million estate tax exemption?” Can you force yourself to not read this article? An estate planner can become fixated on such news, even if his  or her professional practice doesn’t have a single client with a taxable estate and never will. Less than 1% of estates have any exposure to Federal estate tax...

For more, read the full PDF here.

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