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VINE VOICEon September 3, 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is a great resource, especially if you are using "Quicken WillMaker Plus," which is actually produced by NOLO. This book will answer a lot of questions, especially when you are trying to make out your will. There are chapters on "Inventorying Your Property," "Your Beneficiaries," "Children," "Wills," and "Probate and Why You Want to Avoid it," to name just a few. Despite the fact most of us do not want to discuss it, there is also a very helpful chapter on "Body and Organ Donations, Funerals, and Burials." If you have specific wishes, you need to make them known in the proper legal way.

In addition to a lot of general information, there is "State" specific information, so if you live in Florida, or Alaska, you will know what is permitted in your State.

Throughout the book, simple examples are used to better explain a topic, such as "Estate and Gift Taxes." Taxes are not easily understood without examples.

The final chapter of the book is a series of sample estate plans for different life situations, which will be helpful for you determine what you will need in your estate plan. Following this chapter is an extensive Glossary for a quick reference to the majority of legal terms used in Estate Planning.

All in all, a useful book whether you plan to use a lawyer, a computer program, or do it yourself. It helps you understand all that is involved, items to think about, and what the laws (Federal and State) require.
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VINE VOICEon February 10, 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am using Plan Your Estate in addition to the Quicken Willmaker 2011 Edition: Book & Software Kit to help me understand the What Where Hows and Whys of what I need to do to make the inevitable a bit less difficult for the ones I love.

Areas of coverage:

* Wills
* Trusts
* Living Wills
* Probate
* Taxes
* Powers of Attorney

I am still going through this manual, it's a lot of information to absorb, but I'm starting to get some clarity on what is needed to protect my estate and what can happen if I don't do anything at all. I am not familiar with the older version of this guide but this version was copyrighted in 2010 taking into consideration changes to the Federal Estate Taxes so the information should be updated and recent.

Both resources will be used to protect myself and my family's future and although I still plan on seeing an attorney to dot the i's and cross the t's I intend to make that process as short and sweet as possible.
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VINE VOICEon July 2, 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I wish that I had had this book before I had set up my estate planning--I would have understood much more about the things my lawyer was explaining to me (although he was happy to explain). The explanations in the book are written in plain english and are easy to understand. Most concepts are accompanied by examples.

Like most of the general Nolo books, you'll find lots of exceptions and special cases because it needs to cover all 50 states, each of which can have its own laws and rules on estate handling. There are lots of examples to illustrate various points, and many of the examples handle non-traditional situations, such as civil unions. Additionally, some of the examples handle the ugly but practical cases where you might want to leave more of your estate to certain parts of the family, or entirely ignore parts of your family. Besides the issues of inheritances, you'll also find information on gifts and trusts, avoiding probate, and living wills and health and medical planning, including end-of-life planning.

Since they have to provide such a general treatment, this book is much less like the workbook format of other, more targeted Nolo books. However, it's still a good book to use so you waste less of your time bugging your lawyer. And, depending on what you need, this book may help you discover topics that your lawyer doesn't suggest.

Also, as with most Nolo books, you can get free updates at their website, Nolo.com.
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on June 15, 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Once again Nolo has provided consumers with a useful, concise, and clearly explained legal guide. No one wants to ponder about the grim reaper but it's wise to be prepared to protect one's assets for family and posterity. This book starts out with an important updates (Feb. 2010) on the current status of the federal estate tax and tax basis (that will most likely affect only the ultra rich). Then readers are provided logically organized chapters starting with estate planning goals and estate planning. Estate tax laws are rather complex but Nolo has carefully dissected sections relevant to general consumers and even provides examples of different circumstances. What I found particularly useful were the sections on marital property in different states, retirement benefits, naming benficiaries, children, wills, and avoiding probate. Different individuals will obviously find different sections to be relevant. This book serves to inform consumers with a general overview of legal info on wills and estate planning. Nevertheless, it is wise to consult with a specialized attorney for those with much more complex estate planning concerns.
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VINE VOICEon September 23, 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
this book is good for an overview of ideas regarding estate planning; it certainly is cheaper than simply visiting an estate planner, but the book won't help you craft specific legal instruments, such as a will..

in fairness, no book could be that comprehensive or cover all the legal documents

but in regards to self-assessing needs, preparing and answering questions, and assembling information, the book can be very helpful

a number of complicated topics are discussed in plain and simple language - this is one of the best features of this guide

btw, if you're extremely wealthy, 2010 is a great year to die - no estate tax (although some vermin in Congress want to backdate tax obligations) - and this fact is prominent discussed in very first page of this book - kudos to the author, editor, and publisher!

btw, updates are posted at the publisher's Web site - a bonus!

i enjoy reading this book a little bit at a time, jumping back and forth between subjects, and slowly digesting its information - by the time i'm finished, i should have a good idea of what documents and plan i'll need for my estate
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