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Plan Your Estate Paperback – May 4, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Plan Your Estate
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Planning your estate is one of the most complicated endeavors you'll ever undertake, yet its results are also the most far-reaching; after all, it will continue to affect those you care about long after you no longer can. So it's worth understanding all the options and ramifications, being personally involved, and doing it right. This Nolo Press guide to estate planning is an excellent source of information on the many various details and considerations that you need to take into account--such as children and probate, estate and gift taxes, second marriages, and a wide variety of trust options (charitable, generation-skipping, spendthrift, living, and educational, for starters). It delves into the factors that affect married people versus single, the laws regarding children, types of beneficiaries and wills, plus joint tenancy, life insurance, retirement benefits, taxes, and organ donation. Showing a number of sample estate plans, explaining what hiring a lawyer can do for you (and how to choose a good one), how to do your own research, and including a glossary of estate-planning terms, Clifford and Jordan give you the tools to decide for yourself how you want your estate disposed of--and to make sure that's what your legal documents reflect. --Stephanie Gold --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"...can walk you through making a will and provisions you need to consider for your situation" (CBS MoneyWatch 2011-02-07)

"Walks you through... provisions you need to consider for your situation." (CBS News 2008-02-01)

"An exhaustive guide, explaining everything from simple wills to complex trusts. Particularly helpful are a series of 'profiles' that illustrate how estate plans can benefit various individuals and families." (The Wall Street Journal 2008-03-02)

"An excellent source of information on wills and estate planning." (The New York Times 2008-03-01)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 539 pages
  • Publisher: NOLO; 10 edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413312012
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413312010
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #993,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
BOTTOM LINE: Many people looking into getting an attorney to prepare a simple will have probably had sticker shock - several hundred dollars minimum for a competent attorney to prepare it. But as this book explains, do it yourself estate lawyering, while not prudent for complex situations, is clearly within the reach of those with even moderately complex situations and the patience to spend a leisurely weekend reading this book.
WHAT IT COVERS: This book is primarily a primer, explaining the foundations of estate planning including: an overview and whether you actually need to spend time reading the book and drafting estate docs, drafting a will, how to think about what assets will go to which family members and other beneficiaries, financial instruments such as brokerage accounts/bank accounts/life insurance and how they fit into wealth transfer, as well as powers of attorney and health care directives. What I like best about the book is that you know you are getting candid advice from someone not trying to bill you by the hour or sell you variable annuity life insurance. In my own area of expertise - finance - the fact that the author's opinion regarding life insurance is dead on (tax planning should be kept separate from investing strategies and as such variable annuities are complete bunk) gives me great comfort that I'm getting straight shooting advice in the rest of the book.
WHAT IT CAN BE USED FOR: The book can serve readers on two different levels. If you are going to get a lawyer anyway but are the type of person that wants to be educated when you talk to lawyers/accountants/brokers, this book will have you speaking the same language and is an easy read over the course of a weekend.
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Format: Paperback
I am a practicing trusts and estate lawyer and bought this book for straight-shooting, plain english explanations of complicated estate planning techniques. The author does a marvelous job simplifying complex issues and his explanations are well thought out and easy to understand. I recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of doing some estate planning and wants to understand what their lawyer is saying to them.
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Format: Paperback
I have read about 10 books on estate planning, and this is by far the clearest, best organized, and most comprehensive of the lot. The authors cover the issues of trusts, tax planning and tax reduction, and asset preservation. This is the book to start with, and is really as good as they get.
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Format: Paperback
Before you go to a lawyer, read this book! It will save you time - giving you information to be able to ask the most pertinent and specific questions - and therefore save you money!
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Format: Paperback
Now in a newly updated and expanded seventh edition, Plan Your Estate is a resource provided by attorneys Denis Clifford and Cora Jordan which is packed from cover to cover with everything anyone needs to know to ensure their worldly goods are promptly willed to loved ones. Written in no-nonsense terms that the non-specialist general reader can readily grasp, individual chapters clearly address wills, how to avoid probate, living trusts, property-control trusts, naming guardians for children and leaving property to children, estate taxes, living wills, how to reduce estate taxes, and much, much more. Especially recommended for individuals who own a business or who have children from a former marriage, Plan Your Estate is a "must-have", "do-it-yourself" legal resource, which is applicable to all American states except for Louisiana. Even those who prefer to let a professional handle the whole process of estate planning would be well served to read Plan Your Estate cover to cover, before stepping into an attorney's office where time is money and the clock is running.
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By A Customer on May 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
At first I was hesitant about doing something so important as planning my estate without a lawyer but this book really changed my mind. It is comprehensive, well organized and very easy to use. Plan Your Estate took me through every step of the process, even the more complicated parts such as providing for both my child from my first marriage and my current family. This book includes sample estate plans so you can get a better idea of what you want to do and even includes the tricky state-by-state rules.
I bought both this book and Estate Planning for Dummies but ended up only using this one. I'm so happy about how much money I saved in legal fees by doing it myself that I've been recommending it to everyone!
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By A Customer on December 4, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you expect to have a $1,000,000+ estate and want to understand your tax saving options, this book is excellent. It's readable, usually clear, well organized & well indexed. It progresses into many advanced topics such as QTIP trusts, GSTT trusts, GRATs, GRUTs, GRITs, etc. and explains them in good detail, with examples. Includes some very useful state-by-state info.

You'll work much better with your lawyer if you read this book first.

I read a library copy, but then bought my own.

This book works well with Condon's Beyond the Grave, which is much weaker on the nuts and bolts of estate tax planning but much better at getting you to think through the human (family conflict) side.
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