Customer Review

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid, comprehensive and timely guide, September 9, 2011
This review is from: The Wall Street Journal Complete Estate-Planning Guidebook (Paperback)
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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Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 9, 2011 12:01:34 PM PDT
Well said! And you are on target with the lack of planning. I've seen this with my own relatives.

Posted on Sep 9, 2011 3:25:21 PM PDT
Aceto says:
What fun is this? You bat down all my objections right in the review. There is nothing left for comments. Slacken up a little, won't you?

Posted on Sep 10, 2011 6:25:34 PM PDT
NyiNya says:
I never think about estate planning (being immortal and ever-young). That tip about just switching my bank account into an in-trust one is something I'm going to act on immediately. And probably talk to my accountant about what I need to do...especially since I've invested most of my money in designer shoes and accessories.

Posted on Sep 11, 2011 6:34:34 PM PDT
I am thinking of (out of pure spite) leaving my vast estate and tremendous fortune to some organization that buys shoes for silly girls and let my family suffer through the reading of the will. That will teach em.

Posted on Sep 13, 2011 6:55:00 PM PDT
Since I'm in the financial planning business, I see this from a different point of view. I'm glad there are self help books out there and they are used.
Thanks for bringing this up, Wulfie.
Mike

Posted on Sep 15, 2011 5:34:27 PM PDT
Hey, Wolfstan, nice review. Several of my veterans organizations try to push this idea, and you are right, it is important. I remember how difficult it was for military families of those killed in action. It is never too early. Thank you for the review.

Posted on Sep 20, 2011 1:48:08 PM PDT
Wandrwoman says:
This is perhaps the most important thing we can all do for ourselves and our loved ones. Make a will and a living will and update them periodically. Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. Bravo Wulf!
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