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4.1 out of 5 stars
The Wall Street Journal Complete Estate-Planning Guidebook
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Yes, I know what many of you are thinking- I'm not rich, so why do I need a Estate Planning guide? Well, you're partly right. Sure, your estate won't have to pay estate taxes, that's only for the wealthy. But without some degree of planning you can make things much more difficult for your loved ones- just at a time when things are bad enough anyway.

Take my Dad. Ok, he didn't have a lot of money to leave us. And, he was smart enough to make his bank accounts in trust for us. (This book covers that simple and free trick). He also had a simple will. But he also had a nearly worthless few acres he had bought out in the desert, and he didn't make any special arrangements for it. The hoops and expense we had to go through for that little bit of nearly worthless desert land were astounding.

So, my Dad was a smart guy, and well educated with a Master's and so forth. Still, a book like this would have saved at least one big headache.

And, I have seen many more families get hit with worse financial headaches and even disasters due to no planning at all. Really- even us middle class folks need some estate planning. Don't put it off. I agree with the author when she says "One of the biggest estate planning mistakes people make is waiting too long to start."

This book is comprehensive, fairly easy to understand and up to date. What's nice is that there are sections which are good for those who wouldn't seem to need a "self-help" book- those who have a big enough estate as to bring in a Estate planning attorney. For those few, it covers the legal gobbeldygook that lawyers use, allowing you to have a chance at understanding what your lawyer is saying.

And what's nice is that it's reasonable priced too, so there goes your last argument.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2011
This gives you a good overview, but it could use a bit more detail. I suppose that is why we all end up having to hire attorneys. It is, nevertheless, well presented, well organized, and succinct. A good starting point.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2011
I had read numerous articles and other books on estate planning but this book clearly explains the difference between trusts, types of wills, life insurance and other important considerations when planning and developing an estate plan. The author uses illustrations from her own life experiences and what she learned from them. This book is very readable, straight forward, and highly informative.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2011
The Complete Estate Planning Guidebook is an excellent overview - guide - to the estate planning process. As such it can be a starting point for those who will go into more depth and those who only want to have an general understanding of the issues, alternatives, and processes of estate planning.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2011
I have a Trust but knew it needed review and I needed to know current information and things I could do so the lawyer cost would be less. It fullfilled all my expections and more. I read it cover to cover on a flight from Kansas to California.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2011
Nice easy read that give you elementary understanding of the issues. Well organized and quite comprehensive. I would recommend it for anyone that wants the basics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2011
helpful for us newbies and not ultra rich people who can afford the expensive estate lawyers and accountants. i would recomend this to all beginners who are starting to look at estate planning.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2013
It is a great book that tells you everything that you should know to create you estate plan. It contains detailed lists of questions for estate planning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2014
This book is brief, clear, organized, and exactly what we were looking for to prep for our first Estate Planning session. If you are looking to do complicated things with taxes, this is probably not the book for you. This is the "Monarch Review Book" of estate planning. The chapters are identified in a way that one only needs to read relevant information, and not overload on irrelevant issues.
It is therefore not at all daunting.......
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 6, 2014
In the tradition of a national newspaper for the general American population, this book is very readable. Anyone with an eighth grade education will understand the concepts of estate planning. These include such subjects as reducing taxes, wills, probate, trusts, and life insurance. The final four chapters discuss the social aspects of estate planning such as philanthropy, preparing for death, preserving family harmony, and maintaining the estate plan.
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The best section is on estate taxes - chapter 2. I have not read anything better.
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Unfortunately by making the contents too simple, the important details are not adequately covered. For this reason, the reader needs to purchase selections from the Nolo company.
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