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I bought this book based on a handful of positive reviews. It is a quick read, and has some helpful advice. I am named as a trustee and have been setting up my own trust, so I want to be as prepared as possible. The author of this book advises a fiduciary to hire or select someone to deal with most aspects of settling an estate, from lawyer to "trash man", while overseeing their work, as there are "massive liabilities" due to the duties and obligations that come with this important role. This book therefore is geared toward telling you what to expect these experts to do, rather than guiding an individual who may want to be more autonomous with certain aspects of settling an estate. This book is worth reading regardless of which approach you might think you'll take, as good information is always helpful. The cons to me with this book were the number of grammatical errors, which made me wonder if the book had been proofread prior to publishing. Also, there is no recommendation to consider making donations with items like furniture and costume jewelry, but rather to consider them junk and hire someone to haul them away. Having had experience in disposing of "knick-knacks", I know there can be great satisfaction in passing along perfectly useful items to charities and other organizations who will be happy to have them. Many of them will come and collect these items just as quickly as the trash man will. Somehow, knowing another person can find a use for these items seems a nice way to honor a decedent.
My husband and I are both in our 70s. We have two married grown daughters and were looking to organize our affairs to minimize any angst they would have in settling our estates when the time came. We came across David Hoffman’s book and found it most helpful. While it is entitled “The Essential Executor’s Handbook,” it is more than that. It provided us information and advice to allow us to set up our finances, residence, cars and investments to ease the burden on our children as trustees to our estates. Whether you are an executor or a person looking to organize your affairs, I can’t recommend this book enough. It is excellent.
This is about the simplest executor's handbook available. It's well written and easy to follow, and aimed at people who know nothing about finances and the law...Which was great, on the one hand, since I fall into that category...But on the other hand it's a bit TOO skimpy on information. This is the book to read before your loved one passes so you'll have a sense of what your job will be, but when the time comes, you're going to need something with quite a bit more depth.