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Saturday, May 26, 2018


We had my father's burial ceremony yesterday. All went very well. The folks at the Memorial Park were superb, and even the Rabbi held back from being politically correct--an unusual thing for an American Rabbi in California.

Wanted to thank everybody for their kind comments. Much appreciated.

Now comes all the legal/financial stuff which will involve (sigh) my traveling back-and-forth between my home in North Carolina and California. It will be a few intense months of lawyers and accountants. I will try, however, to maintain my usual low standards in political commentary so that the regular five or six readers of this blog do not get too upset.

Thanks, again.


  1. Bless. It's a hard time for you. Understood.Take your time.

  2. I know what you are about to go through. Remember, it is a process, and it takes what it takes as long as it takes, so try to keep your patience---yes I know.

  3. I wondered a bit about how many siblings you have. I don't recall you mentioning any, but that of course could be because you purposely don't write about them. Probate can be a rough thing if there are substantial assets in play, and there is tension between those involved in the probate.

  4. Once again, condolences on your family's loss. He sounded like a very interesting fellow.

    But I doubt you'll get away with having to deal with the legal stuff for only a few months. I wouldn't be surprised if it lasts for years, as some things just don't go slowly. Good luck on dealing with the lawyers but especially the State.

    Green Bear

  5. We'll be here when you're ready Sir.

  6. DipII: Again, condolences to you and yours, and here's wishing you rapid healing. We will all be waiting to hear your wise words when you can get back to us.

  7. I think the old man would be very proud of his lad.

  8. My condolences as well. I lost my dad last August and it's a hard thing, no matter how old they are.

  9. My best wishes to you ad your family. I lost my mother (at 96) last year. Go with God.

  10. "Wanted to thank everybody for their kind comments. Much appreciated."

    Thank you WLA, for sharing a part of your Dad's life passages with we humble followers and readers. Thanks too for your wise observations and commentary about the state of the state, and the world, writ large and small... glad to hear you'll be keeping us posted! Happily, even while you're away in the West, there'll be a bit of space remaining, wherein, the rogues, renegades, and republicans hereabouts can scribble in the margins, or per chance, have an epiphany?!

    On Watch~~~
    Let's Roll"

  11. Another stage of his passing, just knowing that your Father is not here physically in this world is something new to deal with. There was always comfort that he was alive. I read some where that the final step in becoming a man is dealing with your father's passing. i found that to be very true. God bless you and your family.

  12. Prayers and Condolences sorry for your loss

    reader #14

  13. המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים

    Anonymous is right, settling the estate will take years. My mother's meager $100,000 debt-free estate took two years. And there were only two beneficiaries who got along!

    Your will always miss him. I still miss my dad terribly and we lost him twelve years ago.

  14. It isn't easy, but you will get through the process. Again, sorry.

  15. Condolences, old fruit. In case it's of help: apparently Church of England parsons often used to assume that it was wise to allow at least fourteen months before they could expect parishioners to have recovered from the worst of the grief.

    I wondered why fourteenth months? To let the season change a bit I imagine; a death in May would at last seem to be more remote by the next-but-one July. Spring would have become Summer.

  16. Mr. Amselem,

    Back in '95 I found myself "breaking down" in the midst of a game of nine ball at the memory of my own Father and I having enjoyed ourselves at the same activity of billiards. Dad having a billiards table from my very early childhood ... Dad's preference being Snooker.

    Anyway my opponent taking note of my distress asking of me "What's the matter?" I replied something to the effect, "My Dad just died and I miss him, I hope I get over this soon."

    The fellow replied, "Son, I'm 82 years old and I still miss my Father."

    Some hours later one of my fellows remarked that "Your [opponent] obviously 'commiserated' with you in your grief." Me responding "Maybe so but he still took my Benjamins."

    These years later I remember that Gentleman and his words I'd since accepted and acknowledged as sincere and helpful condolences but it's only been in the years since I've held to heart the weight of what the guy had given me to understand.

    I suspect Mr. Amselem, in some particular instances through your years ahead you'll "know the guy" plays nine ball and likewise appreciate his depths. In a welcome way is my hope.


  17. Mr. A: My thoughts and prayers are with you on the passing of your father. It always seems harder to deal with after the hustle and bustle of the funeral is over and things quiet down to leave you with silence and time to think about the loss. We learn to live with it. My own father passed away at the age of 79 back in 1985. I think about him every day and am thankful for the time we had to share. He was my best friend.

    CW Buff out...

  18. I was executor for my parent's combined estate. It takes about a year to settle the whole thing. Depending on how much there is, how many heirs, and the terms of the will, you may be able to do without an accountant - I handled the paperwork myself. No accountant, minimal involvement by lawyers. I was trying to put as much as possible to help my sister.

    A tip: Run the estate (it's legally a trust) on a fiscal year basis, not a calendar year. Wait a few months to start formally distributing assets. If there are no transactions, you don't have to file a tax return for the no-transaction period (that's the way I remember it). This lets you handle the entire estate with a single return, which will save a hell of a lot of trouble. Anyone who thinks the IRS Form 1040 is convoluted never dealt with the Form 1041. I'd dearly love to require all Federal elected officials to do their own taxes.

    And yes, it still hurts after fourteen years.

    1. Hammer,

      One return? I don't think so. First there will be the final Form 1040, then at least one Fiduciary Return of Income, Form 1041, and possibly a Form 706. Then there are the State and Local filings.

      The main issue with the Form 1041 is that a lot of terms are ones even informed individuals won't be familiar with in this context. For this reason, at least the first Form 1041 ought to be filled out by an accountant. That can then be used as a guide for filling out later years, if necessary, using commercially available software, like H&R Block's.

      I suspect that your "One Year" is more hoped for than real. First, you really ought to wait the six months to see if an alternate valuation saves the estate on taxes - it saved thousands on my mother's estate, what with both the Real Estate and Stock Market crashes.

      Then there are the things that crop up that aren't known by the executor(s), like forgotten life insurance policies. Then the executors will, in later years, have to deal with securities strike suits. We got funds over six years after my mother passed away from such sources.

      Green Bear

    2. One Form 1041. As I mentioned, I handled my parents' estates, and declared a fiscal year...which began several months after their passing. No activity means no tax forms. I'll concede that the Form 1041 is Argument #1 in why all elected officials should be required to fill out their own taxes. There are several circular definitions in that one.

  19. Well, on the bright side, dealing with Lawyers and Accountants should remove the last vestiges of regrets for leaving California. By the time this is over, you will be, well and truly, a North Carolina native.

    So, you got that going for you

  20. My father died a year ago April. Fortunately my parents spent years making certain that their trust agreements were in order and I had several discussions with them and their attorney about the documents. There was very little outside his trust and the asset movement was simple albeit slow. He had a list of uid/pwds for everything.