Estate Planning Matters - February 2016
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Thank You!

In January I received many positive responses to the newly designed newsletter and website. If you
missed either one, you can visit the website here: While you are there check out the newsletter archive. My overall goal was to simplify the website and newsletter to make them more user friendly. From the sound of most of the responses, it seems to be working. To those that experienced technical difficulties, I am sorry. I believe those issues have been corrected (please let me know if you are experiencing any difficulties.)

In case you were not already aware, this month has an extra day due to leap year. This occurs only once every four years. What are you going to do with that extra day? If you are not sure, I have a suggestion. Review your estate plan. I know it may not sound like fun, but if the purpose of your estate plan was to make things easier for your loved ones, keeping it up to date helps make sure it will work as expected when a crisis comes along. An outdated estate plan is one of the more common reasons I see estate plans fail.

So what does leap year have to do with this? Nothing directly, but I am often asked the question “how often should I review my will or trust?”. Generally I recommend every 3 to 5 years. Now if you have some type of large life event occur you should not wait that long to speak with your attorney, but if not, leap year could be a good reminder to have your plan reviewed.

To help you review your plan, I have included a link to our self assessment that you can use to help determine if your estate plan is up to date, or if it is time to sit with someone for a more formal review.

Also in this month’s newsletter, since we are at the start of tax season, I have a brief article regarding tax deductions for your long term care insurance premiums and the staff spotlight is on Ronald Klokus, who is the other attorney in my office. Finally, don’t forget to try out the recipe and let me know what you think.

As always, I would love to hear from you. So if you have any questions or comments, please let me know.


Patrick J. Roth, Esq., CPA

Article Index
Thank You!
Long-term Care Insurance Deductions Increased For 2016
Estate Plan Up To Date?
Get To Know Ronald J. Klokus, Esq.
Monthly Recipe


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Long-term Care Insurance Deductions Increased For 2016

The amount you can deduct on your taxes as a result of buying long-term care insurance has been increased by the IRS for 2016.

If you itemize your deductions, you can generally claim a deduction if your premiums, added together with your other unreimbursed medical expenses, total to more than 10% of your adjusted gross income (or 7.5% if you’re 65 or older.)

The maximum amount of the premiums you can deduct each year depends on your age at the end of the year:

Age Maximum Deduction
40 or Younger $390
41-50 $730
51-60 $1,460
61-70 $3,900
70 or Older $4,870

For policies issued in 1997 or later, the premiums are deductible so long as the policies meet certain requirements, such as they offer “inflation protection” and “non-forfeiture protection.” (You don’t have to actually choose these options, but the policy has to offer them.)

For policies issued before 1997, the premiums are deductible if the policies were approved by the State Insurance Commissioner.

Also, don’t forget that New York State also has a credit if you (or your business) pay for qualifying long-term care insurance policies. The allowable credit is 20% of the premiums paid during the tax year for the purchase of, or for continuing coverage under a qualifying long-term care insurance policy.

Is Your Estate Plan Up To Date?

One of the biggest problems I have seen that leads to issues with estate plans is people letting their plan become out of date. Unfortunately, I believe if you asked most people, they think once their will or trust is signed, they never have to worry about it again.

However, over time things change. Laws change, personal situations change, assets change, etc. These changes could often affect your estate plan. How do you make sure your plan works as best as possible when a crisis strikes? Keep it updated.

By following this link you can get our free self assessment that you can use to see if your estate plan is out of date, or missing newer (or better) provisions that are available to you. If you find you are answering “no” or “don’t know” to many of the questions, you may want to sit down and have your plan formally reviewed.

Get To Know Ronald J. Klokus, Esq. CPA

Amidst attending marketing classes and studying for political science exams as an undergraduate at Syracuse University, young Ronald J. Klokus still managed to find time to volunteer for Meals on Wheels. And it’s fortunate he did—it was during his time volunteering with the elderly that the aspiring lawyer developed a passion for Elder Law.

“Being able to help families through what can be a very difficult time, is some of the most gratifying work that I have been a part of.” says Ronald.

His commitment to improving the lives of the elderly and their families is matched by his dedication to small businesses. As a graduate student and a young lawyer, Ronald worked with small businesses from a wide array of different industries, finding he had a special fondness for working with families and entrepreneurial newcomers...

Through his law and consulting services, Ronald strives to provide small business owners with the knowledge and support needed to ensure they are successful for generations to come... READ MORE

Recipe Corner - Rye Boat Dip

While the puppy bowl (and Super Bowl if you’re a sports fan) is over, this recipe is good for any get together or just to have on hand for a snack:


  • 1 - Bread Bowl (Rye Is Preferred)
  • 1 Pint - Mayonnaise
  • 1 Pouch - Powdered Ranch Dressing/Dip Mix
  • 1 Small - Chopped Onion (If Desired)
  • 1 Jar - Dried Beef
  • 1 Pint - Sour Cream


  1. Chop onion to a desired size.

  2. Rinse and dice the dried beef.

  3. Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl.

  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 6 minutes.

  5. Chill for 30 minutes if desired.

  6. Serve bread bowl with chips or vegetables... Be creative!

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Patrick J. Roth, Esq., CPA 145 Chemung Street Corning NY 14830 USA
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