What This Book’s About
Why Plan Now?
Should I Get a Lawyer?
Getting Started with Estate Planning
Four Documents You Must Have in a Basic Estate Plan
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way
Appoint a Guardian for Children Under Age Eighteen
Name an Executor
Leave Property to Your Beneficiaries
How Wills Pass Assets
Common Provisions in a Will
State Laws Govern Wills
What It Takes to Execute a Will
What Is “Testamentary Capacity?”
Have Only One Will
Changing or Revoking Your Will
What Is a Codicil?
Marking Up Your Will Doesn’t Change It!
Revoking Your Will
Are Will Provisions Always Binding?
From State to State
Leaving a List with Your Will
Not All Property Passes Under Your Will
Property Owned in Trust
Jointly Owned Property: Title/Deed Ownership
Is a Basic Plan Always Simple?
What Happens If I Die Without a Will?
How Laws of Intestacy Work
What is Probate?
What Is Ancillary Probate?
Why Avoid Probate?
Special Estate Planning Rules for Spouses
Using Trusts in Estate Planning
What Is a Trust?
Creating a Living Trust
Trusts Commonly Used in Estate Planning
Creating a Trust for Your Pet
Creating Trusts Now or Later?
Life Insurance in Estate Planning
Death and Taxes
What’s the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax (GST)?
State Death and Estate Taxes
How a QDOT Works
Trusted Advisors and Your Estate Plan
Estate Plans Need Not Be Forever
Estate Planning Document Checklist
About the Authors
Real Life Legal™