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Wills and Trusts Kit For Dummies

ISBN: 978-0-470-28371-4
384 pages
August 2008
Wills and Trusts Kit For Dummies (0470283718) cover image
Navigate probate, tax issues, and state laws

Create an estate plan and protect your family's interests

Need a will, but have no idea where to start? This friendly guide shows youhow to prepare a legal will or trust — either on your own or with professional help — and ensure that your wishes are honored. You'll handle everything from planning your bequests and writing and signing a will to selecting a trust and drafting your durable power of attorney.

Discover how to:

  • Provide for your children

  • Hire and work with professionals

  • Minimize tax liabilities

  • Amend or revoke a will or trust

  • Avoid common estate planning mistakes

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.

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Introduction.

Part I: Getting Started with Your Will or Trust.

Chapter 1: Ensuring That Your Last Wishes Are Honored.

Chapter 2: Making Crucial Decisions.

Chapter 3: Gathering Per tinent Information.

Chapter 4: Planning Your Bequests.

Chapter 5: Providing for Your Children and Dependents.

Chapter 6: Dipping into Your Pocket: The Tax Man (and Others).

Part II: Everything You Need to Know about Wills.

Chapter 7: Writing and Signing a Will.

Chapter 8: Navigating the Land Mines.

Chapter 9: When You Already Have a Will.

Chapter 10: Estate Administration: What Happens in Probate Court.

Part III: Trust Me! How Trusts Work.

Chapter 11: The Anatomy of a Trust.

Chapter 12: Dead or Alive: Picking Your Trust.

Chapter 13: When You Already Have a Trust.

Part IV: Carrying Out the Intent of Your Will and Trust.

Chapter 14: Planning for Your Incapacity.

Chapter 15: Those Cushy Retirement Funds.

Chapter 16: Life Insurance: Making Sure It Doesn’t Backfire.

Chapter 17: Your Castle: How It’s Owned Makes a Huge Difference.

Part V: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 18: Ten Common Will Mistakes.

Chapter 19: Ten Reasons to Have a Trust.

Chapter 20: Ten Tax Traps to Avoid When Planning Your Estate.

Part VI: Appendixes.

Appendix A: State Signing Requirements.

Appendix B: State Inheritance Taxes.

Appendix C: Estate Planning Questionnaire.

Appendix D: About the CD.

Index.

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Aaron Larson is an attorney practicing law in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he lives with his wife and daughter. After graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, Aaron started practice as a quintessential small town lawyer, providing legal services that included estate planning, probate, and guardianship services. He subsequently worked for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he developed professional education programs for lawyers in areas including estate planning, litigation, and family law. His present legal practice focuses on civil appeals. He operates the ExpertLaw Web site (www.expertlaw.com), offering free legal information and assistance to consumers, as well as resources for legal professionals.
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