Plan Your Estate

Overview

Read about your estate planning options and decide how best to protect your loved ones with this comprehensive guide. You'll find plain English explanations of everything from wills and living trusts to sophisticated tax-saving strategies and the rules for living wills in each state. Let Nolo's bestseller Plan Your Estate show you how to: avoid probate leave property through a will or trust use life insurance to provide for your loved ones name a guardian for your minor child leave property to a young person plan...

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Overview

Read about your estate planning options and decide how best to protect your loved ones with this comprehensive guide. You'll find plain English explanations of everything from wills and living trusts to sophisticated tax-saving strategies and the rules for living wills in each state. Let Nolo's bestseller Plan Your Estate show you how to: avoid probate leave property through a will or trust use life insurance to provide for your loved ones name a guardian for your minor child leave property to a young person plan for incapacity implement strategies specific to business owners reduce estate taxes make final arrangements

The most comprehensive estate planning book available, from basic probate avoidance techniques to sophisticated tax saving strategies. ". . . excellent source of information on wills and estate planning."--The New York Times.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

" An excellent source of information on wills and estate planning. " The New York Times

U.S. News & World Report
How to protect your family and make an orderly exit even if your estate is small.
Money Magazine
Following Clifford’s advice in this laymen’s guide can save your heirs a bundle.
Washington Times
Probably one of the most comprehensive estate-planning books available to mature adults. It is also written so that everyone can understand new and complex theories, laws, regulations, advantages and disadvantages, with issues ranging from basic estate planning to sophisticated tax-savings strategies.
U.S. News & World Report
How to protect your family and make an orderly exit even if your estate is small.
Los Angeles Times
Plan Your Estate is particularly helpful to the layperson... a clear, comprehensive and even charming book.
From The Critics
Plan Your Estate is particularly helpful to the layperson... a clear, comprehensive and even charming book.
Wall Street Journal
"Nolo's home page is worth bookmarking."
The New York Times
"...excellent source of information on wills and estate planning."
Los Angeles Times
"Plan Your Estate is particularly helpful to the layperson.. a clear, comprehensive and even charming book."
Parenting Magazine
"From the country's leading publisher of do-it-yourself legal guides...get your affairs in order without any help -- or fees -- from lawyers."
CBS News
"Walks you through... provisions you need to consider for your situation."
The Wall Street Journal
"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 New York Times
"An excellent source of information on wills and estate planning."
Kiplinger's Retirement Report
Comprehensive, up to date and organized to make it easy to find the information you want.... clearly explain the nuts and bolts of estate planning.
Los Angeles Times
Plan Your Estate is particularly helpful to the layperson... a clear, comprehensive and even charming book.
Money Magazine
Following Clifford's advice in this laymen's guide can save your heirs a bundle.
Small Business Opportunities
A comprehensive guide that will enable you to put together a plan that's right for you and your family.
U.S. News & World Report
How to protect your family and make an orderly exit even if your estate is small.
Washington Times
Probably one of the most comprehensive estate-planning books available to mature adults. It is also written so that everyone can understand new and complex theories, laws, regulations, advantages and disadvantages, with issues ranging from basic estate planning to sophisticated tax-savings strategies.
Chicago Tribune
A superb book.
CBS MoneyWatch
"...can walk you through making a will and provisions you need to consider for your situation"
Eric Tyson
Among my favorite resources for explaining trusts and other aspects of estate planning...
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781413317206
  • Publisher: NOLO
  • Publication date: 5/4/2012
  • Edition description: Eleventh Edition
  • Edition number: 11
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (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 BookMake Your Own Living Trust and Plan Your Estate and co-author of  A Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples. He has been interviewed by such major media as The New York TimesLos Angeles Times, and Money Magazine.

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Read an Excerpt

Personal Concerns and Estate Planning

Underlying the creation of any estate plan are profound human concerns: a primal urge for order and the desire to pass on property to loved ones. A good estate plan is an accurate reflection of your deepest personal wishes. Although much of this book is about mechanics, methods and documents, it's important to remember that no matter how well you deal with legal devices, your estate plan won't succeed unless you take human concerns into account, too.

We make no claim to being experts on the psyche. Indeed, we are wary of "experts" (or anyone) who claim precise understanding of something as complex and mysterious as human beings. Happily, you don't need an expert to cope with the human realities that can come up in your estate planning. You do need common sense and candor about the strengths, weaknesses and genuine needs of close family members, and perhaps friends as well. Legal aspects of estate planning are significant, of course (that's why we're here), but should never interfere with what you know in your heart needs to be done.

Many people face no serious personal problems in their estate planning. They know who they want to leave their property to. They do not foresee any possibility of conflict between their beneficiaries, nor threat of a lawsuit by someone claiming they were illegally denied their inheritance. On the human level, these people can, happily, focus on the satisfactions they expect their gifts to bring.

Other people's situations are not so clear and straightforward. They must deal with more difficult human dynamics, such as possibilities of family conflicts, or dividing property unequally between children, or providing care for minor children, or handling complexities arising from second or subsequent marriages.

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Table of Contents


1. Selecting Your Estate Planning Goals
Part I: Setting Your Goals
Part II: Laying the Groundwork
Part III: Children
Part IV: Wills
Part V: Probate and How to Avoid It
Part VI: Understanding Estate and Gift Taxes
Part VII: Reducing or Eliminating Estate Taxes
Part VIII: Imposing Controls Over Property
Part IX: Taking Care of Personal Issues
Part X: Family Business Estate Planning
Part XI: Going Further
Part XII: Sample Estate Plans
2. Personal Concerns and Estate Planning
3. Special Property Ownership Rules for Married People
4. Inventorying Your Property
5. Your Beneficiaries
6. Children
7. Wills
8. Probate and Why You Want to Avoid It
9. Living Trusts
10. Joint Tenancy and Tenancy by the Entirety
11. Pay-on-Death Designations: Bank Accounts, Securities, Stocks and Bonds, and Motor Vehicles
12. Life Insurance
13. Retirement Benefits
14. State Law Exemptions From Normal Probate
15. Estate Taxes
16. Gifts and Taxes
17. An Overview of Ongoing Trusts
18. Estate Tax–Saving Bypass Trusts
19. Other Estate Tax–Saving Marital Trusts
20. Charitable Trusts
21. Other Estate Tax–Saving Trusts
22. Disclaimers: After-Death Estate Tax Planning
23. Combining Estate Tax–Saving Trusts
24. Property Control Trusts for Second or Subsequent Marriages
25. Trust and Other Devices for Imposing Controls Over Property
26. Incapacity: Making Medical and Financial Decisions
27. Body and Organ Donation, Funerals, and Burials
28. Family Business Estate Planning
29. Using Lawyers
30. After You Complete Your Estate Plan
31. After a Death Occur
32. Some Estate Plans
Glossary
Appendix: State Inheritance Tax Rules
Index
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