This page features a list of estate planning books ranging from basic estate planning to complex problems and issues in trust and estate law. If this is your first time making a will or deciding how to distribute your estate, one of the most highly recommended books on estate planning is Plan Your Estate by attorney 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, memorial preferences, and working with an attorney.
Written by an estate planning lawyer, the book 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.Another good book on estate planning is
Beyond the Grave 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.
Estate Planning Forms Books
The following books include forms that may be used in making a basic estate plan:Estate Planning Forms by L. Rush Hunt101 Law Forms for Personal Use by Ralph Warner and Robin LeonardFor a list of estate planning forms available on Pennyborn.com, go to
free estate plan forms.
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. For more, see help with estate planning.
How to 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:Fundamentals of Estate Planning by Constance J. FontaineSmart Guide to Estate Planning by Laura SpinaleThe complete guide to organizing your records for estate planning : step-by-step instructions with companion CD-ROM by John N. Peragine, Jr.Estate Planning Smarts: A Practical, User-Friendly, Action-Oriented Guide by Deborah L. JacobsEstate 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
Estate Planning for People with a Chronic Condition or Disability by Martin M. ShenkmanEstate Planning Through Family Meetings: Without Breaking Up the Family by Lynne ButlerEstate Planning: Principles and Problems, 3rd Edition by Wayne M. Gazur and Robert M. PhillipsEstate Planning for Blended Families: Providing for Your Spouse & Children in a Second Marriage by Richard E. BarnesPlan Now or Pay Later: Judge Jane's no-nonsense guide to estate planning by Jane B. LucalGenerations : planning your legacy : practical answers from America's foremost estate planning attorneys by Robert A. Esperti and Renno L. PetersonIntroduction to Estate Planning in a Nutshell by Robert J. Lynn and Grayson M. P. McCouchThe Estate Planning Sourcebook by Dawn Bradley BerryA family guide to wills, funerals, and probate: how to protect yourself and your survivors by Theodore E. Hughes and David KleinThe women's estate planning guide : techniques for protecting yourself and your family by Zoe M. HicksMultistate and Multinational Estate Planning by Jeffrey A. Schoenblum
Books on Other Estate Planning 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 books, guides, and related resources.Our list of estate planning books was updated August 24, 2017.