Estate Planning Basics

Overview

Creating an estate plan for the first time does not need to be difficult.

Estate Planning Basics will give you all the information you need to get started on your estate plan. You don’t have to spend hours wading through endless options that make it sound much more complicated than it is. Attorney Denis Clifford gives you the reliable, plain-English answers you need, whether you're doling out the family heirlooms or trying to steer clear of estate taxes. The 6th edition is ...

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Overview

Creating an estate plan for the first time does not need to be difficult.

Estate Planning Basics will give you all the information you need to get started on your estate plan. You don’t have to spend hours wading through endless options that make it sound much more complicated than it is. Attorney Denis Clifford gives you the reliable, plain-English answers you need, whether you're doling out the family heirlooms or trying to steer clear of estate taxes. The 6th edition is completely updated to reflect the latest information including new estate and gift law taxes.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Will be appreciated by those with modest estates who want a quick overview.”
- Library Journal

“One of the simplest and best overviews of the estate-planning process.”
- The Wall Street Journal

“ A search of more than a dozen books in my reference library uncovered a mention of the stepped-up basis in all, but only Estate Planning Basics…makes it clear that the basis of inherited property is adjusted up or down.”
- Florida Sun-Sentinel

Florida Sun-Sentinel
A search of more than a dozen books in my reference library uncovered a mention of the stepped up basis in all, but only Estate Planning Basics... makes it clear that the basis of inherited property is adjusted up or down.
Florida Sun-Sentinel
A search of more than a dozen books in my reference library uncovered a mention of the stepped up basis in all, but only Estate Planning Basics... makes it clear that the basis of inherited property is adjusted up or down.
Florida Sun-Sentinel
A search of more than a dozen books in my reference library uncovered a mention of the stepped up basis in all, but only Estate Planning Basics... makes it clear that the basis of inherited property is adjusted up or down.
The Wall Street Journal
One of the simplest and best overviews of the estate-planning process. It will help you understand most of the documents you need, and some basic planning (including disability planning, which too many authors overlook).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781413316216
  • Publisher: NOLO
  • Publication date: 9/4/2011
  • Edition description: Sixth Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Denis Clifford, a graduate of Columbia Law School, where he was an editor of The Law Review, is a lawyer who specializes in estate planning. He is the author of many Nolo titles including Quick and Legal Will Book and Make Your Own Living Trust and co-author of Plan Your Estate and A Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples. He has been interviewed by such major media as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Money Magazine.
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Table of Contents

Your Estate Planning Legal Companion 1

1 A First Look at Estate Planning 3

Evaluating Your Personal Situation 7

Choosing Your Beneficiaries 8

Providing for Young Children 10

Planning for Incapacity 12

Transferring Your Property After You Die 12

Estate Taxes 14

Making Changes 14

More Estate Planning Resources From Nolo 16

2 Your Beneficiaries 19

Direct Beneficiaries 20

Alternate Beneficiaries 24

Beneficiary Complexities 27

Disinheritance 37

Talking It Over 39

3 Children 43

Naming Someone to Care for Young Children 45

Naming Someone to Manage Your Child's Property 48

Choosing How Your Children's Property Should Be Managed 50

Naming Children as Beneficiaries of Life Insurance 56

Tax-Saving Educational Investment Plans 57

Leaving Property to Adult Children 58

Leaving Property to Other People's Children 59

4 Planning for Incapacity: Medical Care and Finances 61

Medical Decisions 62

Financial Decisions 70

5 Wills 77

Will Requirements 78

Types of Wills 82

Probate 86

Using a Will in Your Estate Planning 88

Preparing Your Will 92

Challenges to Your Will 93

6 Living Trusts 95

How a Living Trust Works 97

Do You Need a Living Trust? 100

Living Trusts and Taxes 103

Living Trusts and Yound Children 104

Shared Living Trusts for Couples 104

Making Key Decisions About Your Living Trust 107

Preparing Your Living Trust Documents 114

7 Other Ways to Avoid Probate 119

Pay-on-Death Bank Accounts 120

Transfer-on-Death Accounts for Securities 121

Transfer-on-Death Car Registration 122

Transfer-on-Death Deeds for Real Estate 123

Joint Tenancy 123

Tenancy by the Entirety 127

Community Property With Right ofSurvivorship 129

Simplified Probate Proceedings 130

Life Insurance 130

Gifts 131

8 Retirement Plans as Estate Planning Devices 133

Individual Retirement Programs 135

Pensions 137

Choosing Beneficiaries for Individual Retirement Programs 138

Retirement Plans and Taxes 139

9 Estate Tax 141

Federal Estate Tax Exemptions 143

State Estate and Inheritance Tax 147

Gift Tax 148

The Federal Income-Tax Basis of Inherited Property 151

10 Reducing Federal Estate Taxes 157

Making Gifts During Life 158

The AB Trust 161

Other Tax-Saving Trusts 171

Disclaiming Gifts 176

11 Property Control Trusts 179

Marital Property Control Trusts for Second or Subsequent Marriages 180

Special Needs Trusts for People With Disabilities 185

Education Trusts 187

Spendthrift Trusts 188

Flexible Trusts 189

12 Lawyers 191

Will You Need a Lawyer? 192

Using Lawyers 194

Doing Your Own Research 198

13 Finalizing Your Estate Plan 201

Storing Your Estate Planning Documents 202

Revising Your Estate Plan 203

Appendix: Some Sample Estate Plans 207

Index 211

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