Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book Review: Guide to Wills and Estates

This week I've read The American Bar Association's Guide to Wills and Estates: Everything you need to know about wills, estates, trusts, and taxes. (3rd edition).

After reading the book I was not certain if it was meant to be a "do-it-yourself" book or simply an educational read. Sadly, it does neither particularly well. For example, it launches into a discussion of non-probate property before giving the reader a sound explanation of what non-probate property it. Overall I felt the presentation of material was disjointed and far to encompassing. Some chapters, such as Estate Planning for Business Owners, could be book in itself.

The book does offer some great web sources on page 10 as well as a check-list at the end. I also enjoyed the hypothetical situations, designed to urge the reader to take action. Lawyers are trained to foresee the worse case scenario, and the authors really out did themselves.

Overall, it is a mildly useful read if you want to gather information on estate planning. It is not a solid resource for do-it-yourselfers. And it is in now way a substitute for quality legal advice.

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