… I don’t even know if the concept came across …

… there was shot in the video that we didn’t keep of the young kid with the gun in his mouth …

… certain people would let us show it …

… I understand, ya know …

… I understand why they don’t want teenagers with guns in their mouths in front of a classroom …

… I understand …

… but, uh, that’s what happened … I’m not making it up, ya know …

… and I’m sorry that there is a reason to make this video or to write that song or a song about that …

… it shouldn’t have happened …


… I’m sorry that people had to watch it so many times …

Ps – Due Influence – Eddie Vedder Spoke

Pearl Jam
1990 – Present
American Rock Band.


Mr. John B. Whalen, Jr., Esq. has been honored for excellence as one of North America’s Top Attorneys, an award for continuous professional recognition – an accomplishment realized by the Top 1% of American Professionals.

Lawyers recognized for excellence have remarkable professional accomplishments, great peer evaluations and more. Over 1 million North American lawyers work in businesses, government, and privately in solo practices and firms, large and small.

Of the very small percentage of lawyers who are ever publicly recognized for excellence, just a handful have been selected as a North American Top Attorney.

Mr. John B. Whalen, Jr., Esq. is considered to be one of the best and has achieved this hard-earned recognition.


The year was 1998. The 70th Academy Awards were being held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, and as Madonna approached the podium to hand out the Oscar for Best Original Song, it seemed a given that one of the most unstoppable and popular celluloid anthems of all time, Celine Dion’s Titanic megahit “My Heart Will Go On,” would take the prize. And of course, it did.

But another, very un-Celine-like singer-songwriter made an impression that evening, performing his own nominated underdog song, “Miss Misery.”

His name was Elliott Smith. And a little more than five years after this moment, on October 21, 2003, he would be dead, at age 34. But the heart of Elliott’s music still goes on, a decade later.

Ps – Due Influence – Elliot Smith – 10 Years Later

The three and a half years between Figure 8 and Elliott’s death were tragic and troubled ones. Elliott had always been startlingly frank about his struggles with depression, addiction, and suicidal thoughts, in both his interviews and his lyrics. However, during this time his problems worsened, resulting in aborted recording sessions, aborted rehab attempts, shambolic concert performances, and his participation in a brawl at a Flaming Lips/Beck concert that led to his arrest. However, Elliott’s devoted fans waited patiently, hoping he would eventually return to what he did best: making magical, heart-sleeved, exquisitely fragile music.

And then, on October 21, 2003, Elliott died from two stab wounds to the chest. While his death was originally considered a suicide, the official autopsy report released two months later left open the question of possible homicide. Elliott’s girlfriend, Jennifer Chiba, told police that she and Elliott had had an argument, that he had stabbed himself while she was in the bathroom, and that she had pulled the knife out of his chest before calling 911. A possible suicide note in Elliott and Jennifer’s Los Angeles apartment, written on a Post-It, read: “I’m so sorry — love, Elliott. God forgive me.”


Can an executor force the beneficiaries to sign a release in order to obtain distributions?

The executors of my mothers estate are requiring us to sign a release of liability in order to close the estate and receive distributions. We are hesitant about signing the release because we have requested an informal accounting over the past 7 years and they have sent bits and pieces, but we really haven’t seen the entire scope. They told us the formal accounting will cost the estate a lot of money.

We wanted to reword the release to say that we release them of liability only on the information that we know and/or after 4 years after the estate closes. Is this typical behavior of the executor to force us to sign the release in order to get our distribution? Are our changes to the release reasonable?


I am the executor of my parents estate. Am I required to use the atty who wrote the will to settle the estate?

The executors of my mothers estate are requiring us to sign a release of liability in order to close the estate and receive distributions. We are hesitant about signing the release because we have requested an informal accounting over the past 7 years and they have sent bits and pieces, but we really haven’t seen the entire scope. They told us the formal accounting will cost the estate a lot of money.

We wanted to reword the release to say that we release them of liability only on the information that we know and/or after 4 years after the estate closes.

Is this typical behavior of the executor to force us to sign the release in order to get our distribution? Are our changes to the release reasonable?


Ps – Legal Briefs – “A Part of Justice Being Done”

Joe Miller: What do you love about the law, Andrew?

Andrew Beckett: I… many things… uh… uh… What I love the most about the law?

Joe Miller: Yeah.

Andrew Beckett: It’s that every now and again – not often, but occasionally – you get to be a part of justice being done. That really is quite a thrill when that happens.


… What’s the last word?
… I don’t know. Faith, maybe?
… Which one … faith or maybe?

Ps – Trust Living – Adrienne Shelly

Ps – Trust Living – Adrienne Shelly – Bio

Adrienne Shelly
Born June 24, 1966 – Died November 1, 2006
American actress, director and screenwriter

Ps – Trust Living – Adrienne Shelly – Death

On November 1, 2006, Shelly was found dead in her Greenwich Village work studio.

While initially thought a suicide, police later arrested a construction worker who confessed to murdering Shelly when she caught him robbing her apartment.

Shelly’s husband afterwards established the Adrienne Shelly Foundation, that awards scholarships, production grants, finishing funds and living stipends to artists.

In her commemoration, the Women Film Critics Circle gives an annual Adrienne Shelly Award to the film that it finds “most passionately opposes violence against women.”


Pa Attorney Reviews – Mick

In my opinion, you can’t do better.

John Whalen brought a wealth of experience, knowledge and integrity to my situation, and was able to answer all my questions honestly, whether the answer was favorable to my case or no.

In a situation dealing with more money than I’ve ever seen, and matters of which I know not the first thing about, it was a great relief to have such a wonderful resource at my disposal!

In my experience you simply can’t do better.


“If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience …

… I will dispense this advice now.”

Ps – Trust Living – “Wear Sunscreen”

Mark Anthony “Baz” Luhrmann
Born September 17, 1962
Australian film director, screenwriter and producer

Ps – Trust Living – “Wear Sunscreen”

“Wear Sunscreen” or “Sunscreen” are the common names of an article titled “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young” written by Mary Schmich and published in the Chicago Tribune as a column in 1997, but often erroneously attributed to a commencement speech by author Kurt Vonnegut.

Both its subject and tone are similar to the 1927 poem “Desiderata”.

The most popular and well-known form of the essay is the successful music single “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”, released in 1999, by Baz Luhrmann.


“Oh, Sunny one so true, I love you.”

Ps – Trust Living – Bobby Hebb

Robert (“Bobby”) Von Hebb
Born July 26, 1938 – Died August 3, 2010
American Singer Songwriter

Ps – Trust Living – Bobby Hebb – “Sunny”

Bobby Hebb wrote the song in the 48 hours following a double tragedy on November 22, 1963, the day U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and Hebb’s older brother Harold was stabbed to death outside a Nashville nightclub. Hebb was devastated by both events and many critics say that those events & critically the loss of his older brother inspired the lyrics & tune.

According to Hebb, he merely wrote the song as an expression of a preference for a “sunny” disposition over a “lousy” disposition following the murder of his brother.

“All my intentions were to think of happier times & pay tribute to my brother – basically looking for a brighter day – because times were at a low.”

Ps – Trust Living – Bobby Hebb – Note

“Sunny” has been recorded by many artists, including Jamiroquai, Cher, Boney M, Georgie Fame, Johnny Rivers, Oscar Peterson, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra with Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Electric Flag, The Four Seasons, Leonard Nimoy, two different versions from Frankie Valli, the Four Tops, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Les McCann, Wes Montgomery, Dusty Springfield, and Classics IV.


“If you want it, come and get it.”

Ps – Due Influence – Pete Ham – Apple Records

Apple Records was a record label founded by The Beatles in 1968, as a division of Apple Corps Ltd. It founded and produced many notable acts, including Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Badfinger, and Billy Preston.

The “Come and Get It” was the name of a song composed by Paul McCartney for the 1969 film The Magic Christian, and made popular by the group Badfinger.


“And give me something to believe in”

Ps – Trust Living – Something To Believe In

Bret Michael Sychak
Born March 15, 1963
American Musician, Actor, Director, Screenwriter, Producer, Reality Television Personality

Ps – Trust Living – Something To Believe In – Song

“With “Something To Believe In” I wrote that late at night after a friend (James Kimo Maano, a security guard and best friend of Bret Michaels) of mine passed away a couple of Christmases ago.

I was at my mom’s house for Christmas when we got the call and it was late at night. That really affected,” he says as his voice trails off.

Ps – Trust Living – Something To Believe In – Meaning

… “My best friend died a lonely man …

… In some Palm Springs hotel room …

… I got the call last Christmas Eve …

… And they told me the news …

… I tried all night not to break down and cry …

… As the tears rolled down my face …

… I felt so cold and empty …

… Like a lost soul out of place …

… And the mirror, mirror on the wall …

… Sees my smile it fades again …

The song emphasizes several different things, such as the televangelism scandals, the thoughts of a Vietnam veteran and how he can never seem to shake the memories of “a war he can’t forget,”, the recent death of a friend, and seeing the homeless on a street at night, dimly lit by a neon sign that once spelled out “Jesus Saves” and how it seems that the lessons of yesterday are forgotten on the world of today.


What to do if I do not agree with attorney fee from final accounting in estate. What rights do I have or do I just sign it?

I think the estate has been overcharged thus reducing my inheritance. What to do?

If I do not sign it does that make the estate costs go up do to the estate not being settled? The lawyer is not giving the other beneficiary his last distribution until he gets my signed “family settlement agreement.” But I do not feel as though I am obligated to sign something I do not agree with.

How much should an estate worth $198k be charged for executor fee for two people. The lawyer is taking half of the executor fee and his attorney fee for the time spent. I have an email from him saying he was only going to take one of those. What to do?


“It’s more about wearing an “X” hat or an “X” t-shirt, which is fine.”

Ps – Due Influence – Malcolm X – Bio

Malcolm X (Malcolm Little)
Born May 19, 1925 – Died February 21, 1965
American Leader, Minister, Public Speaker, Human Rights Activist

Ps – Due Influence – Malcolm X – Spike Lee

I realize that, but that cannot be the end product of just wearing the hat.

You know, that’s very cosmetic – very superficial – as far as knowing who he is.


“Starry Starry Night”

Ps – Trust Living – Vincent van Gogh – Bio

Vincent van Gogh
Born March 30, 1853 – Died July 29, 1890
Dutch Post-Impressionist Painter

Ps – Trust Living – Vincent van Gogh – Note

Don McLean wrote the lyrics in 1971 after reading a book about the life of the artist. “Vincent” describes different paintings done by the artist, and clearly demonstrates a deep-seated admiration for not only the work of van Gogh, but also for the man himself.

It is also known by its opening line, “Starry Starry Night”, a reference to van Gogh’s painting “The Starry Night.”

There are also references to van Gogh’s sanity and his suicide.

Throughout his life, van Gogh was plagued with mental disorders, particularly depression. He “suffered for [his] sanity” and eventually “took [his] life as lovers often do.”

The following year, the song became the number one hit in the U.K. and No. 12 in the U.S.


Do I need to pay inheritance tax on a property owned by my father and I if he passes away?

My father and I are purchasing a property together. Should he pass away, do I need to pay inheritance tax if he leaves his share to me, and if so, is it on only the equity value of the property or the full market value of the property? This is in the state of Pennsylvania. Thank you.


“If you want to work with someone who will take time to understand your issue/request, who will offer professional advice, who deeply understands law, flexible and friendly, hire John.

You will not be disappointed.

You also will not be surprised by hidden fees as he charges per case, not per hour.

I hired John to do my will, living will, and power of attorney, and I am very pleased with the quality of these documents and convenience of the process.”

Estate Planning Word Cloud Concept

Maintaining Power of Attorney in a HIPAA World

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is vast.

When Congress enacted HIPAA on August 21, 1996, however, one of its critical concerns was protecting the privacy of the average American citizen. Prior to HIPAA’s enactment, medical records had become increasingly accessible as a result of technological advances that contributed widespread information sharing.

HIPAA targeted the potential for fraudulent or improper disclosure and transmission of medical records. In doing so HIPAA has created a challenge for lawyers in Pennsylvania who seek to protect the rights of clients who need to exercise Powers of Attorney for their loved ones within the HIPAA environment.


Who can be a witness for a living will?

I am thinking about preparing a living will for my mother and have a question about witnesses. I realize that relatives by marriage cannot witness but how far do you take that? I know my mother’s daughter-in-law can’t be a witness but can my mother’s daughter-in-law and her husband be a witness. They will not be named in any last will and testament.


“Trust Me, if I had my death ray, I wouldn’t be living here.”

“I’d be in my lair enjoying the money the people of Earth gave me for not using my death ray.”

Ps – Avoid Probate – Sheldon – Death Ray

Sheldon (James Joseph “Jim” Parsons)
Born March 24, 1973
American Actor.

Ps – Avoid Probate – Sheldon – Note

The asteroid 246247 Sheldoncooper was named after Sheldon.

In 2012, a newly discovered species of bee was named Euglossa bazinga, after the character’s noted catch phrase, “Bazinga!”.

In March 2013, the Columbus Zoo named a monkey after Sheldon.

Estate Planning Word Cloud Concept

Misinformation, Misunderstandings, and Mistakes

The best gift you can give your loved ones is to have your Estate Planning complete.

Unfortunately, to a great extent, misinformation about critical terms such as inheritance tax, estate tax, probate, avoiding probate, simple will, living will, and living trust, tends to lead to misunderstandings of estate planning.

These misunderstandings, in turn, tend to lead to mistakes in estate planning.

These mistakes, again, in turn, tend to lead to unintended results after one’s death.

In an effort to eliminate such misinformation, misunderstandings, and mistakes, this article will hopefully serve as a review – in very simple terms – of the basic, core issues of estate planning and its basic documents.


I had an Estate Income Tax situation that required a legal interpretation, where as the beneficiaries were in disagreement with the Executor over who should report the income.

Mr. Whalen started working on the problem, and did not stop until my problem was resolved.

If I could add five more stars I certainly would.