Free Estate Planning

The American Bar Association Guide to Wills and Estates

TABLE OF CONTENTS Part One – First Steps
Ch 1. Why You Should Plan Your Estate How You Can Save Money and Be Sure You’ve Done It Right Ch 2. Getting Started Don’t Procrastinate (This Means You)

Part Two – Transferring Property Without a Will You Have Many Ways of Getting Money to People Without Fuss or Delay
Ch 3. Lots of Little “Wills” Your Guide to Will Substitutes Ch 4. Life Insurance An Old Standby Has Lots of Uses Ch 5. Joint Tenancy They’re Easy and Cheap-But Watch Out for Pitfalls
Part Three – Wills What Should be in Yours?

Ch 6. Wills 101 The Basics Ch 7. What Goes in the Will What to Put in and What to Leave Out Ch 8. After the Will Is Written Follow These Steps to Be Sure Your Will Does the Job
Part Four – Trusts and Living Trusts They Can Do a Lot–but They’re Not for Everyone

Ch 9. How Trusts Work A Quick Look at a Misunderstood Tool Ch 10. Do You Need a Trust? As Usual in the Law, It Depends Ch 11. Living Trusts 101 The Basics Ch 12. Setting up a Living Trust Your Guide to Doing it Right
Part Five – Putting the Tools to Work Some Tips for People with Particular Needs
Ch 13. Providing for the Kids Tips for Every Age of Offspring Ch 14. Married…with or Without Children Most of Us Want to See That Our Spouse Is Taken Care of, but How?
Ch 15. Splitting Up Divorce and Remarriage Ch 16. Beyond Ozzie & Harriett Straight Talk and Otherwise Ch 17. Estate Planning for Business Owners The Law Gives You Lots of Options–but You Have to Use Them Well Ch 18. Providing Income for Your Final Years Estate Planning and Retirement Ch 19. Controlling Costs in Your Final Years Paying for Long-Term Care
Part Six – Death and Taxes Strategies for Holding On to as Much as You Can
Ch 20. Death and Taxes Trying to Make Sense Out of Rules That Keep Changing Ch 21. Tax Planning 101 Trusts Ch 22. Tax Planning 102 The Benefits of Living Gifts and Life Insurance

Part Seven – When You Can’t Make the Decision Confronting Your Biggest Fear Now Can Make a Big Difference Later
Ch 23. Changing Your Mind Changing, Adding to, or Revoking Your Will or Trust Ch 24. Delegating Decisions Advance Directives Ch 25. Planning for End of Life Decisions Living Wills and Organ Donation
Part Eight – Putting the Plan into Action After Your Death Steps You Can Take Now to Help Your Survivors
Ch 26. Easing the Burden on Your Family There’s a Lot You Can Do to Help–Now Ch 27. Choosing the Executor Some Tips on Getting the Right Person Ch 28. Trustees You Can Choose a Person or a Company to Get the Job Done Ch 29. Probate A Quick Primer on How it’s Done

Appendix A. Estate-Planning Checklist
Appendix B. Sample Basic Will (Annotated)
Appendix C. Health-Care Advance Directive