The Complete Guide to Wills, Trusts, and Estates: What You Need to Know Explained Simply


Most people find thinking about the possibility of disability or death extremely unpleasant; however, planning for these occurrences in advance will reduce potential stress later in life. With the help of this new book, you can take the guesswork out of planning and finally understand the complex processes.

The Complete Guide to Wills, Trusts, & Estates will provide you with all the information you need to choose, set up, and execute a will, trust, or estate. You will learn ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $16.22   
  • Used (6) from $1.99   
Sending request ...


Most people find thinking about the possibility of disability or death extremely unpleasant; however, planning for these occurrences in advance will reduce potential stress later in life. With the help of this new book, you can take the guesswork out of planning and finally understand the complex processes.

The Complete Guide to Wills, Trusts, & Estates will provide you with all the information you need to choose, set up, and execute a will, trust, or estate. You will learn the terminology, including such words as beneficiary, probate, trustor, trustee, assets, guardianship, and executor. You will also learn about trust agreements, trust property, settlement costs, life insurance, durable power of attorney, marital deductions, gift splitting, survivorship deeds, gift tax issues, generation skipping transfer tax, tax deferred accounts, and advance directives.

Furthermore, you will learn how to protect your financial privacy, how to plan for long-term care, how to reduce or eliminate taxes, and how to choose beneficiaries and executors. By reading this book, you will understand the differences among living trusts, 529 plans, limited term trusts, life insurance trusts, estate freeze trusts, qualified personal residence trusts (QPRT), privacy trusts, A/B trusts, qualified terminable interest property trusts (QTIP), child's trusts, and irrevocable trusts. You will know which will, be it holographic, nuncupative, self-proving, statutory, simple, joint, living, mutual, ethical, electronic, or video, fits your needs. In addition, you will be provided with estate planning strategies in easy to understand language that will make the task seem much less burdensome.

Whether you are writing your will, establishing a trust, or planning your estate for the first time or you are updating or revising your previous plans, The Complete Guide to Wills, Trusts, & Estates will give you all the tools and knowledge you need to decide where your assets will go when you die and to whom.

Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice.  Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

This Atlantic Publishing eBook was professionally written, edited, fact checked, proofed and designed. The print version of this book is 288 pages and you receive exactly the same content. Over the years our books have won dozens of book awards for content, cover design and interior design including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin award for excellence in publishing. We are proud of the high quality of our books and hope you will enjoy this eBook version.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601382030
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/30/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 19, 2010

    Informative Guide

    This book is full of advice for people to follow when estate planning. Death and money are touchy subjects, as the author points out, and many people don't want to think about estate planning, especially at a younger age. This book covers a very broad planning process and includes many activities for the reader to complete that should help with the estate planning process.

    The first part of the book deals more with the emotions involved in estate planning and how to get motivated to actually begin the process. Also included is the truth regarding basic misconceptions about wills, trusts and estates. A helpful list of people you may need to consult when estate planning is also explained in easy to understand terms.

    This book contains a lot of good definitions and examples of things, such as: what are assets and what are liabilities. The author spells out how to use the proper terminology in your will so that it is legally correct, something that seems very important to know how to do. Section two was probably most helpful, it was broken down into chapters by what is included in an estate plan: with a chapter each on wills, trusts, insurance and taxes.

    Another chapter that was particularly interesting was chapter 10. It is devoted to the who, what, how, when and why. An exercise is suggested for how to choose who to give to and how much to give them. It is a sort of matching game between what you have to give laid out next to the people and/or organizations that you want to give to. Another thing that many people may not have considered is early gifting, a topic that is discussed in this chapter.

    If you are looking for a comprehensive book that contains clear instructions on how to go about the estate planning process and covers almost any situation or problem that could come up in estate planning, then this is it. The appendix also includes some helpful worksheets to keep yourself organized.

    If ever a book was too comprehensive, this would be it. There is so much information included in this book that it may seem overwhelming. But it does cover almost any situation or problem that you may face during the estate planning process you won't need to buy any other book, this one has it all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 8, 2010


    This book by Margo Pierce is a comprehensive resource on estate planning. The author has explained complex legal terms in simple words that can be understood by everyone. There is a personal touch to the entire book and a genuine honesty that makes it easy for the readers to understand the intricacies of estate planning.
    She has clearly stated the importance of estate planning, besides quashing the myths and superstitions surrounding death and inheritance. It has elaborate explanations about the different kinds of properties that can be included in estate planning and how they can be distributed to people. This book explores all options and arrangements that are possible like wills, trusts, agreements and contracts. Information on taxes and insurance is broken down into small understandable chunks and this increases the readability of the book.
    The author has also described the different parties that can be involved in estate planning like executor, lawyer and the legal guardian and the resources for choosing the right person. The book has numerous examples along with forms and this makes it very practical and useful.
    It is a must read book for everyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 4, 2010

    You can start now!

    It was a quick read! Do not let this sit on your bed side table... I know how it is, you'll get inspired, pick up a self-help book, and then fall asleep after the 2nd page, THAT IS NOT THIS BOOK!

    Many people don't want to think about death, especially their own. Then to ask someone to not only think about death, but money as well... and the reception isn't so great.

    Personally, I grew up with two different parents who had two different money perspectives. 1. Save, plan, only buy what you need


    2. You only live once, enjoy it, and If you're going to buy something, it has to be the BEST (usually the most expensive)

    What I like about this book is that it was quite convincing, the author was able to place the idea of death and money in a good perspective (is that possible? I guess so). That dealing with your money after death was something not to be feared, but embraced. And it helped tune out parent #2... which I was trying to do for years....

    What really convinced me was when she started talking about how parents dont normally discuss money in a good light, which makes for this irrational fear of money, my favorite part is when the author wrote:

    "Try to recall the number of conversations you have had
    with your parents, your children, or anyone else about how to
    manage the necessary debt of owning a home and the unexpected
    replacement of a car muffler or the expense of a school trip at the

    end of the year"

    I never had those conversations and it made me understand that when its time to talk to my children about money, I will try my best to keep them from having this irrational fear, and hopefully handle their estate better than how I started off.

    After the author convinced me why estate planning was so important the actually learning was quite easy. She really makes it straight forward and as the cover says "explained simply". Her ability to make something so overwhelming so painless made it worth reading.

    She includes in the Appendix, work sheets for each chapter that are very straight forward. I like how she brought up the many different professionals who will be involved in the process, and their value in making sure planning went smoothly. She also has a glossary that defines some legal terminology, which I had to look at sometimes. I can't imagine needing to go outisde this book to learn more on the subject.

    I have to say I feel a peace of mind knowing that I'm ahead of the game. Quotes always say it best... "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail', and what is not failure but when you leave your family with the weight of your debts and problems?

    (As a side note, the font was large which I prefer, and it makes for easy reading on the 'visually-challenged' ;) )

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 10, 2009

    Excellent, Must Read Book

    Pierce carries through on her promise and simplifies, trust, wills, and estates. This is a must read for anyone who has personal property be it a home, car, or home movies. The process is explained and next steps are given from what you can do by your self to what you will need to receive legal or financial counseling on. Pierce takes a complicated subject and provides a number of prospective, resources, and ideas for the average individual to think about. The best part of the book are the worksheets to get you started on your planning today.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 26, 2009

    easy to understand and useful

    For those of us who aren't financial wizards - and don't really enjoy listening to those who are - like myself - this book is a no nonsense tool to help get ourselves on track with money matters. It's a readable and understandable explanation of what, how and why we need to organize our money and what we do with it, so that when we're gone it can keep on giving to the places and people we want it to.

    Sue Holm provides practical activities such as list making with memories and meaningful relationships to help the reader identify the things, places and people that matter most. She gently makes meaningful the lives we lead as we consider how they extend beyond our time here. But beyond helping us organize how we want those monies spent that will survive us when we pass, this book focuses us on intentional living now. I may be giving this book at Christmas because it has an unexpected substance and clearly wouldn't be just a token gift..

    This sense of generativity is a realistic theme that few such books would even accommodate. Ms. Holm has a real sense of what money truly means and she beautifully conceptualizes that for the reader and then helps us make it practical and understandable within the framework of a discussion about how estates, wills and trusts work in case it ever has to be argued in a courtroom.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)