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Plan Your Estate

  • September 12th, 2006

Denis Clifford and Cora Jordan. Plan Your Estate. Nolo. Berkeley, CA. 2004. 455 pages.

$29.69 at Amazon (click on book to order).

Plan Your Estate is a comprehensive book designed to teach readers planning techniques for successfully transferring their property to loved ones after their death. It covers everything from estate planning basics and probate avoidance to funerals and estate issues after death.

Filled with examples, the book begins by discussing how to deal with personal issues, such as choosing an executor, leaving unequal amounts to children, and disinheritance. Though not designed as a substitute for consulting an attorney, it discusses just about everything one would need to know to be informed about how to plan an estate. Chapters cover wills, various ways to avoid probate, how to reduce estate taxes, trusts that control property, special considerations for family businesses, and what to look for in a lawyer.

The book includes charts to help compare different estate planning devices, including methods of gifting to minors, strategies to avoid probate, and charitable trusts. It also has a worksheet to help readers inventory property and provides a list of state law exemptions from probate for small estates and a list of state inheritance tax rules. One note, though: this book is not for residents of Louisiana. Louisiana law is different from other state estate planning laws and is not discussed here.

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Last Modified: 09/12/2006

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