ProfNet Experts Available on Ethical Wills, Estate Taxes, More

Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers and Media Industry Blog Posts

Jul 17, 2013, 12:35 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please contact them via the contact information at the end of the listing.

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  • Leaving Good Will: The Ethical Will
  • 'Sopranos' Star Leaves Estate Tax Mess
  • Smithfield Farms Sale Part of Industry Trend
  • Employers Need to Pay Heed to Workplace Heat
  • Prevention Can Curb ADA Lawsuits


  • Editor-in-Chief – InsideCounsel (IL)
  • General Assignment Reporter – Bay Area News (CA)
  • News Editor – Dow Jones (NY)


  • Media 411: Getting Even With TV News Attention Hogs
  • Photojournalism in 2013
  • How to Get Started in Science Writing



Leaving Good Will: The Ethical Will
Ronald Fatoullah, Esq.
Elder Law & Estate Planning in New York
"An 'Ethical Will' or 'Legacy Letter' is an ancient and unique document used as an aid in estate planning. It comes from the Judeo-Christian tradition and is intended to pass on wisdom, love, spiritual blessings, teachings, forgiveness, life time wisdom, meaningful advice and health directives to future generations.  Use of the ethical will has been gaining in popularity. Leaving your life's values to your heirs is as important as leaving your life's valuables."
Ronald Fatoullah, a certified elder law attorney and expert on estate planning in New York, is available to talk about the steps to creating an ethical will. He is the founder of Ronald Fatoullah & Associates, a top elder law firm in New York.
Media Contact: Carol Schell,

'Sopranos' Star Leaves Estate Tax Mess
Kevin Spencer
Estate Attorney
Spencer Law, P.C. of Dallas
"The shock over the untimely passing of 'Sopranos' star James Gandolfini has been accompanied by the surprising news that the acclaimed actor's will might allow nearly half of his $70 million estate to go to the government. The media is reporting that more than $30 million of Gandolfini's estate could end up being payable to the government simply because he didn't plan properly. It is an unfortunate scenario that may have been avoided. He could have taken advantage of the marital deduction; set up testamentary trusts, irrevocable trusts, and insurance trusts; made annual exclusion gifts and charitable bequests; or used other estate planning tools that might have saved quite a bit in estate and transfer taxes. As a result, it looks like his heirs might have to sell many of his assets -- including his home in New Jersey -- to meet estate tax obligations. The predicament facing Gandolfini's heirs shows that regardless of notoriety or wealth, not only should everyone have a will, but it should also be a sound will."
News Contact: Dave Moore,

Smithfield Farms Sale Part of Industry Trend
Clayton Bailey
Agribusiness Attorney
Bailey Brauer PLLC in Dallas
"The controversy surrounding the potential sale of the world's largest pork supplier, U.S.-based Smithfield Farms, to the Chinese company Shuanghui International was the subject of recent hearings by the U.S. Senate's Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee. Much of the concern lies within the realm of politics, economics and foreign policy, but this deal indicates a much deeper problem in the agricultural industry. A major driver for these hearings is a now-clear trend of foreign companies acquiring U.S. meat companies. The U.S. ethanol program, which encourages the use of corn for fuel, has significantly raised feed prices for meat producers and left them financially weakened and vulnerable to acquisition by foreign interests."
News Contact: Amy Hunt,

Employers Need to Pay Heed to Workplace Heat
Audrey Mross
Labor and Employment Attorney
Munck Wilson Mandala in Dallas
"Now that we're into the summer months, smart employers need to give consideration to the fact that workers can be somewhat hot, both in temperature and otherwise. OSHA requirements call on employers to provide a workplace free of recognized hazards, and that includes extreme heat. To make things easier, OSHA now has a 'Heat Safety Tool' app with a heat-risk index calculator. And then, there's the other kind of workplace heat. Plain and simple -- some clothing is fine for a night out, but inappropriate at work. It's always a good idea to remind people about any dress code requirements you've established in order to maintain the proper professional appearance in the workplace."
News Contact: Dave Moore,

Prevention Can Curb ADA Lawsuits
Bill Chamblee
Trial Attorney
Chamblee Ryan Kershaw & Anderson in Dallas
"Americans with Disabilities Act-related litigation is increasingly negatively impacting Texas companies, but a few simple preventive steps can help companies avoid becoming part of the costly trend. ADA suits have more than doubled in Texas since 2008 for a variety of reasons. In many cases, these suits are filed by attorneys and clients who aim to enrich themselves, but do little to actually improve the lives of the disabled. Regardless, the best way to avoid costly ADA litigation -- involving either workplace compliance or disabled access at public places -- is to check with experts to make sure everything complies with ADA standards. That small investment in effort and expense can save employers tens of thousands of dollars down the road."
News Contact: Dave Moore,



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Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at

  • GRAMMAR HAMMER: THAT IS, FOR EXAMPLE. Are you confused about when to use "i.e." and when to use "e.g."? The latest Grammar Hammer column explores the difference between those little abbreviations that we use to make a point:
  • PHOTOJOURNALISM IN 2013. On July 9, we hosted a Twitter chat with Ricky Flores, a photojournalist for the Journal News in New York. Flores discussed the challenges photojournalists face today, how the current media landscape has affected photography departments in newsrooms across the country, how technology has changed how photojournalists do their job, his experience on Sept. 11, and more:
  • HOW TO GET STARTED IN SCIENCE WRITING. Have you been thinking about expanding your writing career to cover science topics? If so, check out this great piece by science and travel writer Cameron Walker:


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