Friday, May 21, 2010

Book Review - Living Trusts for Everybody by Ronald Farrington Sharp

“This is a book for the 95 percent of the population that has done no estate planning...”

The author is an attorney and has personally prepared over 4,000 trusts and estate plans. In the first chapter he reviews the differences between a will and a trust and states “The fact is that nearly everyone would be better off with a trust than with a will. In most cases the only person who benefits from our having a will instead of a trust is your lawyer. Attorney fees for making the will and probating the estate are a lawyer's bread and butter.”

Trusts are most beneficial for those with one or more of the following situations involved:
  • Minors
  • Disabled Beneficiaries
  • Spendthrifts
  • Unmarried Couples
  • Blended Families
  • Separated Couples or Separate Trusts
  • Large Estates
  • Small Estates
The author outlines all the benefits that a trust has over a will such as asset management, tax reduction, probate avoidance, avoiding court-ordered conservatorship, and privacy. He also gives specific advice as to how to recognize and avoid estate planning sales seminars that merely want to sell commission based asset management and choosing a lawyer who is specialized in the area of trust preparation.

The author has done an excellent job in giving detailed information without being dry or boring. Everything that he has written is important and no words are wasted.

I highly recommend this book as it is specific yet easy to understand. A quick read will convince you of the importance of trusts or in the rare case of why you don't need one. One very interesting facet of a trust is that the benefits are for the living and not just a method to disperse funds when someone passes away. As a reference tool the chapter headings allow you to review time after time as questions arise. My copy is now highlighted in yellow and green.

Very useful reading and a must for anyone who desires to manage their finances responsibly and profitably.

1 comment:

Carol Schultz-Weil said...

Christine from Money Funk also did a positive review of the book. Below is the link:
You'll enjoy looking at her site.