Saturday, April 24, 2021

Resources newly available online

 In July 2020, after nearly 40 years of active, full-time practice, I scaled back to part-time practice. I continue to work about half-time. 

I have spent some time updating and, in some cases, annotating some of the tools that I had been using in my practice, and they have now been posted online at With one exception, all are free for anyone to use. They include: 

2021 Tax Calculator (Excel) - There are times that you want to have a projection of what the overall tax burden will be, assuming a certain level of earned income. This calculator will give you that projection. 

IRA Calculator (Excel) - Assuming a specified value for an IRA, 401(k) plan, or other similar retirement plan, this will give you a projection of what the required distributions (RMDs) will be when they begin at age 72, and how the increases in value and drawdowns over the next three decades will affect its overall value. There are two versions included, one that begins at age 72 and another that begins as early as age 60 and tracks increases with or without distributions until the age 72. (Free for personal use, but subject to a $50 licensing fee when used by a planner to advise a client.) 

SECURE distribution calculator (Excel) - For IRAs (etc.) inherited by a designated beneficiary who is not subject to one of four specified exceptions, the amount in the account can no longer be distributed over the beneficiary’s life expectancy, but rather must be distributed over the ten years following the death of the IRA owner (or her surviving spouse in many cases). This calculator again plots out increases in value and drawdowns with yearly or occasional distributions. 

Digital and Online Inventory (Word) - A place to record email accounts, online accounts, web pages, domains, electronic access to bank accounts, investment accounts, credit cards, software registration, etc. with contact information and passwords.  

US LawNet - A directory of the sites and resources most useful to practicing lawyers in the states that it covers. This site had its origin in a personal web page that I developed for my own use in the mid-1990s, and later posted online as a “publicly-accessible private site” as It has now been expanded to include ten states - five Great Lakes states and the five most populous states - and is publicly available for free use.  

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Quick IRS reference

On this single page, the IRS provides the tax inflation adjustments for a large number of items, including tax brackets, tax rates, standard deduction, as well as several items of interest for estate planning purposes: annual gift exemption ($15,000), lifetime basic exclusion amount ($11.7 million per person), etc. 

Over the line

 NPR describes the experiences of those who inadvertently ended up disqualifying themselves from SSI and other programs managed by the Soci...