Grief lesson: Plan ahead, Melissa Rivers says

Email to a Friend

Deborah Feingold

Melissa Rivers lost her father, Edgar Rosenberg, to suicide in 1987 when she was 18 and a freshman in college. Now the co-creator of “Fashion Police” and “Live from the Red Carpet” shares lessons about estate planning that she learned from that experience. Her father’s preparation prevented a grief-filled situation from being worse.

Rivers, who has a son, benefitted from her father’s purchase of enough life insurance to cover any estate taxes that she would have owed when she inherited the assets from her father’s estate. “That’s what my dad did, which is such a simple, such a basic thing to think about,” she says.

Her father also set up a trust to which she didn’t have full access until she was 32. She set up such a trust for her own son. “Who you are and what you think is important at 25 is not what you think at 35,” she says. “At one point, all restrictions are off, but at least as a parent you know your child is protected.”

Rivers keeps 15 percent of her portfolio in real estate, 50 percent in a diversified group of domestic and international stocks, and 35 percent in bonds.