One of the most highly recommended books on estate planning is Plan Your Estate by Denis Clifford. This comprehensive and up to date guide covers essential estate planning topics such as defining your estate planning objectives, making a will or living trust, probate, estate planning for parents, estate and gift taxes, estate planning for small business owners, stepfamilies, disinheriting children and other heirs, community property, life insurance, pay on death accounts and other non-probate transfers, social security and retirement accounts, estate planning devices used to maintain control over property, making a power of attorney, planning for incapacity, leaving instructions for your funeral and other memorial preferences, and working with an attorney.
Written by an estate planning lawyer, Plan Your Estate also includes sample estate plans and information on state inheritance taxes. It is written in plain English and provides examples to make estate and trust law easier to understand. This book is often used in conjunction with
estate planning software to make basic estate planning documents at home. This guide is also suggested reading for individuals preparing to meet with an estate planning attorney or tax professional.The gold standard in estate planning books for consumers, Plan Your Estate by Denis Clifford is easy to read, yet covers the entire spectrum of estate planning concerns. Whether you prepare your own estate planning documents or use an attorney, begin your estate plan with this guide to formulate your estate planning objectives and save money on legal fees.
Other Estate Planning and Probate Issues
If you need a book on wills, living trusts, probate, estate administration, trust administration, final arrangements, financial planning, long term care or a related topic, see our estate planning books and software index for a directory of materials.
Why You Need an Estate Planning Guide
Before buying a new car, you probably read the reviews, take a test drive, and talk to a number of different people about what you should choose. Your estate plan may have a huge impact on the important people in your life. It may also affect how you are remembered. Whether you have your estate planning documents drafted by an attorney or use a do it yourself approach, you will probably invest a significant amount of time and money into planning your estate. An essential part of making wise decisions is understanding what you don't know. Reviewing an estate planning book is an easy way to gain a quick summary of the issues you need to consider. It may also go a long way to ensuring you are not taken advantage of by a lawyer.
One of our favorite estate planning books is Beyond the Grave, Revised and Updated Edition: The Right Way and the Wrong Way of Leaving Money to Your Children by Jeffery L. Condon. This guide covers essential issues for parents, such as leaving
unequal shares, how your children will share inherited property, loans your children have not repaid, and other real life scenarios that can complicate your estate plan.
Avoid Estate Planning Mistakes
Reading estate planning books can help you become a more informed consumer and should allow you to better define the type of estate plan you want to make. Estate planning software can also be a convenient way to create essential estate plan documents in some circumstances. However, there is no substitute for obtaining professional legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your state. Before making decisions about how to execute estate planning documents, making gifts or asset transfers or signing any legal document, consult an estate planning lawyer about your unique situation. See our tips on
finding an attorney.
List of Estate Planning Books
The following is a list of estate planning books and guides that are available at a wide range of prices. Whatever your budget, you can find a comprehensive estate planning guide at an affordable price from the list below:Estate Planning Basics by attorney Denis CliffordEstate Planning for Dummies by N. Brian CaverlyWills, Trusts, and Estates, Ninth Edition by Jesse Dukeminier and Robert H. Sitkoff.