The Mom's Guide to Wills and Estate Planning [NOOK Book]


Estate planning basics to help you protect your young family.

You know that now is the time to...
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The Mom's Guide to Wills and Estate Planning

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Estate planning basics to help you protect your young family.

You know that now is the time to do something in the way of estate planning to provide for your young children -- but what, exactly? Is a will all you need? What about life insurance or a living trust? And how much will it all cost?

The Mom's Guide to Wills & Estate Planning gives you practical, straightforward recommendations on estate planning options and provides a solid plan that every family can find the time to follow -- without the expense of hiring an attorney.

This book outlines which proactive steps are most crucial and should be taken immediately, and which can be delayed. Focusing on your family's real-world concerns, you'll find out:

  • how to select a guardian for children

  • when to consider a living trust

  • how to set up payable-on-death accounts

    vhow to keep your estate plan current

    You'll also see handy and relevant USA TODAY snapshots, infographics and insights throughout The Mom's Guide to Wills & Estate Planning. So what are you waiting for? Create an estate plan to protect your young children today.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781413315356
  • Publisher: NOLO
  • Publication date: 10/23/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 262
  • File size: 15 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Liza Hanks is an attorney and the founder of FamilyWorks Estate Planning, a practice specializing in estate planning for families of all ages. A graduate of Stanford Law School, she has also served as an instructor at the Santa Clara University Law School and practiced with the state of California and a prestigious Silicon Valley firm. Hanks is the author or co-author of two books published by Nolo: The Mom's Guide to Wills and Estate Planning and The Trustee's Legal Companion. She also blogs on wills, trusts, powers of attorney, living wills, estate taxes, and probate court on the law blog Everyday Estate Planning. Hanks lives with her family in Campbell, California.
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Table of Contents

I Your Estate Planning Companion 1

1 Picking Guardians: You CAN Do It! 5

Get It Done 6

How Guardianships Work 8

What Guardians Are (and Are Not) Responsible For 9

Picking the Right Guardian 11

After You've Chosen a Guardian: Talking It Over 26

Giving Guardians Some Written Guidance 28

2 Getting Organized, or Trying To 31

Cash 36

College Savings Plans and Custodial Accounts for Children 37

Safe Deposit Box 39

Real Estate 39

Investments, Retirement and Otherwise 43

Life Insurance 46

Pensions 47

Annuities 48

Government Benefits 49

Automobiles and Personal Property 49

Moving On 49

3 Leave Money to Your Kids? Are You Nuts? 53

Custodial Accounts 58

Trusts 64

Your Backup Plan: Appoint a Property Guardian 79

4 Yes, You Need a Will 83

Why a Simple Will Is Just Fine 84

Making a Will: A DIY Project or Not? 85

What Wills Don't Do 88

What Happens If You Don't Make a Will? 91

Taking Care of Business: Picking an Executor 92

The Will Worksheet 97

Simple Will Worksheet 104

5 Creating a Living Trust (Maybe) 105

Probate: A Judge Makes Sure the Right Things Happen 107

What Is a Living Trust? 111

Do You Need a Living Trust? 114

Creating a Living Trust 117

Casting the Play: Selecting Trustees and Beneficiaries 120

Transferring Assets Into the Trust 122

Do You Still Need a Will? 126

6 Those Retirement Accounts: Naming the Right Beneficiaries 129

Alphabet Soup: Plans Explained 131

What Beneficiaries Have You Already Named? 134

Retirement 101: The Basic Rules of Choosing Beneficiaries 136

Naming Your Beneficiaries 139

A Little Housekeeping: Clean Up Your Retirement Plans145

Filling Out the Forms 147

7 Life Insurance: Not Just for Other People 149

Do You Need Life Insurance? 150

What Is Life lnsurance? 153

Life Insurance Primer 154

How Much Is Enough? 157

How Much Life Insurance Costs 160

Naming Beneficiaries 166

8 Payable-on-Death Accounts (Weird Name, Handy Tool) 171

When POO and TOD Accounts Are a Good Idea-And When They're Not 172

How POD and TOD Accounts Work 173

How to Set Up a POD or TOD Account 178

9 Powers of Attorney: You Really Need These 187

Health Care Directives 189

Durable Powers of Attorney for Finances 200

10 Life Changes-So Will Your Plan 209

What You've Accomplished 210

Storing Your Estate Plan 211

Whom to Give Copies To 211

Keeping Your Plan Current 212

When to Update Your Plan 212

How to Make Changes to Your Estate Plan 214

Appendix: Estate Planning Worlfsheets 219

Will Worksheet 220

The Ideal Guardian 221

Potential Guardians 222

Guardians for My Children 222

Family Inventory 223

Inheritance Planner 225

My Children's Money Manager 226

How Much Could Your Kids Inherit? 226

Property Guardians for My Children 226

My Executors 227

Family Retirement Assets: Current Beneficiaries 227

My Health Care Agent 227

My Agent for Financial Management 227

Index 229

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