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Estate Planning: Dear Abby Columnist Pauline Friedman Phillips

Posted by attorney Evan Guthrie

Pauline Friedman Phillips died in January 2013 at the age of 94 of natural causes after years of battling Alzheimer’s disease. Phillips was best known for her Dear Abby advice column that answered reader’s questions since January 1956. There are many estate planning lessons that can be learned from Pauline Friedman Phillips.

One of the most important lessons that can be learned from Phillips is that it is important once in a while to stop helping others and to take time to help you. Phillips helped thousands of people solve their problems throughout the years, but also took the time to help herself and take care of her own problems. It is a common occurrence for people to get caught up in solving other people's problems as part of their job or personal life and neglect their situation. This is typified by the lawyer that helps clients all day, but fails to make an estate plan or even a simple will or an everyday person that helps solve all of the problems of their family or friends, but at the expense of their own quality of life.

Pauline Friedman Phillips solved one of her own problems by making sure that her own Dear Abby column continued on without her by her daughter Jeanne Phillips. Phillips knew that her cognitive decline would worsen with the onset of Alzheimer’s and made sure that her column and legacy would survive her. Phillips made sure to pass on the legal rights to the Dear Abby pen name to her daughter to make sure that the column would go on in perpetuity. One does not have to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s to make a succession plan for a business or assets. Business owners and most members of the general public should have a succession plan and an a general estate plan for their business or assets to make sure to make sure that everything can be continued and passed on in the right way. While a steady decline can be easily predicted after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, there can also be an event such as a car accident that can instantly change a business or a family. It is important to have a plan that can be implemented right away even in the most unpredictable circumstance to make sure that legacy and family are protected. An estate planning attorney can help make a plan to offer protection. For more info on this article please visit or

Evan Guthrie Law Firm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of South Carolina. The Evan Guthrie Law Firm practices in the areas of estate planning probate personal injury and divorce and family law. For further information visit his website at . Evan Guthrie Law Firm 164 Market Street Suite 362 Charleston SC 29401 843-926-3813

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