Protect your family with solid estate planning
Estate planning sounds difficultbut most people just need a few basic documents. Let Plan Your Estate show you how to protect your loved ones from legal hassles and financial uncertainty after your death. Learn about:
- wills and living trusts
- avoiding probate
- bypass (AB) trusts
- naming guardians for children
- leaving property to children
- estate, gift, and inheritance taxes
- strategies for business owners
- leaving property to charity
- health care directives, and
- financial powers of attorney.
The 14th edition of Plan Your Estate is completely updated to reflect the latest state and federal laws, including the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
Applies in all U.S. states except Louisiana.
|Edition description:||Fourteenth Edition|
|Product dimensions:||7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.25(d)|
About the Author
Denis Clifford, a graduate of Columbia Law School, where he was an editor of The LawReview, is a lawyer who specializes in estate planning. He is the author of many Nolo titles, including Quick and LegalWill Book,Make Your Own Living Trust and Plan Your Estate andcoauthor of A Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples. He has been interviewed by such major media as TheNew York Times,Los Angeles Times , and Money Magazine.
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.
Table of Contents
Part I: Setting Your Goals
1. Selecting Your Estate Planning Goals
2. Personal Concerns and Estate Planning
Part II: Laying the Groundwork
3. Special Property Ownership Rules for Married People
4. Inventorying Your Property
5. Your Beneficiaries
Part III: Children
Part IV: Wills
Part V: Probate and How to Avoid It
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, Regristrations, and Deeds
12. Life Insurance
13. Retirement Benefits
14. State Law Exemptions From Normal Probate
Part VI: Understanding Estate and Gift Taxes
15. Estate Taxes
16. Gifts and Taxes
Part VII: Reducing or Eliminating Estate Taxes
17. An Overview of Ongoing Trusts
18. AB Disclaimer 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
Part VIII: Imposing Controls Over Property
24. Property Control Trusts for Second or Subsequent Marriages
25. Trust and Other Devices for Imposing Controls Over Property
Part IX: Taking Care of Personal Issues
26. Incapacity: Making Medical and Financial Decisions
27. Body and Organ Donation, Funerals, and Burials
Part X: Family Business Estate Planning
28. Family Business Estate Planning
Part XI: Going Further
29. Using Lawyers
30. After You Complete Your Estate Plan
31. After a Death Occurs
Part XII: Sample Estate Plans
32. Some Estate Plans
What People are Saying About This
"Among my favorite resources for explaining trust and other aspects of estate planning...." -- Eric Tyson, syndicated columnist and author of Personal Finance for Dummies
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The tenth edition of NOLO's "Plan Your Estate" is required reading for anyone who expects to die (no matter how far away that day may be). Surely each of us has something that we expect to leave behind - be it a faithful dog or a Hawaiian estate. Denis Clifford's 539 page volume gives the average person a good idea how things will fall out both with and without advance planning. The book is divided into twelve parts covering topics such as Goals, Groundwork, Children, Wills, Probate, Taxes; included in those are thirty-two well-indexed chapters dealing with issues such as Social Security, Trusts, Former Spouses and so on. Clifford's book gives a general explanation of each topic, but nothing can be treated in depth in a volume this short. "Plan Your Estate" is not a substitute for visiting an attorney with specific questions and having her create a will to your particular needs. But this is a great place to start and get a good idea of what you may require. The bottom line: Five Stars. "Plan Your Estate" is easy to understand and use but not a substitute for legal advice.