The 101 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes [NOOK Book]


A trust and estate lawyer to the stars offers an engaging look at how to avoid numerous estate planning mistakes

In The 101 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes, author Herbert Nass, an estate planner for some of today's most famous celebrities, offers an entertaining look at what not to do when setting up an estate plan, or administering an estate. By examining the mistakes made by some of the most well-known celebrities-from Bob Marley to John F. Kennedy, Sr. and Jr.-this book ...

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The 101 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes

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A trust and estate lawyer to the stars offers an engaging look at how to avoid numerous estate planning mistakes

In The 101 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes, author Herbert Nass, an estate planner for some of today's most famous celebrities, offers an entertaining look at what not to do when setting up an estate plan, or administering an estate. By examining the mistakes made by some of the most well-known celebrities-from Bob Marley to John F. Kennedy, Sr. and Jr.-this book will guide readers toward making a successful estate plan and help them avoid many common pitfalls. Chapters cover such topics as: mistakes involving tangible personal property, real estate, executors and trustees, minors, or persons with disabilities; as well as disgruntled family and friends left behind.

  • Puts estate planning in perspective through entertaining examples of mistakes celebrities have made in developing their own plans
  • Taps into the voyeuristic interest we have in the lives of the rich and famous
  • Offers an insider's look at many fascinating wills of the rich and famous

Given the emotional, financial, and legal issues that arise from the death of a loved one-and the substantial assets that are transferred from one generation to the next at this time-understanding estate planning is essential. This book will put you in a better position to make more informed estate planning decisions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470555552
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • File size: 5 MB

Table of Contents

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xxi

Chapter 1 The Single Biggest Mistake is Not Planning for the One Certainty in Life ... Death 1

Mistake #1 No Estate Planning Whatsoever 3

Mistake #2 Out-of-Date Wilis 14

Mistake #3 Losing Your Will 17

Mistake #4 Do-It-Yourselfers and Hanawritten Wills 19

Mistake #5 Not Signing Your Will Because You Physically Can't 24

Mistake #6 Not Properly Executing Documents 32

Mistake #7 The Best-Laid (Estate) Plans 35

Mistake #8 Dying Intestate, or Without a Will 42

Chapter 2 Mistakes Involving Tangible Personal Property 45

Mistake #9 Nemo Dat Quo Non Habet (Latin for "He Who Has Not Cannot Give") 46

Mistake #10 Not Properly Documenting the Delivery and Completion of a Gift 49

Mistake #11 Selling Valuable Tangible Personal Property Too Close to Death 51

Mistake #12 Bequeathing Tangible Personal Property That You Do Not Own 54

Mistake #13 Mentioning Too Many Details in Your Will 56

Mistake #14 Not Including Any Details in Your Will 60

Mistake #15 Not Providing Properly for the Care of Your Pets After Your Death 64

Mistake #16 Leaving Too Much Money for Your Pets After Your Death 66

Mistake #17 Giving the Same Tangible Personal Property Item to More Than One Person 68

Mistake #18 Not Properly Providing for the Disposition of Your Artworks after Your Death 69

Mistake #19 Not Providing for Your Tangible Personal Property in a Revocable Living Trust 73

Chapter 3 Mistakes Involving Real Estate 75

Mistake #20 Not Confirming How Title Is Held to Real Estate Before or Right After Death 76

Mistake #21 Forgetting That Real Estate Usually Passes Subject to Loans and Mortgages 78

Mistake #22 Not Draining the Water Pipes in a VacantHouse in Cold Weather 80

Mistake #23 Failing to Maintain Adequate Property and Casualty Insurance on Estate Property Especially Vacant Real Estate 82

Mistake #24 Failing to Provide That Children, or Others, May Continue to Reside in the Family Home with the Executor's or Trustee's Approval 84

Mistake #25 Failing to Provide That Existing Leases Will Terminate on Reasonable Terms After the Death of the Owner of the Property 87

Mistake #26 Owning Land, a House or an Apartment in a Foreign Country 89

Mistake #27 Assuming That a Co-operative Apartment Building Board Will Always Do What You Would Like 90

Mistake #28 Placing Real Estate in a Trust Without Checking on the Ramifications of Doing So 92

Chapter 4 Mistakes Involving Executors and/or Trustees 95

Mistake #29 Selecting Only One Executor in a Complicated Estate 96

Mistake #30 Selecting Too Many Executors 98

Mistake #31 Selecting an Even Number of Executors 102

Mistake #32 Selecting Executors with a Conflict of Interest 103

Mistake #33 Not Compensating (or Under-Compensating) Your Executors 107

Mistake #34 Not Selecting Your Spouse as an Executor 110

Mistake #35 Surprising Your Spouse with the Terms of Your Will 112

Mistake #36 Not Naming Your Children as Executors 113

Mistake #37 Naming Your Children as Executors 114

Mistake #38 Naming a Literary Executor in Your Will 116

Mistake #39 Naming a Corporate Fiduciary That Can Be Removed by an Individual Fiduciary 119

Chapter 5 Mistakes Involving Guardians, Minors, or Step-Children 123

Mistake #40 Not Naming the Biological Parent as the Guardian of Your Minor Children 124

Mistake #41 Naming the Biological Parent as the Guardian of Your Minor Children 128

Mistake #42 Failing to Periodically Review Your Choice of Guardian(s) 130

Mistake #43 Assuming That Your Step-Children Have the Same Legal Rights as Your Biological Children 132

Chapter 6 Mistakes Involving Prior Marriages, Prenuptial Agreements, and Significant Others 135

Mistake #44 NotTaking into Account the Terms of an Existing Separation or Divorce Agreement 136

Mistake #45 Entirely Disinheriting Children or Grandchildren Out of Stupidity or inadvertence 138

Mistake #46 Not Taking Your Spouse's Legal or Statutory Rights info Account 141

Mistake #47 Putting Your Child in Charge of a Surviving Spouse Who Is Not His or Her Parent 142

Mistake #48 Assuming That Your Divorce Automatically Revokes Your Will in Its Entirely 144

Mistake #49 Not Updating Your Will at the Start of Your Divorce Proceedings 146

Mistake #50 Not Respecting the Validity of a Prenuptial Agreement 148

Mistake #51 Not Mentioning the Prenuptial Agreement in Your Will 149

Mistake #52 Failing to Fund a Revocable Living Trust During Your Lifetime to Avoid Probate 150

Chapter 7 Estate Planning Mistakes Involving Tax and Copyright Issues 153

Mistake #53 Eliminating Your Residuary Estate Because of High Taxes on Your Personal Property 154

Mistake #54 Not Taking Full Advantage of the Available Tax Exemption Amount 156

Mistake #55 Not Having Assets Titled in the Name of Each Spouse 158

Mistake #56 Failing to Ascertain Whether Gift Tax Returns Were Ever Filed 159

Mistake #57 Failing to Pay the Five Percent Annual Minimum Distribution Requirement for Private Charitable Foundations 161

Mistake #58 Not Having a Buy-Sell Agreement in a Closely Held Business, Partnership, or Limited Liability Corporation 163

Mistake #59 Failing to Title Appreciated Real Estate in the Name of the Spouse More Likely to Die First 165

Mistake #60 Separating the Copyright Interest from the Actual Work of Art That Is Bequeathed to a Charity 167

Chapter 8 Estate Planning Mistakes Involving Disgruntled Friends and Family 169

Mistake #61 Lack of a No Contest or In Terrorem Clause in Your Will 170

Mistake #62 Using a One-Dollar No Contest/In Terrorem Clause in Your Will 171

Mistake #63 Using a Codicil Instead of a New Will 175

Mistake #64 Impulsively Changing Your Will by Whipping Out a Quick "Down-and-Dirty" Codicil 180

Mistake #65 Not Contacting the Attorney for the Beneficiary of a Will When Trying to Settle a Dispute with the Attorney for the Executor 182

Mistake #66 Requiring Survivorship by a Certain Number of Days 184

Mistake #67 Not Including Your Long-Time Secretary or Assistant as a Beneficiary in Your Will 185

Mistake #68 Entirely Disinheriting Children or Grandchildren Out of Anger or Vindictiveness 187

Mistake #69 Failing to Mention the Names of the Heirs You Intend to Disinherit in Your Will 191

Mistake #70 Directing That a Specific Attorney or Other Advisor Be Hired by Your Executor 195

Mistake #71 Not Taking Advantage of a Qualified Disclaimer within Nine Months of Death 197

Mistake #72 Offering Too Large an Amount at the Outset of Negotiations 199

Mistake #73 Arguing with Your Attorney about Legal Fees 200

Mistake #74 Fighting with a Lawyer with "Criminal" Clients 201

Mistake #75 Having Your Former Mother-in-Law Own a Life Insurance Policy on Your Life 202

Mistake #76 Not Getting the Original Will Back from the Person Replaced as an Executor 203

Chapter 9 Mistakes Involving Funerals, Burials, or Cremation 205

Mistake #77 Not Appointing Someone to Make Burial and Funeral Arrangements 207

Mistake #78 Spending Too Much on a Funeral or Burial 212

Mistake #79 Providing Overly Detailed Funeral and Burial Instructions in Your Will 214

Mistake #80 Prepaying for Your Funeral, or Not 217

Mistake #81 Directing That There Be No Funeral or Memorial Service 218

Mistake #82 Losing the Deed for Your Cemetery Plot 222

Mistake #83 Directing That Your Bodily Remains or Ashes Be Buried or Scattered in an Illegal Manner 223

Mistake #84 Directing That Your Pet's Remains Be Buried with Yours 225

Mistake #85 Getting Too Religious in Your Will 227

Chapter 10 One-of-a-Kind Mistakes by Celebrities and Icons 229

Mistake #86 Not Making Charitable Gifts in Your Will When Your Sons Are the Heirs to the British Throne 230

Mistake #87 Mentioning the Name of a Lawsuit Involving You in Your Own Will 232

Mistake #88 Leaving Your Estate to an Older Person Outright and Not in Trust 235

Mistake #89 Leaving It All to Your Girlfriend Who Has a Drug Addiction 240

Mistake #90 Making a Bequest with Politically Incorrect or Racist Strings Attached 243

Mistake #91 Not Properly Identifying an Organization That Receives a Bequest 245

Mistake #92 Not Providing a Way to Determine That Your Wife Has Regained Her Sanity 247

Mistake #93 Murdering Your Spouse (or Anyone Else) 249

Chapter 11 Rookie or Boneheaded Mistakes 251

Mistake #94 Making a Material Misrepresentation on a Life Insurance Application 252

Mistake #95 Not Settling a Dispute When the Downside Is Much Greater Than the Upside 254

Mistake #96 Making Handwritten Changes to a Will after It Has Been Signed and Witnessed 256

Mistake #97 Acting as a Witness to a Will in Which You Are Named as a Beneficiary 258

Mistake #98 Removing the Staples from an Original Will 259

Mistake #99 Putting Your Original Will in a Bank Safe Deposit Box That May Be Sealed 262

Mistake #100 Preparing Only a Videotaped Will Instead of a Written One 263

Mistake #101 Owning a Large Amount of Life Insurance in Your Name Individually 264

About the Author 267

Index 269

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