Estate planning is something that many people don’t like to, or don’t feel they need to investigate. Elain Andrews, an attorney and Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, counters common objections to estate planning in her informative book Fifty Excuses (Not) to Do Bulletproof Estate Planning: Excuses that Just Might Cost You Everything.
After defining common estate planning terms, such as Estate, Probate, Living Trust, and Conservatorship, Andrews introduces her concept of “bulletproof estate planning”: “[..] a bulletproof estate plan (in my opinion, at least) is a plan that is comprehensive and carefully drafted so that it has the best likelihood of keeping you, your assets, and your loved ones (who presumably are your beneficiaries) out of court both during and after your life.”
The message that a proper estate plan doesn’t only impact what happens after you die is one of the most valuable lessons in the book, and Andrews explains (with several real-life examples) that estate planning begins with having protections to ensure that health care and financial decisions are made according to one’s wishes. Andrews spends most of the book arguing against common excuses not to do estate planning, from cost concerns to outright false ideas.
The real-life horror stories Andrews uses to illustrate her points are enlightening and fascinating, but might have been helped by more specifics in terms of dollar amounts; throughout the book, readers may find themselves wondering just how much these people, and, hypothetically, they themselves, might lose as a result of incomplete estate planning. At times, Andrews can veer toward histrionics in her urging of proper estate planning, but perhaps that’s understandable, given the stakes.
Despite such issues, Fifty Excuses (Not) to Do Bulletproof Estate Planning is a compact introductory answer to the question “Why estate planning?” Readers are likely to see their own situations reflected here and take away useful information that might well impact their future and the futures of their loved ones.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.