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Book Reviews

Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Word on Estate Planning

Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2020

Verified Purchase

As an experienced financial planner, I find clients eager to make investments but reluctant to prepare their estate plans. Subconsciously, they seem to think by avoiding making an estate plan they can prevent dying! But in fact, if you don't prepare an estate plan, the state in which you live has.

Ms McArthur is an ACTEC fellow which means she is in the top tier of trust and estate lawyers in the United States. She has seen all the mistakes people make out of ignorance and lack of professional guidance. She wrote this book in order "to clarify estate planning for people who are smart and interested but not fully conversant with the elements of estate planning and how they fit together."

Ms. McArthur's book presents estate planning principles through fictional conversations about real problems. Rather than another boring text book which explains what a will is , instead you read stories about the client and the lawyer talking about a particular aspect of an estate plan together. This way the reader can better identify with the issue at hand. As she says: "Other books explain. This book attempts to illustrate". She starts by reviewing the basic elements of the estate plan but then goes further describing other issues such as gifts, guardianships, marital rights, charities.

I particularly liked the chapter called "Getting the Picture" where you list your assets by title so on one page it is clear how each asset is titled and who would inherit it. In another chapter "Do I have a Problem? What should I do?" Ms McArthur provides a step by step guide to getting your estate planning documents in order.

If I were an estate planning lawyer, I would give a copy of this book to each of my clients.

John D.

4.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Word on Estate Planning

Reviewed in the United States on June 6, 2021

Verified Purchase

This is a well-written book and the conversational dialog works very well. The “conversations” that take place between the estate lawyer and her clients mimic the discussions I have when I visit my estate lawyer and did a good job keeping my attention on a topic that’s not discussed regularly. I learned a lot from the book and recommend it if you’re starting to think, or rethink, about this topic.

Biggest con: much of the book didn’t apply to me, so I’d have to plow through those sections to get to the parts that were (mostly) relevant to my situation.

Jackson Coppley

5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Word on Estate Planning

Reviewed in the United States on April 13, 2021

The author is a well-know expert in estate planning with years of experience. The manner in which she provides what could easily be dry material makes this an easy read. It's a topic for everyone. Recommended.

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