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Die Smart: 11 Mistakes That Cost Your Family When You Die: Probate, Living Trusts, Power of Attorney (And More) Paperback – April 25, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Nformed (April 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982123000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982123003
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,322,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The authors were on a mission when they wrote Die$mart - 11 Mistakes that Cost Your Family Money When You Die: Probate, Living Trusts, Power of Attorney (And More). Kathy and Christine had just gone through an agonizing period of serving as a caregiver, and eventually settling their parent's estate. During this time, they became aware of forms and laws that no one talked about in school. The more they learned, the more amazed they were when they experienced what the impact of "dying dumb" means to those left behind.

After experiencing the emotional and financial consequences of "dying dumb", the authors began to research how much people actually knew about the rules that manage their lives in the event of caring for an aging parent or the paperwork required when someone dies. They were astonished to discover in a survey that 85% of the people had never heard of a power of attorney, and that most people don't have a clue about how death or a prolonged illness can impact their lives and financial worth. The sordid truth is that "dying dumb" can cost a family 4 to 8% of their net worth - even more if long term care is involved.

With their background in information workflow, market research and taxes, the authors began to construct a guide to help people manage their affairs so that others won't be blindsided like the authors were. Die$mart is written for the average person - it's easy to understand and will help you save time and money by providing you with information about the facts, laws and forms that manage your affairs as we age and die. You can use this information to have a conversation with your parents, your lawyers and your financial planner---no matter the size of the estate.

Die$mart will help you understand that what you don't know - or don't do - will cost you and your family dearly in the end.

From the Author

This book was written from our personal experience, with legal review from the law firm of Spector Weir LLP. We thought we were educated people. We have degrees in business. We managed businesses. However, when it came to caring for aging parents and serving as an executor/trustee, we kept discovering facts we didn't know about. Even though we had spent time and money with estate planning lawyers. Facts that cost our family time and money. We wanted to share our knowledge...and hopefully provide the information you need to take care of your affairs while you can.

More About the Author

Like many non-fiction authors, I became an author to tell my story. My story turned into my passion....providing tools and information that help others with life's toughest moments. Getting your affairs in order when you know death is around the corner. Dealing with a funeral and other paperwork when someone dies.

For many years, I was a geek. I started off writing IBM assembly language code many years ago. I then morphed from a geek to a manager. From a manager to an entrepreneur. You can see my work career at linked.com/kathylane.

If you have had experience as a caregiver, a financial agent, a health care agent, an executor, or a trustee, let me know how your experience might help others.

Looking forward to hearing from other authors and readers.

Kathy Lane

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
The same is true of a loved one's death.
L.A. Little
Loved the checklists, glossary of terms and easy reference book formatting.
Nanette M. Circo
I recommend Die Smart for a great reference book.
Monica Wyant

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L.A. Little on December 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Die $mart, tackles the question that all of us face at some point in time; how to leave the greatest amount of what you have worked for throughout your life to your loved ones when you leave this earth. Not the most pleasant thought but then, not everything about life need be pleasant. What is needed though is a plan, a plan as to how you can avoid given a large percentage of your net worth to the tax man and/or lawyers and administrative nightmares.

The book is organized into ten major mistakes that you definitely want to avoid and at the end of each chapter, there's "bottom line" section that gives it to you straight - here's what it could cost you by not acting and, here are the main bullet points that the chapter covered.

Speaking of the chapters, they are broad in scope. The most surprising dealt with the concept of long term assisted living. The numbers there are staggering. The author cites statistics that some 80% of the population will not die a sudden death, but instead a longer and slower death that has significant implications in terms of cost and legalities. "If only we had known" seems to be the reoccurring theme through this title - if only you had known that in most states a financial power of attorney does not permit language for you to manage health care to a loved one who has lost the ability to communicate. If only you had known that you needed a Health Care Power of Attorney document to give your loved one the authority to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. If only you had known ...

For a book of roughly 225 pages, there is a tremendous amount of material.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nanette M. Circo on February 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently loss my father and am helping my mother work with the trusts, wills and financial accounts my father had set up for her. He did a great job but
there were still so many details and questions we both had--
This book was my bible and in turn has helped me review
what I currently have in place for my assets and estate planning.
Great, great resource that helped me talk with my mom's financial advisors, attorney and trust department.
Loved the checklists, glossary of terms and easy reference book formatting.

A Must reference book for all of us who are helping parents with their estate planning and our own as well.

Keep the information coming Kathy--would love a companion workbook and filing system.

Love your site as well--[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jane Austen on November 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
As one who has gone through the probate/estate issues of a parent, I completely recommend Die Smart! Believe me everyone needs as much information concerning estate matters as possible, no matter how old you are. As the old saying goes, we are all just passing through and we should be prepared financially to prevent major mistakes in probate issues. NEVER , NEVER have property not divided with siblings .... this only causes heartache later. Also, a must to take with you to lawyers offices... to keep them honest.
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By Monica Wyant on December 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
I won this book through Library Things Member Giveaway program. Not that I am planning to die any time soon I just thought it was a good book to try and win because it looked very helpful. I found the book filled with a lot of information. Some of the information was confusing yet helpful. To discover that even if you have a will doesn't guarantee your estate will be divided properly or that you will avoid probate court which would delay your beneficiaries from acquiring your assets.

Die Smart has made me want to start talking to a lawyer about creating a will and trusts, etc. just to make sure that my beneficiaries earn the most out of my estate and retirement funds. This is a great book to read prior to going through the death of a family member. I have to say that when my mother died I knew none of this and my dad is still alive so my sister and I didn't have any involvement in her estate. Now I actually want to talk to my father about what he has done to see if he is prepared so that my sister and I don't have to go to court or delay thing with probate.

I recommend Die Smart for a great reference book. Take it with you when you go to see a lawyer about your will or trusts, etc. Don't wait until it is too late and make it hard on your family.
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